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A Canarian Delight: Mojo rojo

Neither the Spanish nor the Canarian cuisine is known for their many vegan or vegetarian options. Thus, I was particularly pleased to encounter Mojo rojo and Mojo verde when on La Gomera a few weeks ago. Both are vegan sauces that are typically served alongside papas arrugadas („wrinkly potatoes“, i.e., jacket potatoes) but also work well with bread, breadsticks or vegetarian patties.

Let me share with you first the recipe for Mojo rojo, kindly provided by the chef of Noah’s Ark on La Gomera. The one for Mojo verde will follow shortly! Preparation time is about 20 minutes; you can grill the potatoes in parallel.

Mojo rojo

(for two jars; keeps in the fridge for about 1-2 weeks)


  • 3 red, ripe bell peppers
  • 1 tiny chili pod
  • 1 clove of garlic
  • 1 tsp dried cumin seeds
  • 1 tsp paprika
  • 1 tsp salt and 1 tsp black pepper (grounded)
  • 1 tablespoon oregano/wild marjoram
  • 8 tbsp olive oil (good one)
  • 2 tbsp vinegar (Aceto Balsamico)
  • 1/2-1 tsp brown sugar
  • 1 slice of toast (toasted and cut in cubes)


  • Cut the bell peppers in halfs. Remove the white pith and seeds from the inside. Preheat the oven to 200° C. Put a baking sheet on a rack and allow peppers to roast for 20 minutes till they get soft and their skin should be charred. The peppers will need turning during the process. Remove from the oven, let them cool down a little bit and remove the skin. 
  • Open up the chili pod lengthwise and remove the stem and seeds.Peel the garlic and cut in slices.
  • Heat the olive oil in a frying pan and roast the garlic, chili and cumin seeds for two minutes.
  • Put vinegar, olive oil, garlic, chili, cumin seeds, brown sugar and oregano in a blender; pulse until well blended.
  • Add bell peppers, toast cubes, paprika, salt and pepper and pulse again until smooth. Add olive oil or water if the sauce is too thick.