Mojo de Ajo (Citrus-Garlic) Sauce for Grilling

This is a spicy, but not too hot, sauce that is good for grilling, especially seafood. See the recipe Grilled Shrimp with Mojo de Ajo (Citrus-Garlic) Sauce, Citrus Salsa and Avocado.
This idea is from Susan Herrmann Loomis, The New York Times Magazine, sometime around 1995.
Prep Time30 mins
Total Time30 mins
Course: Grill, Sauces, Salad Dressings, Gravies
Servings: 1 cup
Author: Catherine Christiano


  • 1 tablespoon annatto or achiote seeds soaked for 1 hour, or if unavailable 2 teaspoons tumeric
  • 1/2 cup water
  • 1 1/2 tablespoons whole black peppercorns
  • 2 cloves garlic peeled
  • 1 allspice berry
  • 1 serrano chili trimmed
  • 1 cup cilantro lightly packed
  • 2 tablespoons freshly squeezed orange juice
  • 2 tablespoons freshly squeezed lemon juice
  • 1/4 cup white vinegar


  • If using annatto or achiote seeds, drain water and add to blender. Add all remaining Mojo de Ajo Sauce ingredients to blender. Process until mixture is coarsely chopped.
  • Brush on fish or meat before grilling. Store extra sauce in refrigerator.