Mole Rojo

Red Mole


Preparation info

  • Serves

    8 to 10

    • Difficulty


Appears in

Oaxaca: Home Cooking from the Heart of Mexico


By Bricia Lopez and Javier Cabral

Published 2019

  • About

One of the most common questions we get at the restaurant is about the differences among moles. It’s not just the color. The flavor profiles of the red, black, green, yellow, coloradito, chichilo, and every other mole are very different. The red and black moles are the closest in flavor, because they share a lot of the same ingredients, but a few chiles and techniques change in the process. Unlike mole negro, where the chiles are fried to achieve a glossy, pitch-black color, mole rojo calls for the dried chiles to be smoked or dry-roasted. In Oaxaca, trimming, seeding, and roasting the chiles becomes a social gathering. At these gatherings, spicy dark smoke overflows the house and penetrates every inch of your hair and clothing. I absolutely love it. The smell of roasted chiles will forever remind me of my grandma, great-aunts, and every woman in my family. When I make this recipe at home, where I don’t have an outdoor comal and want to minimize the smoke inside, I opt to toast the chiles briefly, laid out on a baking sheet. It’s a great hack to give those chiles the perfect layer of smoke and toast but still stay in total control.