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mojo criollo

Mojo Criollo

I will never forget the day my Alita Lily taught me how to make mojo. It was Christmas Day. She was very behind and pulled me aside, “I have a lot to do. This is the day you learn to do the mojo.” As I started sautéing  the onions gently she came behind with a jug of Spanish olive oil, “Ani Renee the onions need to swim in the oil.” She was a boss in the kitchen.

Just like I had to learn, so do you. Time to make Mojo Criollo!

Mojo Criollo

Recipe by Ani Course: SauceCuisine: CubanDifficulty: Easy


Prep time


Cooking time




  • 6 garlic cloves, smashed 

  • 2 onions, very thinly sliced 

  • 2 bay leaves 

  • ½  cup of sour orange juice 

  • 2 teaspoons of salt 

  • 1 ½  cups of extra Virgin Spanish olive oil

  • ¼  cup of parsley, finely chopped 


  • In a deep sauté pan add the onions and olive oil, salt and bay leaves and cook on medium/ low heat for 15 to 20 minutes. The onions should never get any color. You just want them to soften and cook through. 
  • Add the garlic and allow that to cook as well for a couple of minutes. 
  • Pull off the heat and add the citrus juice.
  • Sprinkle with parsley and serve.  


  • if you don’t have sour oranges you can use ½ cup of freshly squeezed orange juice and 1/4 cup of lime juice. Sometimes I prefer using this even more because you can truly control the acid and sweetness of the orange. Whereas “naranja agrias” can be very bitter. 
  • Traditionally, mojo is served over something very traditional like pork or yuca. I love replacing the yellow onions with red onions and pouring it over grilled fish. 
  • You can cool down the sauce and freeze. It will last in the freezer for 3 months.

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