Substitution for bitter orange in mojo

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Chef Extraordinaire
Moderator Emeritus
Sep 13, 2010
near Montreal, Quebec
Most of the recipes that I have found for mojo for Cuban pork roast say that bitter orange is more authentic, but hard to find. So, there were suggestions of using juice from regular oranges and adding lime and / or lemon juice. I can see how that would make it less sweet. But, what about the bitter flavour? Do you think that a drop or a few of Angostura Bitters would work? Has anyone tried that?

Any other suggestions?
What about Seville oranges? They do show up from time to time, and they are both bitter & sour. When they're in season, I freeze them for the times I'm making mojo sauces.
If you can´t find Seville oranges (which were the original culprits of Scottish Orange Marmalade!) then just add a squeeze of lime juice.
I´d avoid Angostura as there are other aromatics in the mixture which might affect the flavour.
We make a classic Yucatan dish called Cochinito Pibil which calls for bitter or sour oranges. We just use regular oranges and some lime juice.
Id avoid using bitters as they have herbs and other flavors added and have a very strong taste.

When i see bitter orange i just use orange juice and lime juice. Lime juice can impart a slightly bitter flavor. Vinegar just adds sour.
Hmm, I wonder if adding a bit of orange zest would help. At least any flavours other than bitter will be in the right ball park.
If you want bitter, try adding pulp, too

I think you mean pith - the white part.

Oh, that's a good idea. I could just add some slices of orange, with the skins, to the mojo. If that is still too sweet (with the addition of lime), I could work my way up small amounts of grated pith added.

Funny, I didn't even notice the use of the word pulp. I knew what JE meant. But, yeah, it's the pith, not the pulp.

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