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Mojo Sauce

Mojo Sauce

This zippy chile-and-garlic-packed Cuban sauce is often used to marinate slow-roasted pork, but we’d be happy putting it on just about everything. If you’re spice sensitive, split the chiles in half lengthwise and remove the seeds; they hold much of the heat.


  • 1 serrano chile or jalapeño, stem removed, split lengthwise
  • 1 tsp. Diamond Crystal or ½ tsp. Morton kosher salt

Recipe Preparation

  • Blend orange juice, lime juice, chile, garlic, cilantro, oil, sugar, and salt in a blender until mostly smooth but still specked with herbs. Transfer sauce to a small bowl.

    Do Ahead: Sauce can be made 2 days ahead. Cover and chill.

Recipe by Recipe by Molly BazReviews SectionThis is the hands down best mojo sauce: it’s so phenomenal especially for how easy it is. “Throw everything in the food processor” Is my favorite sauce type. The flavors are fresh and balanced. First used it on the mojo meatball BA recipe, but now just use it on everything! The first few times we followed the recipe exact, but my family loves heat so now we use habaneros instead of seranos. The fruitiness of the pepper goes great with the sauce. Make this!AnonymousEugene, Oregon04/25/20I don't think it can get much better than this sauce - fresh, tangy, light, but strong heat and flavor. I used an extra jalapeno for extra heat. Fantastic, thank you for this gem.AnonymousWashington, DC04/19/20Such a good tangy sauce! Mine came out a little too sour probably from the limes but super delicious so I would taste and season accordingly (:AnonymousFountain Valley, CA04/16/20


  • For the Mojo:
  • 8 medium cloves garlic, minced
  • 2 teaspoons (8g) ground cumin
  • 2 teaspoons (8g) freshly ground black pepper
  • 1/4 cup (about 1 small handful) minced fresh oregano leaves
  • 1/2 cup (120ml) fresh juice from 1 to 2 oranges (see note)
  • 1/4 cup (60ml) fresh juice from 3 to 4 limes (see note)
  • 1/4 cup (60ml) extra-virgin olive oil
  • Kosher salt
  • For the Pork and to Finish:
  • 1 (6- to 8-pound 3 to 3.5kg) boneless pork shoulder roast, rind removed
  • 1/4 cup (about 1 small handful) finely chopped fresh mint leaves
  • 3 tablespoons (about 3 very large pinches) finely chopped fresh oregano leaves
  • Lime wedges, for serving
  • Steamed rice, black beans, and maduros, for serving


All I can say is YUMMM! Such a nice recipe with fresh ingredients. I used oranges from my tree, last of the season. Garlic from my Dad's garden. Such a nice lovely marinade and sauce. I used on jumbo shrimp that I had just poached, they were still warm and took on the flavor nicely as I topped a good salad with them. Many other uses I have in mind. Occasionally just slurped a teaspoon or two our of the mason jar, as this marinade stores nicely in the fridge for over a week as well. DELISH!!

This recipe is fantastic! I used it as a shrimp marinade. The shrimp was wonderfully flavored immediately and the next day served cold on a salad. I'm wondering if it would be good as a dressing for salad or a grain bowl. I am going to try again and find out.

Love this as my crew prefers "savory" type marinades, rubs, etc. Added more garlic, and certainly a personal preference. To change the flavor profile, swap out fresh grated horseradish for the garlic - amazing if you like "the bite!"

This is yummy! I used it on grilled salmon. But when we were done with the salmon I was looking for things to dip into the sauce. Glad it made a lot.

Hahaha. I forgot. my job in the kitchen was to grind the sea salt and garlic in the mortar and pestle then emulsify it with olive oil. We didn't heat anything for the mojo. Creamy texture and spicy bite of garlic is always welcome.

Parents were Cuban, mother made awesome mojo. Her suggestions were: Use the chili of your choice Citrus zest! Add orange when needed. she didn't on pork or seafood. My suggestion, add OJ to mojo to napper rice, etc., to thwart redundancy. I keep ice cube blocks of OJ, rendered with rinds then strained (no white =bitter) in vacuumed bags. Mother would use frozen concentrate. All good. I mean, it's a comfort flavor for me. mojo!

