There are a few things you need to know when making Hispanic Caribbean food and mojo is one of them. It’s the foundation to many dishes and it’s made from fresh ingredients that you probably already have in your house. Trust me, this is a marinade you want to perfect especially if you like pernil! Luckily, mojo is fairly simple. There are many variations but they all essentially stem from a traditional Cuban Style Mojo or Mojo Criollo (Creole Mojo).
- 2 cups of bitter orange juice but if you don’t have any simply use:
- 1 cup fresh squeezed orange juice
- 1 cup fresh lime juice
- 1-2 heads of garlic (Garlic is the main star of this show!)
- 1 white onion—finely chopped
- Salt & Pepper to taste
- Pinch of oregano
- Pinch of fresh thyme (about 2-3 sprigs)
- ¼ cup of olive oil
- Using a food processor or mortar and pestle (pilon) mashed up garlic with a pinch of salt until you’ve created a garlic paste. The salt will help break down the garlic.
- Afterwards, whisk all of the ingredients in a bowl leaving the oil for last
- Once you’ve whisked the garlic, orange, lemon juice and the rest of the ingredients add the olive oil making sure to whisk as your pour
- Lastly, store in a glass container and make sure to use within a few days otherwise freeze it to preserve the goodness!
Mojo is popularly used as marinate for pernil and chicken, but it can also be used as a dip for tostones or fried yucca. I personally love adding vinegar to my mojo and giving my salad dressings an extra kick. (Avocado Mojo Salad anyone?) You can never go wrong with having some mojo on hand. It’s honestly a no-brainer marinade and one that saved the day during my last bar-be-que.
Here are a few tips on storing and repurposing your mojo:
1. Store your mojo in a class container like a mason jar and freeze it so it doesn’t spoil. Remember that this simple recipe has ALL natural ingredients
2. If you want to store small quantities at a time, fill an ice cube tray with mojo. However, remember to spray each cube with non-stick spray before filling it. This is also a good trick to use if you’re storing homemade sofrito i n small batches. If you decide to store in ice trays keep in mind that your freezer might smell like garlic. (Don’t say I didn’t warn you!)
3. If you want to use the mojo as a marinade feel free to add cumin. I ALWAYS add a bit when marinading pernil. I’ll also add more thyme and oregano.
4. If you want to use it as a dip, add more oil and recao. This will give you a chimichurri-mojo sauce which is to die for!
5. Always add salt to your taste. It’s a versatile sauce that handles seasonings fairly well.