Using our Spice Rubs

Mark Hughes BBQ, Dips & sauces, Leftovers, Light Lunches, Main Courses, Rubs, Side Dishes, Slow Food, Taste products 2 Comments

Thai rub 2One of the main things we hear is “wow, your spice rubs are INCREDIBLE but how do we use them?”. OK, we may have over-egged that  a touch, but the bit about people asking what to do with them is completely true. For inspiration, we thought we’d give you some easy ideas for using our spice rubs.

So, because it will take a few more weeks to get individual recipes for each of our products up on the site (well, we do have around 50 now!), we thought we’d post a few suggestions in the meantime to get you going. Because they’re pure, freshly ground spice with no fillers or anything nasty, they’re really versatile and can be used in so many ways!


Fire-pit BBQ Rub 2Almost all our blends are designed to be used as classic rubs. Although rubs are commonplace in places like America, they’re not really mainstream yet here in the UK, but they’re a fantastic way to really get extra flavour into food – and so simple to do!

The easiest way to dry rub is to put a couple of teaspoons of the rub into a food bag, add your chosen food, and shake it all about. Press it, squeeze it, prod it about – really work the flavour in there! It’s sometimes easier to add a splash of oil too so it carries the flavour rub around more. Leave it for an hour or two – overnight if possible – and you’re ready to go! If you’ve used oil, you probably don’t need any more to cook with – just pop it on the BBQ, pan or roasting tray and you’re cooking real flavour into your food!

Salmon Rub 2The Spicy Taco or Thai rub is great rubbed onto a chicken before you roast it and gives the skin a fabulous flavour! Likewise, Harissa blend on kebabs, chicken, pork or lamb gives the whole dish an incredible taste. Rub some of the Garam Masala onto lamb chops before grilling for a surprisingly easy fix!

Almost all the rubs will work this way, especially the N’Awleans Cajun or the Fire-pit BBQ – they’re both fab on pork or chicken. The Moroccan rub rubbed into a chicken (or quail if you’re feeling fancy!) before roasting gives the skin a beautifully warm taste.


Similar to a dry rub, adding a splash of oil, stock or wine to a couple of teaspoons of the rub goes you a great marinade. This is our favourite way to use them – in a bowl, add the rub, the oil and the food and stir around. Stir every few hours to mix the flavour in well, then tip the food out straight onto a BBQ or a griddle pan.

All of our rubs will work well as a marinade. The Salmon rub is a sure fire way to liven up salmon, but this also works well on white meat so try it on pork or chicken as well. Marinade chicken, prawns or pork with a splash of oil & our Thai rub of some zing!

Jamaican Jerk 2DRIZZLE

Add a teaspoon to a splash of oil with a few drops of lemon or lime juice and stir into sauces, casseroles or pasta. Our Salmon rub is fab drizzled over prawns or a nice robust fish like salmon (obviously) or even on a BBQ. Try drizzling over the Spicy Taco, the Fire-pit BBQ or even the Jamaican Jerk in the same way over lamb, kebabs, chicken or pork.


Stir a pinch of the Tandoori, Garam Masala or Moroccan rub into a a tray of roasted veg or potatoes for an unusual twist. Likewise, a pinch of either of these stirred into scrambled eggs as you cook them gives the dish a richness you could become addicted to!

The Spicy Taco can be stirred into a chilli or bolognese for extra depth of flavour. The Fire-pit BBQ can be stirred into homemade hummus. Try stirring a teaspoon of the Harissa blend into a stew or soup too.

Spicy Taco 2CRUMB

It’s so easy to make a lovely spicy crumb by just adding breadcrumbs. Add some of the Spicy TacoFire-pit BBQJamaican Jerk or N’Awleans Cajun to some bread and pulse in the food processor. If you add a small drizzle of oil too it’ll help to pull them all together and also make the finished food brown nicely. Then you’re ready to crumb! It works best when the food isn’t too thick, so flatten a chicken breast between cling film until all the same thickness, then start your production line: dust it in seasoned flour, dip in beaten egg, then into the crumb mix. We sometimes double dip, e.g. back into the egg and again into the crumb for a really lovely texture. The oven bake, shallow or deep fry for best results.

Cacao & Cumin 2SPRINKLE

Add some of the Spicy Taco to a mix of finely chopped mushrooms and vegetables and stuff this into hollowed-out peppers or tomatoes, drizzle with oil then roast in a medium oven for around 30 minutes until softened. They’re also perfect as an addition to a gremolata, used to finish off a stew or casserole: finely chop lemon zest, a clove of garlic and a small bunch of flat leaf parsley and add a pinch of Spicy Taco, then stir this in a minute or two before serving. It’ll give the whole dish a lift and really boost the flavours.

The Cacao & Cumin rub is great for chillies, stews or casseroles too; a teaspoon or two is all you’ll need. It also goes perfectly with venison or any rich meat; either add it to the meat itself or use a teaspoon to make a rich, velvety sauce.

Oh, and one of our absolute favourite things is spicy potato wedges – the N’Awleans CajunSpicy Taco or Fire-pit BBQ rubs are perfect for this – just sprinkle 2 teaspoons over lightly oiled potato wedges halfway through roasting, stirring occasionally.

Moroccan 2GLAZE

A pinch of the N’Awleans CajunHarissa or Fire-pit BBQ into a TBSP of clear honey, a teaspoon of shy sauce and sesame oil makes the perfect glaze to brush onto salmon, chicken or pork – kebabs are extra special with this pure flavour glaze too! If you want a bit of extra bite add a pinch of red chilli flakes. Brush this glaze on the food with a herby brush (tie sprigs of rosemary & thyme together) if you want that extra bit of flavour from fresh herbs too! Not too fierce on the heat though or the honey will catch.


Harissa 2Mix our Harissa or Thai rub with butter and rub onto a chicken skin before roasting, or push it between the flesh and the skin to baste in extra spicy goodness. This method works well with the Spicy Taco too. Add the Salmon rub to some butter in a pan and melt, before spooning over salmon or prawns as they cook. If you’re on a BBQ, this mixture can be brushed on with the herby brush, just watch out you don’t use too much at a time or you’ll start to get flames which will char the food too much. If this happens, spray the coals with water (you should always have a sprayer to hand for this purpose!) and that’ll kill the flame, giving you perfect cooked food.

Hopefully this gives you some inspiration: rubs aren’t just for rubbing, they’re for maximising flavour in so many different ways! 

Comments 2

  1. I would like to pass on my recipe for the salmon rub which we had the other night and it was delicious.

    Serves 2

    2 skinless salmon steaks
    Pkt parma ham
    Gourmet Spice Co Salmon Rub

    Work spice rub into salmon, then wrap each one in parma ham. I used 3 slices on each.
    Bake in oven, 180c fan for 10 to 15 minutes.

    Serve with baby new potatoes and salad, delicious!!

  2. Post

    Thanks for taking the time, Pauline! Always great to hear how people use our little pots of joy. Your recipe is a classic combo – anything wrapped in parma ham is ace in our book! As strange as it might sound, this would work well with chicken or a nice robust white fish too – treat in the same way with the rub and the parma ham, but if it’s a chicken breast you might need to beat the thicker part a little thinner before you wrap it to make sure it cooks through. Thanks again for the recipe!

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