Traditional Cuban Recipe: Cuban Mojo (Cuban Marinade)

Total Time
Prep 50 mins
Cook 0 mins

There are many variations of mojo. It is the signature marinade of Cuba and it finds its way into many varied dishes. After searching through many recipes and cookbooks; I found this in on and in "Three Guys from Miami Cook Cuban" by: three brothers-in-law, Glenn Lindgren, Raul Musibay and Jorge Castillo. Many mojos do not include oil; with or without oil the key element is "sour" orange, an almost bitter orange that grows throughout Cuba and now it flourishes in most Miami backyards. In a pinch use: 2 parts orange juice to 1 part lemon juice and 1 part lime juice. The key to a good mojo is in the proportions; garlic, salt, whole black peppercorns and sour orange juice are it's main ingredients.Update: 04/14/08 add a teaspoon of cumin (if you so desire) there are many recipes that call for it but we don't use it here! I have been using this mojo since I left my mother's house, as we always used it in Cuba and Haiti.:)

Ingredients Nutrition


  1. Mash garlic, salt and peppercorns, using a mortar and pestle or use food processor.
  2. Stir in juice.
  3. Allow to sit for at least 30 minutes or longer at room temperature.
  4. *If making it without the oil - stop at this point and this makes a perfect marinade for seasoning, chicken, fish, pork &/or beef.
  5. Continue with preparing the mojo with oil - after you have stirred in juice add onion & oregano.
  6. Allow to sit for at least 30 minutes or longer at room temperature.
  7. In a saucepan heat olive oil to medium hot & then remove from heat.
  8. Whisk oil in garlic-juice mixture, until well blended.
  9. Stores for at least a week in the refrigerator.
Most Helpful

We use this recipe often. It is very good on flat iron steak. We have found that if we use fresh lemon and lime juice instead of the bottled we did not get good results--the meat turned grey. This does not happen with the bottled juice. We have also used this as a dipping sauce for cuban sandwiches. Yum! Icuban also has a pineapple avacado salad that will knock your socks off.

Dixie from Kansas April 13, 2008