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    Cuban Mojo Marinade

    This extremely flavorful, citrusy, garlicky, tangy Mojo marinade will end your dilemma of how to give that piece of meat more “Oh Wow!” taste. It’s great for your every day casual dinner or an elaborate Cuban affair. Super easy to make with just few simple fresh ingredients, you’ll never give another look to store brand Mojo bottles…

    cuban mojo marinade in a blue bowl

    Seriously, the bottled things you get in stores called “Mojo” are no match for freshly squeezed citrus, along with some fresh garlic and some zingy herbs. Why bother buying the stuff when it can be made in less than 15 minutes? You can replicate the same flavors that you get in Cuban restaurants… Mmm, we have some good ones here in Florida… All you have to do is marinate that chicken or pork, or even some shrimp or flank steak for a few hours and start your oven or grill… easy weeknight meals, moms! or Dads..!! or whoever is in for an easy quick meal..!!! And super duper healthy! So what are you waiting for? It’s citrus season, grab those oranges and you’ll have this ready in no time.

    sliced citrus on a white background

    What is Cuban Mojo Marinade?

    This signature marinade of Cuba, pronounced “MO HO”, is just a mix of some citrus juice, fresh onion and garlic with some herbs and olive oil. This is one marinade or sauce that you will find in every Cuban household, though you will likely find each family has their own little variation. For example, some use olive oil, some don’t. I personally feel olive oil helps when cooking the meat a keeps it moist, but with fattier cuts you can go with less, or no, oil.

    What are the ingredients in Mojo Marinade?

    sliced citrus on a white background

    Traditionally, Mojo is made of sour, almost bitter, oranges from Cuba, similar to Seville oranges. Many Cubans in Florida have their own sour orange tree in their backyard. Sometimes you do spot them in grocery stores, but if you don’t get your hands on them, that’s ok. You can still create those flavors by mixing and matching your citruses, some grapefruit and lime or lemon juice. I used all of them time, as they happened to be in my home. Besides my freshly juiced citruses, I am using following for this easy Mojo Marinade:

    • Olive Oil – To compliment the citrus.
    • Garlic – Lots of it. Minced or crushed with a mortar and pestle. You definitely need those garlic notes in your marinade… it’s Cuban, after all!
    • Kosher salt
    • Black pepper
    • Dried oregano – If you happen to have fresh oregano, please use that instead (I am in between my oregano plants, so going with dried this time).
    • Onion – Finely chopped
    • Cilantro – Optional, but we love our cilantro.

    So that’s it… you are just mixing it all together in a bowl and it’s ready to go!!

    cuban mojo marinade in a blue bowl

    How does this Mojo Marinade work on your meats?

    1. Acidity – Acids in the citrus tenderizes the meat. There is nothing like moist succulent morsels of meats.
    2. Flavoring – seasoning in Mojo Marinade can vary, but the main flavors come from garlic, onion, oregano, pepper, cilantro and of course the above citruses. There are many variations you can do, depending on your mood. You can add a dash of cumin or some fresh mint, or even add little zing with some fresh chopped jalepenõs.
    3. Oil – Olive oil holds everything together and adds moisture to the meat. This will be especially helpful when using lean cuts.
    cuban mojo marinade in a blue bowl

    Can you store this marinade?

    Sure thing! Refrigerate it in airtight container or bottle and this is good to go for a couple of weeks in your fridge! You can also freeze it in an airtight container for up to 3 months. If you make a big batch, you can portion it out by freezing in an ice tray and storing the frozen cubes in a ziploc bag. When you are ready to marinate your meat, thaw 5-6 cubes per pound of meat.

    Another great storage idea: Marinate your meat in an airtight bag and stick it in the freezer. Now you have a nicely flavored piece of meat ready to thaw. Great meal prep option!

    What Cuban dishes I can make with Mojo Marinade ?

    Make this marinade and plan a Cuban feast this weekend with some Mojo chicken or pork chops or flank steaks. Hey, even some Mojo shrimp skewers… any takers? I recommend marinating at least an hour, but if you want some really intense Cuban flavors, marinate overnight. Our preferred cooking method for our mojo marinated meats is on the grill. You can also bake or sauté, it will still turn out delicious!

    Pair your meats with some yellow rice, black beans and plantains for a full on Cuban platter. How about with a Mojito? Cha-cha-cha!!

    Cuban Mojo Marinade, in my Gypsy Bowl… Enjoy!!!

    cuban mojo marinade in the gypsy bowl

    Keep that Latin theme going with these other great recipes!
    Puerto Rican Picadillo
    Pastel de Choclo
    Homemade Sofrito
    Crock Pot Barbacoa Pork
    Dominican Pollo Guisado

    cuban mojo marinade in a blue bowl

    Cuban Mojo Marinade

    Yield: 3 cups
    Prep Time: 10 minutes
    Total Time: 10 minutes

    This Cuban Mojo Marinade will add a Latin flair to your grilled and baked meats. Citrusy and garlicky, this exotic and refreshing marinade whips up in 10 minutes or less.


    • 1/4 cup olive oil
    • 1.5 cup orange juice
    • 1/3 cup lime and lemon juice (you can use either, or mix)
    • 1/3 cup grapefruit juice
    • 8 cloves of garlic, pressed or finely minced
    • 2 tsp dried oregano
    • 2 tsp kosher salt
    • 1 tsp black pepper
    • 1 medium onion finely chopped
    • 1 Tbsp cilantro chopped


    1. Juice citrus.
    2. Chop onions and mince garlic.
    3. Mix all ingredients.

    Nutrition Information
    Yield 12 Serving Size 1
    Amount Per Serving Calories 67Total Fat 5gSaturated Fat 1gTrans Fat 0gUnsaturated Fat 4gCholesterol 0mgSodium 393mgCarbohydrates 7gFiber 1gSugar 3gProtein 1g

    Nutrition information calculated by Nutritionix.

    Did you make this recipe?

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    long pin of cuban mojo marinade

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