I will definitely keep this marinade as a staple recipe, but like the reviewer above, the instructions are a bit vague. I brought the olive oil to mild boil over medium heat. ( mild = just when tiny bubbles appear) and added garlic + spices and soon as I could smell garlic (which was seconds) I took off stove. I continued to stir with rubber spatula to ensure cumin incorporated into oil. Also use 5 limes instead of 4.

What a nice marinade and sauce. I agree that it is versatile. However, it can be just as good, and bit healthier, with less oil or no oil. On a side note, the preparation instructions are too vague in regards to the oil preparation. Heat oil in a small saucepan over medium heat. (for one minute or an hour?) The oil temperature would be radically different depending on how long you heated the oil.

Mojo Sauce - Recipes

Yuca with Mojo Sauce
Tender yuca is served warm and drizzled with a classic mojo sauce made from olive oil, garlic and vinegar.

1 bag yuca (24 oz.) (frozen) (or 2 fresh yuca)
6 garlic cloves
½ cup olive oil
½ tsp. vinegar
1 pinch salt, or to taste
1 pinch Goya Oregano

Prepare the yuca according to package directions.

Fresh yuca . . . . Cut into 3" pieces, peel with a sharp knife. Place yuca in a large pot with 1 teaspoon salt and cover with water. Bring to a boil and cook for 20 minutes or until just tender. Do not overcook or it will get mushy. When done, carefully remove woody spiny centers by just pulling them off with a fork, Let the yuca sit in the warm water until ready to serve.

Meanwhile, make Mojo sauce. Heat a small skillet over medium heat combine the remaining ingredients, and warm on low until you just begin to smell the garlic. Do not let it simmer, or let the garlic color at all. It should be just be warm.

Drain yuca and transfer to serving dish. Drizzle Mojo over top and serve warm.

Cuban Roast Pork Sandwiches with Mojo Sauce

Heat the olive oil in a small skillet. Add the garlic and cook over moderate heat, stirring, until golden, about 2 minutes. Add the orange juice, lemon juice, salt, pepper and cumin and cook, stirring, until fragrant, about 1 minute. Transfer the sauce to a bowl to cool.

Split the rolls lengthwise. Mix the mayonnaise with 1/4 cup of the mojo sauce and spread over the cut sides of the rolls. On the bottom halves, layer the pork, prosciutto, cheese, tomato, onion and pickle slices. Cover the sandwiches with the tops of the rolls and press lightly.

Heat a medium cast-iron skillet. Brush the sandwiches with the melted butter. Put them in the skillet and top with a heavy smaller skillet. Cook over low heat until the meat is warmed through, the cheese is beginning to melt and the rolls are very crusty, about 4 minutes per side. Transfer the sandwiches to a work surface, cut them in half and serve with pickled jalapeños.

Mojo -- Cuban Marinade

( See instructions ) garlic cloves (about 30 to 40 cloves)
( See instructions ) salt
( See instructions ) black peppercorns
( See instructions ) oregano
( See instructions ) sour orange juice (If you can't get sour orange juice in your area, use two parts orange to one part lemon and one part lime)

For a pig, we use four or five large HEADS of garlic! That's approximately 70 to 80 cloves.

For every ten cloves of garlic, add 1/2 teaspoon salt, six black peppercorns, and some oregano. Mash them all together into a paste. Scoop the paste out into a separate bowl. Continue this process until all of the garlic (all five heads) is mashed.

Stir in sour orange juice. (Five heads of garlic should be added to about 1 quart of sour orange juice to make a mojo for a whole pig.) Let sit at room temperature for 30 minutes or longer. Use immediately to season the pig or refrigerate for later use.

To make a smaller amount, reduce the amounts, but keep the proportions. For example, to make 1 cup of mojo, use about 1 head of garlic, 1 teaspoon of salt, 12 black peppercorns, and 1 cup sour orange juice.

