Garlic Marinade

Garlic marinade is the base for almost all seasoning in Haiti, and in many of my cooking.

A jar in my fridge is a good 15 minutes prep solution to spice meats, poultry fish and seafood, among other things.

This paste like seasoning base is perfect in many dishes and as easy to make as it is to use. All you will need are fresh simple ingredients, a blender or mixer, and a jar for storage.

I often add it in dips preparation or recipes that call for pressed garlic and herbs as it will surely do the trick and deliver more taste than imagined.

In Haiti, cooks call this blend “epis”, from the french word “épice” meaning spices. This smooth mixture of garlic, onions, scallions, green pepper, parsley and cilantro can be personalized by every cook depending on their personal taste. I myself like to keep it simple and add the extra flavors separately to the dish that I am cooking so that meals do not taste the same.

I may add fresh basil to a dish to make it taste more italian. Or a little spicy sesame oil in an asian inspired dish. Some habanero pepper or “piman bouk” as we call it here, in my “griot” or “poisson gros sel” mix, or some other spices that may provide the extra kick. But these are all add ons, as you would with any recipe starting with a base marinade.

To me the most important part is adding the vinegar, because after all a real marinade must have a touch of acidic flavor, and salt and pepper are forbidden in my book. These are definitely last minute add-ons. After all, would you brew your coffee with sugar at once? Every palette has its sugar level and every dish has its salt and pepper need.

So go on and pull out your mortar and pestle as it is most commonly done here in Haiti, or a mixer or blender if you want a quicker mix, and prep your jar of garlic marinade and let’s get cooking!

Haiti Bites Creole Garlic Marinade
Prep time
Total time
This typically Haitian marinade is the base I use for most of my meats, fish and seafood seasoning. I don’t add salt or salty seasonings because I flavor different dishes differently.
Recipe type: Marinade
Cuisine: Haitian
  • ½ cup of garlic cloves
  • 1 cup fresh parsley
  • 1 cup of cilantro
  • ½ cup of small leaks or scallions diced
  • 1 tbsp fresh thyme
  • 1 onion diced
  • 1 green pepper diced
  • ¼ cup extra virgin olive oil (or vegetable oil)
  • 2 tbsp apple cider vinegar
  1. Thoroughly wash all your fresh ingredients.
  2. Roughly chop your herbs, dice your onions, leaks and green pepper, peel your garlic.
  3. Add your ingredients in your blender or food processor and blend on high.
  4. Add in the oil and vinegar, in order to help everything pulse until you get a smooth mix.
  5. Pour your marinade into a jar and store in the refrigerator for up to two weeks.



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