Add some Trinidadian spice to your life.
This authentic Trini green seasoning recipe is delicious, fresh, and just the right amount of spicy. A Caribbean staple that goes with everything.
Nardia’s Authentic Green Seasoning Recipe from Trinidad
I was not familiar with Trinidadian — or Trini — food before talking to professional ballet dancer (and fabulous home cook) Nardia Boodoo. Better late than never. This Trini Green Seasoning recipe is delicious, fresh, and just the right amount of spicy.
The Washington Ballet company member started cooking as a little girl, starting with simple things like instant ramen and eggs. Her father, a professional chef, graduated her to more advanced dishes. These days, Nardia makes everything from braised short ribs to eight-hour Italian ragù. And yet, her Trini roots are never far from her thoughts, or kitchen.
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What Is Green Seasoning? What Is It Used For?
Homemade Caribbean green seasoning (specifically, Trinidadian in this case) is a versatile, incredibly nutritious condiment.
Made from a blend of ingredients like vinegar, salt, lime, ginger, celery, green bell pepper, scallions, hot pepper, and more, Trini green seasoning can be used as a marinade or topping for many dishes, like meat, vegetables, and rice.
What Is Green Seasoning Made From?
In interviewing her for her recent Unpeeled profile, Nardia talked about her family’s green seasoning recipe. Green seasoning is ubiquitous in Trinidad. “Everything you make in Trinidad gets touched with that,” says Nardia. It is a condiment, a sauce, a marinade, and Trini food’s all-around best bud.
This spicy green seasoning from Trinidad deserves to be your food’s best friend, too. Made from a blend of incredibly fresh flavors — lime, ginger, celery, green pepper, scallions, hot pepper, and more — green seasoning makes everything taste good. I could probably eat it straight from a bowl like a spicy green gazpacho.
This most special family recipe has been passed down from Nardia’s great-grandmom to her grandmom to her father and then to her. And now to us. Truly a big honor.
How Long Does Green Seasoning Last?
Green seasoning will be good for about 5 days in the fridge.
This recipe makes a lot, so feel free to freeze some or make a half batch. Green seasoning will last in the freezer for several months. Defrost in the fridge, and stir to re-emulsify.
How Do I Use Trini Green Seasoning?
Green seasoning can be used as a condiment, marinade, or both. It’s great to put out on the table, and can be used to spice and freshen up all kinds of dishes.
I love to use green seasoning as a marinade for chicken, which I then charbroil in the oven or grill, then top the chicken with more green seasoning.
Nardia also recommends her green seasoning recipe for lamb, beef, shrimp, and fish.
Trini Green Seasoning: Recipe Notes and Tips
- This Trini green seasoning recipe makes a big batch, but can easily be halved or frozen
- The recipe calls for a whole habanero or Scotch bonnet pepper. Those peppers bring some serious heat, so feel free to use as much or as little as you like.
- If you are having trouble blending the sauce, loosen it with a bit more vinegar or lime juice
Nardia's Trini Green Seasoning
- 1 small onion or 1/2 large onion, chopped
- 1 head of garlic, peeled into cloves
- 1 green bell pepper, chopped
- 1 cup celery, chopped (preferably the tops, including leaves)
- 1 1" piece fresh ginger
- 1 bunch green onions, sliced
- 1 bunch cilantro or culantro
- 1/2 bunch fresh thyme, leaves only
- 1/2 bunch fresh oregano or Spanish thyme, leaves only
- 1 Scotch bonnet or habanero pepper
- 1/4 cup fresh lime juice, from about 4 limes
- 1/8 to 1/4 cup white vinegar
- 1 1/2 teaspoons kosher salt, or to taste (you may want to add closer to 2 teaspoons)
- Put the chopped celery, onion, bell pepper, ginger, garlic cloves, lime juice, and 1/8 cup of white vinegar in a blender and blend until smooth. Add the cilantro and all other ingredients. Blend, adding more vinegar as needed to loosen the sauce. Taste for seasoning. TIP: You don't have to go for the whole Scotch bonnet or habanero pepper. If you prefer steam not to come out of your ears, just add the pepper by quarters until you reach your level of spice. But if you do decide to go for it, use the whole pepper, including the seeds.
- Serve as a condiment or sauce, or use as a marinade for meat or seafood.