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Mojo de Ajo (Mexican Garlic Sauce) Recipe

Mojo de Ajo (Mexican Garlic Sauce) Recipe

Mojo de ajo is a garlic sauce that can be used as a marinade, a topping, or a dipping sauce in Mexican cuisine

The name ‘Mojo de Ajo’ translates to garlic gravy or garlic sauce in English. This sauce is very versatile and famous for its intense garlic flavor.

Mojo de ajo is commonly used in seafood dishes, particularly grilled or pan-fried fish and shrimp, to enhance their natural flavors. The sauce is also popularly used as a marinade for meats and poultry.

Variations of mojo de ajo can be found across different regions of Mexico, for instance some versions incorporate additional ingredients like lime juice, citrus zest, or spices such as paprika or chilli flakes.

Origin & Cultural Significance

Originating from the coastal regions of Mexico, particularly in the Yucatan Peninsula, mojo de ajo is thought to have been developed by the Mayan people. 

Garlic has been cultivated and used in Mexican cooking for centuries; this sauce was developed as a way to preserve the flavor and aroma of garlic while cooking.

The concept of garlic-infused sauces is present in many cuisines around the world. For example, in Spanish cuisine, there is a similar sauce called ‘Salsa de Ajo’ that combines garlic with olive oil, vinegar, and sometimes mayonnaise. 

Similarly, in Cuban cuisine, ‘Mojo Criollo’ is a popular sauce made with garlic, citrus juice and herbs. 

Mojo de Ajo - Mexican garlic sauce

Mexican Mojo de Ajo Recipe

Yield: 10
Prep Time: 5 minutes
Cook Time: 10 minutes
Additional Time: 2 hours
Total Time: 2 hours 15 minutes

Mojo de ajo is a Mexican garlic sauce that can be used as a marinade, a topping, or a dipping sauce in Mexican cuisine. 


  • Olive oil - 1 Cup
  • Garlic (minced) - 10 cloves
  • Chili flakes (optional) - 1 tsp
  • Salt - 1 tsp
  • Fresh lime juice - 1 tbsp
  • Fresh cilantro (optional, chopped) - 1 tbsp


  1. In a small saucepan, heat the olive oil over low heat. 
  2. Add the minced garlic and chili flakes (optional) and cook on a low heat for about 8-10 minutes, stirring occasionally, until the garlic becomes golden and fragrant. Be cautious not to let the garlic brown too much as it can turn bitter.
  3. Remove the saucepan from the heat and let the garlic oil cool slightly.
  4. Stir in the salt and lime juice to the oil. 
  5. (Optional) Add the chopped fresh cilantro.
  6. Transfer the mojo de ajo sauce into a sterilized glass jar or bottle, be sure to scrape all of the garlic bits into the jar.
  7. Seal the jar tightly and let the sauce sit at room temperature for at least 2 hours. This can be refrigerated for up to a week.
  8. To use mojo de ajo as a marinade, simply coat your desired meat, seafood, or poultry with the sauce and let it marinate for at least 30 minutes before cooking.
Nutrition Information:
Yield: 10 Serving Size: 1
Amount Per Serving: Calories: 198Total Fat: 22gSaturated Fat: 3gTrans Fat: 0gUnsaturated Fat: 18gCholesterol: 0mgSodium: 239mgCarbohydrates: 2gFiber: 1gSugar: 0gProtein: 0g

Nutrition is provided and calculated by Nutritionix. It is for general information purposes and is only a rough estimation.

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