Mojo is the name, or abbreviated name, of several types of sauces, varying in spiciness, consisting primarily of olive oil, local pepper varieties (called pimienta in the Canary Islands), garlic, paprika (called pimentón in Spain), cumin or coriander, and other spices. Mojo originated in the Canary Islands, where the main varieties are red mojo (mojo rojo) and green mojo (mojo verde). Other countries have recipes similar to mojo, where acid ingredients such as vinegar, lemon, orange, or lime juice may be used.
In Cuban cooking, mojo applies to any sauce that is made with garlic, olive oil or pork lard, and a citrus juice, traditionally bitter orange juice. It is commonly used to flavor the cassava tuber and is also used to marinate roast pork.
Without oregano, the sauce is typically called 'mojito' and used for dipping plantain chips and fried cassava (yuca). To create the marinade for pork, the ingredients are bitter orange juice, garlic, oregano, cumin, and salt.
Mojo de ajo is easy to make at home: it is the standard 3/4 oil + 1/4 acid emulsion—preferably citrus juice—and all the garlic you can handle. Commercial mojo adds vinegar for better shelf life. The mojo marinade shown below allegedly does not contain any oil.