TIP: This is a great marinade for just about anything, including pork chops as seen in the photo above.

Mash garlic, salt, and peppercorns into a paste, using a mortar and pestle. Stir in sour orange juice, onion, and oregano. Let sit at room temperature for 30 minutes or longer.

In a saucepan, heat olive oil to medium hot (approximately 220 degrees F) and remove from heat. Carefully whisk in the garlic-orange juice mixture (prepared above) until well blended.


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Mojo Sauce Recipe

A colorful, zesty mojo sauce to brighten up the flavor and presentation of a variety of recipes.

  • Author: Sharon Chen
  • Prep Time: 10 minutes
  • Total Time: 10 minutes
  • Yield: 2 3/4 cups 1 x
  • Category: Sauce, Marinade, Gluten Free, Vegan, Vegetarian
  • Method: Blend
  • Cuisine: Canarian


  • 6 cloves garlic
  • 1/2 cup yellow onion, roughly chopped
  • 1 cup freshly squeezed orange juice
  • 1/2 cup freshly squeezed lime juice
  • 1/2 teaspoon cumin
  • 1 teaspoon dried oregano
  • 1/2 teaspoon ground black pepper
  • 1 teaspoon kosher salt
  • 1/4 cup chopped cilantro
  • 1 teaspoon hot sauce of your choice (I used Chili Garlic Sauce)
  • 1 cup extra virgin olive oil


  1. In a food processor/blender, pulse garlic and onion until very finely chopped.
  2. Pour in orange juice and lime juice add cumin, oregano, salt, pepper, cilantro and hot sauce. Blend until all ingredients are thoroughly incorporated. Add olive oil and blend again until smooth.


This mojo sauce can be stored in the fridge for up to 1 week. Shake well before using. Recipe adapted from AllRecipes.

  • 1 tablespoon extra-virgin olive oil
  • 1 (3 1/2- to 4-pound) boneless pork shoulder, trimmed and cut into 6 pieces
  • 8 cloves garlic, minced
  • 3 tablespoons chopped fresh oregano
  • 2 teaspoons ground cumin
  • 1 bay leaf
  • Zest & juice of 1 large orange, divided
  • Zest & juice of 1 large lime, divided
  • 2 teaspoons kosher salt
  • 2 teaspoons ground pepper
  • ½ cup water
  • 1 large yellow onion, sliced

Heat oil in an electric pressure cooker on sauté mode. Add half the pork and cook, turning occasionally, until browned, about 3 minutes per side. Transfer to a bowl and repeat with the remaining pork.

Add garlic, oregano, cumin, bay leaf, orange and lime zests, salt and pepper to the pot and cook, stirring, until fragrant, about 30 seconds. Stir in orange and lime juice and water and scrape up any browned bits. Nestle the pork into the sauce. Drizzle with any accumulated juices from the bowl and scatter onion over the top.

Close and lock lid. Cook on high pressure for 1 hour. Manually release pressure and remove lid.

Transfer the pork to a platter and shred the meat into large pieces. Skim fat from the liquid, if desired. Return the pot to sauté mode and bring the liquid to a boil. Cook until the sauce has thickened, about 10 minutes. Serve the sauce over the pork.

Recipe Summary

  • 2 pounds yuca (about 2 yuca)
  • 2 teaspoons coarse salt
  • 1/2 cup extra-virgin olive oil
  • 6 garlic cloves, well minced
  • 1/2 small white onion, thinly sliced
  • 1 lemon, juiced

Peel and halve the yuca roots. Place yuca in a large pot with 1 teaspoon salt and cover with water. Bring to a boil and cook for 20 minutes or until just tender. Do not overcook or it will get slimy/mushy. When cooked, let sit in the warm water until ready to serve.

Meanwhile, make Mojo sauce. Heat a small skillet over medium heat and add the olive oil. Add garlic, onion, and remaining teaspoon salt and cook until onion is softened, about 2 minutes. Turn off heat and whisk in the juice of one lemon.

Drain yuca and transfer to serving dish. Drizzle Mojo over top and serve warm.