Mojo Marinade is a staple in Cuban and Puerto Rican Cooking. Mixing aromatics spices, oil, orange, lemon and lime juice creates this delicious marinade for meats, pork, fish and tostones!
I use my mojo marinade for my Slow Roasted Mojo Pork to make my popular Cuban Sandwiches.
What is Mojo?
Most Mojo marinades originated in the Canary Islands. Then it was brought to other countries where added acidic ingredients like vinegar, lemon, and orange. This Mojo is an herby and garlicky sauce that adds depth and lots of flavor to many Cuban dishes.
It is one of the most popular marinades in the United States. What separates Cuban Mojo Marinade from the rest, it's the use of Bitter Orange or Naranja Agria.
In Cuban cuisine, Mojo is used to marinate roast pork, yuca frita, and as a dip for plantain chips.
Ingredients to Make the Mojo Marinade
These ingredients are easy to find. They are probably in your pantry right now! Often times I find them at the Mexican Carnicerias, Latino and Asian Markets. However, the Naranja Agria or Bitter Orange soemtimes it is hard to find. Badia has a a mojo marinade that you can buy at your local store or it is available for purchase online.
Here is what you will need:
**See the Recipe Card below for detailed measurements and directions**
- Orange Juice - The main ingredient in this mariande is the Orange juice. I am using a Navel Orange here.
- Lemon and Limes - Since Bitter Orange is hard to find where I am at, I am using lemons and limes that combined with the orange juice will create a bitter orange susbtitute.
- Oregano - regular or Mexican oregano works great here. Dried Oregano is very strong that when used in large quantities the flavor will be bitter.
- Garlic Paste or Chopped Garlic - I love to use garlic paste because it gives everything a lot of flavor. I make my own garlic paste and keep it stored in air tight mason jar in the refrigerator.
- Sofrito - adds an herby flavor.
- Adobo - its earthy and add depth and seasoning to the marinade.
- Salt - even though the Adobo has some salt the marinade should be seasoned and since we all have different palates therefore adding more salt to taste it is always the way to go.
- Oil - good quality Olive Oil works great in this recipe.
The mojo marinade comes together quickly. Here are the steps how to make it:
a. Juice all the oranges, lemons and limes in a measuring cup. You don't have to strain. Some pulp is fine.
b. Add the orange, lemon and lime juice to a bowl.
c. Add the sofrito, salt, oregano, adobo, and garlic paste. Whisk until everything is combined.
d. Add Olive Oil and whisk until it is emulsified.
HELPFUL TIP: It is important to add the oil slowly and whisk at the same time. This is what created the emulsification.
- Vinegar - instead of lemon and lime, you can use white distilled vinegar.
- Lard - instead of oil, you can use lard.
These ingredients would not change the flavor of the mojo much however what makes it MOJO is the lemon, lime and orange juice.
- Spicy - add cayenne to give it a kick.
- Mojo Picon - made with local Canarian hot peppers, vinegar, oil, seasonings and thickened with bread.
- Mojo Verde(Green Mojo)- it is made with green spices and herbs like green pepper, coriander and parsley. The latter two contain some water so it needs to be kept in the refrigerator and consumed within two days of preparation. Green Mojo is used mainly with fish.
- Mojo Rojo(Red Mojo) - made from peppers from La Palmera and Paprika. This mojo is usually used with meats.
- Puerto Rican Mojo - in Puerto Rico mojo is an herby sauce made with chopped cilantro or parsley, lots of crushed garlic, salt and olive oil. Vinegar, black pepper and grated onions can be added. This marinade is used in roasted chicken, pork and tostones!
- Saffron Mojo - this is a mojo made using Canarian saffron, and pairs well with fried cheese.
Store in an airtight container or mason jar in the refrigerator. Good for 2-3 weeks.
Mojo Marinade may be frozen as well for up to 6 months.
Just thaw out before using(yes I have to mention this!)
You can add all the ingredient in a mason jar and shake it until spices, oil, lemon, lime and orange juice are emulsified. Store in the same container.
Mojo can be used to marinate roast pork, chicken, fish, shrimp and meat.
It can be stored for up to 3 weeks and mojo needs to be refrigerated.
Navel oranges, lemon and lime juice can be used for Bitter Orange.
Looking for other recipes like this? Try these:
If you make this recipe I'd love to hear from you! Leave me a comment below.
- Large Bowl
- Measuring Cups
- Measuring Spoons
- Mason Jar
- Juice the oranges, lemons and limes.
- In a large bowl add orange, lemon and lime juice.
- Add oregano, adobo, salt, sofrito. Whisk until everything is mixed.
- Slowly add the oil and whisk until it is emulsified.
- Store in an masor jar with a lid in the refrigerator for up to 3 weeks.