Recipes · Cooking tips · Techniques

Cuban Mojo Marinade

Cuban Mojo Marinade

Mojo is a popular marinade and sauce in Cuban cuisine. A mojo marinade is a simple combination of garlic, spices and citrus juice. It injects wonderful flavor to meat.

 

Mojo is used most commonly to flavor pork, but it works great on chicken and root vegetables, like yuca and malanga. However you use it, this marinade will add a tropical flair to your meal.

 

Need a few recipes to try out your new mojo skills?

 

Try this classic Cuban roast pork

A roasted pork shoulder on a baking racking rack.

 

 

These much less involved, Cuban pork kabobs or this 24 hour mojo marinated grilled chicken; it’s amazing!

 

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A note about sour oranges

Sour oranges are used in chicken and pork marinades, especially mojo recipes. During the latter part of the year, near the Christmas season, many Latin markets will stock sour oranges. If you can find sour oranges, slice them in half and juice.

 

If you can’t get sour oranges, because they’re not available in your area, or it’s not season, try combining orange juice (fresh squeezed is preferable) and lime juice at about a 2:1 ratio. Two parts orange juice to one part lime juice, shake or stir to combine well.

 

Another alternative is bottled sour orange juice, which is not really made with sour oranges (more like grapefruit juice and other citrus); it will, however, still get that sour and sweet taste we’re looking for.

 

Sour oranges are not very pretty, actually, they look like ugly oranges. The color is not vibrant, and they’re often rough, bumpy and have imperfections.

 

The sour oranges we used in this recipe were actually quite nice looking (by sour orange standards). They were also on the small side, but quite juicy.

Sour Oranges arranged in a black bowl

 

 

To make this Cuban mojo you will need

1 Head of Garlic, peeled and smashed

1½ cups Sour Orange Juice (about 10-12 sour oranges – about 3-4 pounds)

2 tablespoons Olive Oil

1 teaspoon Oregano, dried

¼ teaspoon Cumin

1 Bay Leaf

1½ teaspoon Kosher Salt, divided

 

 

If you’re making the sour orange juice

Combine 1 cup of orange juice (fresh squeezed is best) and ½ cup lime juice. Stir or shake the juice to combine well.

 

 

Make the mojo marinade

Juice the sour oranges. Use a strainer to catch all those seeds.

Juicing Sour Oranges using a green manual juicer on a wood cutting board

 

 

Peel the garlic and smash them by placing them on a cutting board and give them a good whack with the side of a large knife or a meat mallet.

Smashed Garlic on a wood cutting board one is covered by a chef's knife

 

 

Add the garlic and about ½ teaspoon kosher salt to a mortar and pestle. Work the garlic until you break it down into small flat pieces.

Smashed Garlic in a Mortar and Pestle

 

 

Add the smashed garlic, sour orange juice, olive oil, oregano, cumin, 1 teaspoon salt, and the bay leaf to a jar or a medium bowl.

 

I like using canning jars to make marinades and dressings. I keep different sizes on hand, they’re super convenient. They make it easy to cover, store and shake the marinade.

Making Mojo Marinade all of the ingredients are in a large mason jar and a bay leaf is being dropped in

 

Stir or shake to combine well. Let the marinade sit in the refrigerator for at least 1 hour, a couple of hours is better. It will keep overnight too, if you want to make it ahead of time.

 

Shake or stir the mojo marinade well before using.

 

 

For more delicious Cuban dinner inspiration, try one of these recipes:

 

 

 

 

 

Prepared Mojo Marinade in a large mason jar with the lid on
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Mojo Marinade

Mojo is a popular marinade and sauce in Cuban cuisine. A mojo marinade is a simple combination of garlic, spices and citrus juice. It injects wonderful flavor to meat.
Prep Time20 mins
Cook Time0 mins
Refrigerate at least1 hr
Total Time1 hr 20 mins
Course: marinade
Cuisine: Cuban
Keyword: marinade for meat
Servings: 8
Calories: 56

Ingredients

  • 1 Head of Garlic peeled and smashed
  • cups Sour Orange Juice (about 10-12 sour oranges - about 3-4 lbs.)
  • 2 tablespoons Olive Oil
  • 1 teaspoon Oregano dried
  • ¼ teaspoon Cumin
  • 1 Bay Leaf
  • teaspoon Kosher Salt divided

Instructions

  • If you’re making the sour orange juice: combine 1 cup of orange juice (preferably fresh squeezed) and ½ cup lime juice. Stir or shake the juice to combine well.
  • Juice the sour oranges. Use a strainer to catch all the seeds.
  • Peel the garlic. Smash the garlic cloves; place them on a cutting board and give them a good whack with the side of a large knife.
  • Add the garlic and about ½ tsp. kosher salt to a mortar and pestle. Work the garlic until you break it down into small flat pieces.
  • Add the smashed garlic, sour orange juice, olive oil, oregano, cumin, 1 tsp. salt, and the bay leaf to a medium bowl or jar. Stir or shake to combine well.
  • Let the marinade sit in the refrigerator for at least 1 hour, a couple of hours is better. It will keep overnight too, if you want to make it ahead of time.
  • Shake or stir the mojo marinade well before using.

Video

Nutrition

Calories: 56kcal | Carbohydrates: 5g | Fat: 3g | Sodium: 359mg | Potassium: 100mg | Sugar: 3g | Vitamin A: 105IU | Vitamin C: 23.3mg | Calcium: 16mg | Iron: 0.4mg
The nutritional information above is computer generated and is only an estimate. There is no guarantee that it is accurate.This data is provided as a courtesy for informational purposes only.

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