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Burnt Sugar


Chicken being sauteed with burnt sugar

Chicken sautéing with burnt sugar.

Photo by Cynthia Nelson

Burnt Sugar is an important flavor and color ingredient used in Trinidad and Tobago in many of that twin-islands' cuisine. Don't be afraid to practice making the burnt sugar a few times before attempting to do so at the onset of making Trini Pelau or Brown Chicken Stew.

Prep Time: 2 minutes

Cook Time: 2 minutes

Total Time: 4 minutes


  • 2 Tbsp vegetable or canola oil
  • 3 Tbsp cane sugar (substitute with brown sugar)


  1. Add oil to large pot or pan, which ever you are using to cook the entire dish.
  2. Place pot with oil on medium high heat. Heat until the oil is hot but not smoking.
  3. Sprinkle in sugar in an even layer. Let sugar melt until it begins to froth and bubble. As soon as the edges of the froth/bubbles begin to get a slight shade darker, immediately add your meat, poultry or whatever is instructed in your recipe.
  4. Continue with the recipe as instructed.
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