How To Make Annatto Oil

Annatto Oil is commonly known as Atsuete Oil or Achiote Oil in which the process is simply mixing both Annatto seeds and Vegetable oil. Although you can also use other alternatives such as Olive oil, corn oil and or canola oil. Annatto is a type of food coloring that is mainly made from Annatto Seeds or Atsuete Seeds that comes from the Achiote tree or also known as Bixa Orellana.

A famous fast food restaurant company in the Philippines, and of course one of the favorite dining place, uses annatto oil. It is famous not only for its chicken barbecue or chicken inasal but also for their annatto oil. In fact, whenever me and my mom goes to that restaurant we would always ask for their annatto oil and would color our rice with it. Delicious at its finest I can say. Although majority of the restaurants nowadays especially when they serve barbecue have Annatto oil mostly used to top their rice that creates a yellow-orange tinge which comes from Annatto seeds making it more visually tempting.

I’m not sure about other grocery stores, but most of the grocery stores I’ve been to does not have a ready made Annatto oil available. That is why learning how to make Annatto oil can be useful for you so that it is always readily available for you at home. Not to worry because most of the grocery stores and other Asian Stores have Annatto seeds, which is of course one of the main ingredients, is available. I also heard that if Achiote seeds is not in any way available, you can try to check at any Mexican Store (If there’s one on your area) and try to look for a package that is labeled as Achiote.

In case you’re wondering what type of oil should you use to make Annatto oil, well it is actually a personal choice and your own preference. But if I may suggest, you may use an oil that has a more neutral taste such as corn oil, Olive oil, canola oil and palm oil. Using these types of oil does not only gives you a neutral taste but also adds color to any dish that you pour it into, most especially rice. I usually use either Vegetable Oil and Olive Oil whenever I make Annatto oil.

Making Annatto oil is pretty simple. So today, I am going to teach you how to make Achiote Oil or Annatto Oil. Easy to make recipes that only involves two ingredients: Atsuete seeds and Oil.

How to make Achiote Oil or Annatto Oil


1/4 cup Annatto Seeds

12 tablespoons Vegetable Oil

Time Needed : 10 minutes

Prep Time: 5 minutes
Cook Time: 5 minutes

  1. Heat Medium Size Saucepan

    In a medium size saucepan, heat using low medium heat.Make Annatto Oil

  2. Add the cup of Annatto Seeds

    Pour the cup of Annatto seeds over the heated saucepan.
    Add Achuete Seeds

  3. Add Vegetable oil

    Vegetable Oil is then added to the saucepan with the Annatto Seeds.
    Cooking Oil is added to make annatto oil

  4. Heat Annatto Seeds and Cooking Oil

    Heat the mixture to form bubbles or simmer over annatto seeds and cooking oil,
    simmer over annatto seeds and cooking oil.

  5. Wait until the mixture turns its color to yellow-orange

    Lower the heat until the color starts also to become yellow-orange.

    Color Yellow-orange

  6. Turn off the heat and let the Annatto seeds to soak through the cooking oil

    Turning off the heat and allow the Annatto seeds to soak through the cooking prevents the seeds from overcooking, doing make your annatto oil tastes bitter.Turn off heat to prevent overcooking the seeds

  7. Stir Annatto seeds and cooking oil

    Stirring the mixture to completely mix them. You can use a spoon to mix it.
    How to Make Annatto Oil

  8. Separate Annatto Seeds from Cooking oil

    Into a bowl, cup or bottle using a kitchen strainer, Separate Annatto Seeds from Cooking oil . For best results, use the yellow orange color Annatto oil immediately by pouring it over to your stew, marinade, rice and barbecue.Annatto Oil and Seeds

Annatto Seeds and Annatto Oil Storage

Achiote seeds, with proper storage can lasts up to 3 years. Proper storage means storing it using an airtight glass container and place it away from light, preferably in a dark and closed cabinet. On the other hand, for the Achiote oil or Annatto oil, you can store it using a glass container and place it inside a refrigerator, doing so can lasts up to months.

Try this Recipes and let me know what you think. If you have other versions, let us know so that we can also share it here.

Interested in other recipes? Feel free to comment below. Also, let me know your experience along the way. I look forward to hearing from you.

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