Chiles, Marinado y Adobos


Making marinades and adobos in Mexico is very important, these are key ingredients for a perfect stew. Every family has its own touch to make a certain adobo, sometimes the recipe will contained the key ingredients, but each family will add its own secret ingredient.

In my family we have those recipes that have been in my mother’s family since God known when. I learned to make them by looking at her and asking her about it, but over the years I have added my own touch, so here are the ones I used the most in my kitchen.

The ancho chilli adobo is my favourite. I think my mum used to do it with pasilla and then I decided to use ancho for some reason. My mum’s recipe calls for quite a lot of spices, but, again, I use less spices that her recipe.

The achiote marinade for cochinita pibil is the same. In Yucatan people use a “naranja agria”, but we live in the north of Mexico, so we don’t have that bitter orange there, so instead of using vinegar, my mum mixes the juice of fresh oranges and lemons. This marinade is my favourite, as I use it not only with pork, but with chicken, fish and seafood.

The guajillo adobo is amazing, so good with brisket, goat or even lamb.

So I hope you find these recipes helpful. Remember to leave a comment.


Karla x

Chiles, Marinados y Adobos

Servings 1 cup per recipe
Prep Time 15 mins
Cook Time 15 mins


  • High speed blender


Ancho Adobo

  • 4 dried ancho chillies stem and seed off
  • 2 tomatoes medium, cut in half
  • 1 white onion small, peeled and cut in half
  • 2 garlic cloves large, peeled
  • ½ tsp ground cumin
  • ½ tsp ground dried coriander
  • ½ tsp dried oregano
  • 2 aromatic cloves
  • 3 black pepper corns
  • 1 tbsp salt
  • 3 tbsp white wine vinegar

Achiote Marinade

  • 20 g achiote paste
  • 2 oranges
  • 1 lemon
  • 1 small garlic clove
  • 1 tbsp salt

Guajillo Adobo

  • 4 guajillos seeds and stems off
  • 2 medium tomatoes
  • 1 small white onion
  • 2 small garlic cloves
  • ½ tsp dried oregano
  • ½ tsp cumin
  • ½ tsp dried marjoram
  • ½ tsp ground cinnamon
  • 4 black peppercorn
  • 1 tbsp apple cider vinegar
  • 1 tbsp salt


  • Ancho Adobo
  • Soak the ancho chillies in hot boiling water for 10 minutes.
  • Once they are rehydrated take them out of the water and place them in a speed blender and add the rest of the ingredients. Blend until smooth.
  • Pass through a sieve (optional step) and then it is ready to use to marinade the meat.

Achiote Marinade

  • Squeeze the juice of the oranges and lemon and set aside.
  • Break the achiote paste and place it in a high speed blender and add the orange and lemon juices. Add the salt and garlic and blend until smooth.
  • Once the achiote paste has dissolved, it is ready to use as a marinade for pork, chicken, fish or seafood.

Guajillo Adobo

  • Soak the guajillos in hot boiling water until they are soften.
  • Once soften, place them in a high speed blender and add the rest of the ingredients (herbs and spices).
  • Blend until smooth and pass through a sieve. Then it is ready to use to marinate a good piece of brisket or goat.
Course: Sauces
Cuisine: Mexican
Keyword: Sauces, mexican food, marinades

I would love to hear if you liked this recipe, tag me on social media #mexicanfoodmemories to see your creations. And if you want to learn to make this recipe and more, join me in one of my Mexican Cooking Classes in North London.



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