If you ask any Haitian cook what is the most important part of creating an authentic Haitian meal they’ll immediately reply: epis.
Epis is used as the base for many delicious meals and without it your dish will be missing the je ne sais quoi (or should I say mwen pa konnen) that gives Haitian food its distinct, wonderful flavor. It’s the go-to method for seasoning meats for people on the island and will take your cooking game to new levels if you haven’t used it before.
So what exactly goes into making epis? It depends who you ask. My grandmother makes hers using scallions, cloves, garlic, naranja agria, Sazón Goya, Maggi bouillon cubes, and black pepper. She usually makes enough to last her for a while and places it in the fridge to use whenever she’s cooking.
You can use epis to season any meat that you want to eat: fish, chicken, beef, pork. It goes with everything! The best part is that it’s so easy to make. You just throw all of your ingredients in a blender and it’s ready to go. And most importantly, it’ll make your food taste wonderful.
I’ve rounded up some Haitian epis recipes for you to check out below. Just a note: everyone makes theirs slightly differently depending on which part of Haiti they come from. And people will defend their version as the version to use. Trust us, the debate can get heated!
Haitian Epis Recipes Around the Web
- Love for Haitian Food: This version calls for an optional Scotch Bonnet Pepper and also includes celery stalks
- Caribbean Pot: This recipe uses a food processor and yields a slightly thicker version
- Epicurious: This version includes bell peppers
- Savory Thoughts: This recipe yields a browner looking version. The photos on this blog are beautiful!
- Creole Caribbean Queen: I follow Creole Caribbean Queen on Instagram and all of her recipes look delicious. This epis recipe is no different!