Mojo picón andaluz

Andalusian Mojo Picón

Andalusian Mojo Picón is a sauce that closely resembles Canarian red mojo. In fact, in the recipe we’re sharing here, there are few differences. Fundamentally, this version incorporates some ingredients similar to those used in salmorejo or gazpacho, such as tomatoes, peppers, or bread. Mojo Picón is actually a condiment originating from the Canary Islands, but it’s so appreciated that it has spread throughout Spain, including Andalusia. In each region, variations of the basic recipe can be found. The Andalusian version tends to be slightly different due to the availability of local ingredients.

It’s a perfect mojo to use with roasted or grilled meats, and in essence, it’s quite similar to salsa brava. Therefore, you’ll have the perfect accompaniment ready for any meat or fish you desire. Moreover, if you also want to prepare some grilled asparagus with coarse salt and add this mojo, it will be an excellent idea.

Bowl of well-blended Andalusian mojo picón with an orange hue.

So, how do you make Andalusian mojo picón? Let us explain. Get your food processor, Thermomix, blender, or immersion blender ready—I prefer the immersion blender—and put on your apron just in case of splashes.

The quantities we provide below are for preparing a recipe serving about two or three people.

Ingredients for Andalusian mojo picón:

  • A small glass of extra virgin olive oil
  • 3 or 4 cloves of garlic
  • 1 red bell pepper or piquillo pepper
  • 2 large, ripe tomatoes
  • A bit of bread crumbs or a slice of sandwich bread, crust removed
  • 1 tablespoon of sweet paprika
  • Two tablespoons of mild vinegar
  • Coarse salt

Preparation of Andalusian mojo picón:

  1. Peel the garlic cloves and remove the core by cutting them in half vertically and removing it with the tip of the knife to avoid having garlic breath all afternoon.
  2. Prepare the peppers to remove the skin. I personally prefer to use roasted or fried peppers when adding them to mojos, so they’re soft with that perfect texture, not raw. If you’re using piquillo peppers, remove any charred skin if necessary. If they’re roasted peppers made by us, which could be from the day before or alongside roasted meat or fish that we’re going to accompany with this Andalusian mojo, make sure to remove the skin.
  3. Do the same with the tomatoes—peel them carefully over a plate to avoid losing any of the liquid they release when handled. A good trick to peel them without wasting tomato and to make it easier is to briefly heat them in water. Place them in water that you heat up and remove them with the first boil. You’ll see how much easier it is to peel them.
  4. Now, get some bread and remove the crumbs. If you don’t have any on hand, you can use a slice of sandwich bread, crust removed. That’s approximately the amount you’ll need.
  5. Ready! Now that everything is prepared for blending, place all these ingredients in the food processor, blender, or whatever machine you have for making mojos, and add the rest of the ingredients except the oil. Start blending and processing like there’s no tomorrow. When the mixture is in progress, about 15 seconds of blending, start adding the oil gradually and monitor the thickness. Stop when you see that it’s well blended and the mojo is thick, with that delicious texture. There’s no need to blend it until it disintegrates completely.
  6. Now comes the tasting moment. Grab a spoon, dip it in the processor container, taking just a bit, and taste it with your eyes closed. Savor our concoction and if you go “ummmmmmmmm,” it’s ready. If you just say “ummm, it needs more salt,” then add some.

History and Origin of Andalusian Mojo:

Although Mojo Picón is known as a Canarian condiment, its origin is a bit more complex and reflects the rich cultural history of the Canary Islands. It’s believed that the sauce originated from the sauces that Spanish conquistadors brought from America after the discovery of the New World. These sauces, often spicy, blended with local ingredients and flavors in the Canary Islands, giving rise to what we know today as Mojo Picón.

The recipe has evolved over time and has adopted local characteristics in each region of Spain. In Andalusia, the recipe often includes typical ingredients from the region, such as extra virgin olive oil and wine vinegar.

The Mojo Picón sauce is an example of how cooking can be a way of telling history and celebrating a region’s culture. So, the next time you prepare this sauce, remember that you’re participating in a culinary tradition that spans centuries and oceans.

Dishes to Enjoy with Andalusian Mojo Picón:

Andalusian Mojo Picón is an extremely versatile condiment and can be used in a wide range of dishes. Here are some examples:

  • Papas arrugadas or patatas bravas: In the Canary Islands, Mojo Picón is traditionally served with papas arrugadas. In the rest of Spain, it can be used as an alternative to aioli or salsa brava with patatas bravas.
  • Fish and seafood: Mojo Picón sauce pairs very well with all types of fish and seafood, whether grilled, steamed, or grilled. Examples could include cod, hake, sardines, mussels, or prawns.
  • Meats: Whether chicken, pork, lamb, or beef, Mojo Picón can give any type of meat a special touch. It can also be a good accompaniment for cured meats like chorizo.
  • Grilled vegetables: If you’re looking for a way to add more flavor to your vegetables, Mojo Picón can be a great option. It works particularly well with grilled vegetables like asparagus, zucchini, peppers, or eggplant.
  • Salads: Mojo Picón can be used as a salad dressing. It pairs nicely with salads that include ingredients like goat cheese, olives, tomatoes, or avocado.
  • Tortillas: A Spanish omelette accompanied by a bit of Mojo Picón can be a delicious breakfast or dinner.
  • Toasts: Some toast with serrano ham or cured pork loin can reach a new level of flavor with a layer of Mojo Picón.

Remember, Andalusian Mojo Picón is a very flavorful and slightly spicy sauce, so use it in the amount that suits each dish.