Mojo de Ajo Aioli

© 2012
© 2012

This post is for my friend, Mark. We had recently made a double batch of mojo de ajo and I had about 1-1/2 cups of infused olive oil remaining. It’s tremendously flavorful stuff but a little goes a long way. So what do you do with that much infused oil? You make Mojo de Ajo Aioli, that’s what. We did and I posted a photo of it on REMCooks Facebook page. I really wasn’t going to post the recipe on the blog but Mark asked me if I would. So, here it is.

We have posted several posts on the wonders of mojo de ajo. Mojo de ajo is a garlic salsa made by gently cooking the minced garlic in olive oil for about an hour. It’s similar to a garlic confit except the garlic is minced, not left whole. The slow cooking of the garlic produces an unbelievably sweet flavor that goes well with so many dishes from eggs, to chips, to veggies, to chicken, to pork, to fish and shrimp. It’s an unbelievably delicious treat you owe it to yourself to try. We first tried it with Tacos de Pescado al Mojo de Ajo (Fish Tacos with Garlic Salsa). It was outrageously good. In fact, it was so good we fixed it with shrimp the following night. Something has to be really good for me to fix it two nights in a row. Later, a friend of mine fixed it and she liked it so much she fixed it again the following night. Another friend of mine came over and ate it with chips commenting how good it was. We had to take it away from him before he got full and couldn’t eat the dinner I was preparing especially for him. I’m making him some for Christmas. This stuff is addictive. Seriously.

One of the byproducts of mojo de ajo is a sizable amount of infused olive oil. This infused oil is wonderfully falvorful and can also be used in an assortment of ways. It’s a little too pungent for a vinaigrette but is perfect for cooking eggs and veggies. The problem is a single batch will leave you roughly 1/2 – 2/3 cup of infused oil. 1 – 2 Tbsp at a time takes a while to consume but we aways seem to find a way. This infused oil is simply too good to throw away. Inasmuch as I had recently made a double batch of mojo de ajo, I had to figure out a way to use the remaining oil. Then it dawned on me. Knothead, Quickstep ad Dufus are all coming home for Christmas. All of them eat sandwiches and Knothead especially likes panini sandwiches. Therefore, a mojo de ajo aioli was in order.

Now, what is an aioli? Nowadays, aioli has come to be synonymous with any flavored mayonnaise. If you are looking at its technical origin, however, there is an exacting classical distinction between mayonnaise and aioli in that aioli is made with extra virgin olive oil and has the addition of crushed garlic. This recipe is not the classical aioli. It does have extra virgin olive oil beautifully infused by minced garlic but it has so much more. Further, it’s not hard to make. Give this a try. You will be rewarded for your efforts.


  • 3/4 cup oil from Mojo de Ajo (recipe found here)
  • 2 egg yolks
  • pinch of salt
  • 1 lemon, juiced


Separate the egg yolks. If you’re into making meringues or divinities, keep the whites. I am not and did not. 😉

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© 2012

Add the yolks to a food processor.

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Now add the lemon juice and salt

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Pulse to incorporate

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SLOWLY drizzle olive oil into egg yolks while food processor is running to form the emulsification.

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© 2012

This is where most people mess up aioli and mayonnaise because they put too much olive oil into the egg yolks in the beginning. Too much olive oil added too quickly will cause it to break. What you are looking for is emulsification of the oil into the egg yolks.

Continue adding olive oil until you achieve a thick, shiny aioli. If it gets too thick you can always thin it with a little water or some additional lemon juice.

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© 2012

NOTES: Have both your egg yolks and oil at room temperature before starting. It will make the emulsification process much easier.

7 thoughts on “Mojo de Ajo Aioli”

  1. This really does sound good, Richard. In our part of Italy, it is customary to blanch vegetables before sautéing them in garlic-flavored olive oil. (There’s no such thing as al dente vegetables where we come from.) The technique is called ripassare and the olive oil is flavored, as needed, in the frying pan. I’m going to try your garlic-infused oil instead. I bet it won’t be just as good but much better since there’s no chance of the garlic being cooked too long. Once I get that oil made, I’ll come back for this aioli. This is a “must do” recipe if ever there was one. Thanks for sharing, Richard.

    1. Thanks, John. We’re glad you like it. The mojo de ajo is such a neat recipe because it provides sooo much versatility. You get the salsa, itself, and then you get the infused oil. How can you go wrong with a recipe that gives you this much flavor and versatility? 🙂 This really is one of our favorite recipes.

    1. More, or less, you are correct. There are all sorts of infused oils you can use to make flavored mayonnaise. This is pretty pungent and has a little kick from the chipotle in adobo sauce. It’s wonderful on sandwiches.

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