Monday, January 26, 2009

#67_Annatto Oil


Anatto seeds are used for flavoring and for coloring agent in Philippine cuisine. It is commonly called "atsuete" or "atchuete". So when a product from the Philippines has anatto coloring, the manufacturer can claim that it has no artificial flavoring or artificial coloring in their ingredients because anatto seeds are natural ingredient.
There are two ways that I know of to extract the coloring from the seeds. One way is to soak the seeds in warm water, but this process takes a while for the coloring to come out. The other way is to make annatto oil which is quicker.

Annatto seeds in olive oil
I used to make a small amount of annatto oil each time I needed some for food coloring. But I learned from Emerril Lagasse, a FoodTV network host, that I can make 1 cup or so, then use whatever I needed and store the rest in the fridge. Brilliant idea!

To make Annatto Oil:
Put a cup of canola oil or olive oil in a pot and pour in a package (2oz) of annatto seeds. Simmer for about 10 minutes on medium low heat. Let cool.

Put ANNATTO OIL in a clean jar with tight-fitting lid and store in the fridge.

Now I'm ready to make Pancit or Afritada....

recipe coming up folks!


Emerril said to take out the seeds before storing in a jar. Okay, Emerril, I will take them out later!


  1. MaMely,
    Can we buy already made anatto oil and where? Best regards.

  2. Anonymous,I don't really know if anatto oil is available in the stores. It is nice to have some handy. the other day I was making some pancit and I just had to grab some from a jar in the fridge. Very convenient. If you make some don't forget to refrigerate it, otherwise it will go rancid.
    Many thanks to you.

  3. I finally was able to remember to get annatto seeds from Spice Of Life store here. Gagawa ako nito. Thanks!

  4. manang, it is really a time-saver to have this already made.I always make sure I have some in the fridge ready to use anytime.
    Thanx for your visit and take care!