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Marinades, Sauces, Rubs & Salsas

Adobo – Cuban Garlic Marinade


Walk into a Cuban home and this marinade is what you’ll smell. Garlic. Cumin. Sour orange juice. Adobo is the very lifeblood of Cuban cuisine. Traditionally, the ingredients are combined in a mortar with a pestle. But acceptable results can be obtained with a blender.


Adobo – Cuban Garlic Marinade

Recipe Notes

  • Yield: Makes 1 cup, enough for 2 pounds of meat


  • 5 cloves garlic, peeled and coarsely chopped
  • 1 teaspoon coarse salt (sea or kosher)
  • 1 teaspoon ground cumin
  • 1 teaspoon dried oregano
  • 1/2 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
  • 1 cup fresh sour orange juice, or 3/4 cup fresh lime juice and 1/4 cup fresh orange juice

Recipe Steps

1: Place the garlic, salt, cumin, oregano, and pepper in a mortar and pound with a pestle to a smooth paste. Gradually work in the sour orange juice. Or place all the ingredients in a blender and blend to a smooth purée. Use within a few hours of making.

Recipe Tips

Adobo is a versatile marinade, equally delectable with chicken, pork, beef, lamb, shellfish, and fish. Marinate the food, covered, in the refrigerator for between 1 and 8 hours, depending on the size of the cut. For instance, a fish fillet or chicken breast would marinate 1 to 2 hours, a pork butt, the full 8 hours.

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