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How to Make Spicy Garlic Mojo

Updated on October 17, 2015

Mexican Garlic Mojo

This is an adaption of Rick Bayless' Garlic Mojo that was created with my son, Bobby. He and I love to get in the kitchen to experiment with whatever we've grown in the garden as well with the fresh produce we've picked up from our local farmer's market. We wrote this up for his older brother Jake, a firefighter in New Orleans who is in charge of cooking for the men in his station-house.

The garlic oil is great as a base for salad dressings, for saute-ing vegetables and meats, and as a dipping sauce with crusty bread. We love to drizzle it on pizza fresh out of the oven too! The garlic cloves are wonderful served on bread, on pizza, in sandwiches and wraps, and in all of our Italian and Mexican Dinners.

We plan to grow our own garlic next year, but for now, keep coming up with recipes to use up that huge bag of garlic that we bought at Costco because the "price was right". We hope that you (and Jake) enjoy our wonderful garlicky treat!


This is a great way to preserve your garlic!

4 large heads of garlic (about 1 3/4 cups peeled garlic cloves)

2 cups fruity olive oil

1 teaspoon salt (we use Kosher Salt)

1/2 cup fresh lime juice (grate the peel before you slice in half to squeeze, and reserve the lime rinds)

1 tablespoon hot red pepper flakes

Smash garlic clove
Smash garlic clove

Break open garlic

Break the heads of garlic apart with the back of your hand (push down hard until you release individual cloves from head). Using the side of a large knife, slighly mash each clove so that you can more easily remove the papery skin from each clove. Be sure to remove any "green" that you see on the inside of cloves as well as because it tastes bitter.

after peeling garlic, I cut it into chunks
after peeling garlic, I cut it into chunks

Preparing Garlic for Mojo

Peeling and Slicing

Thinking about how you might use the garlic in the future, you can either mince the garlic, cut it into chunks or slice the individual cloves. Whichever you decide upon, be sure to prepare all of the garlic the same way so that it heats evenly.

325 degree oven
325 degree oven

Mojo Mixture

Adding Garlic, Olive Oil. Salt, Lime Juice and Pepper Flakes

In a non-reactive 8" x 8" dish or similar sized dish (glass works best we've found), combine the garlic, oil and salt, lime juice, grated lime peel and hot pepper flakes. We add a lot more hot pepper flakes and throw the lime rinds in at this point too. * Be sure that everything is stirred well and that all of the garlic is submerged. Put into a pre-heated 325 degree oven (uncovered) for about 45 minutes.

Rick Bayless' recipe said to wait until you had cooked garlic, salt and oil for 45 minutes BEFORE adding the lime juice and pepper flakes. We've made it both ways and actually prefer to add everything at once. You will have more "stuff" to skim, but I think that the garlic doesn't burn as much and the lime and pepper flavor is more intensified when it all cooks together. Either method makes a great Mojo!

Yummy Mojo
Yummy Mojo

Storing your Mojo

Rick Bayless suggests using an old-fashioned potato masher or large fork to mash the garlic into course puree. We did the first time we made it, but decided that we liked it better with larger "chunks.

Once your mojo is cooled and after skimming any filmy bubbles off of the top, pour it into a sterile wide-mouthed storage container. Be sure to keep it refrigerated. The oil will turn cloudy and get thicker, but this actually makes it easier to scoop out either portions of the garlic or spoonfuls of oil to add to dishes. If using it in a dressing, let it sit out on counter to warm up so that it becomes "pourable". The mojo will keep up to 3-months in the fridge as long as the garlic is covered in oil. BUT, it never stays around that long In our house!

I believe that you can also freeze it - don't be surprised if it turns colors and the oil looks cloudy. Just leave it sit out on counter before using it so that it can come to room temperature.


Reader Feedback

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    • Linda BookLady profile image

      Linda Jo Martin 

      8 years ago from Post Falls, Idaho, USA

      Fascinating! I've never tried this but can think of lots of ways to use it!

    • andreas-creations profile imageAUTHOR


      8 years ago

      Thanks Lisa!

    • profile image


      8 years ago

      Looks delicious! (this is Aunt Lisa, by the way!


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