International Recipes and Cooking Around the World

Mojo Isleño

Fresh red snapper fish

(Puerto Rican fish with tomato-olive sauce)

Image © iStockphoto

Average: 4 (3 votes)

Mojo isleño is a popular way to prepare fish in Puerto Rico. It's name can be translated as "islander sauce," and its components — olives, peppers, garlic and bay leaves — are typically Puerto Rican.

Sometimes called mojito isleño.

4 to 6 servings


  • Olive oil -- 1/4 cup
  • Onion, chopped -- 1
  • Bell pepper, chopped -- 1
  • Garlic, minced -- 4 to 6 cloves
  • Tomatoes, peeled, seeded and diced -- 2 cups
  • Red wine vinegar -- 2 tablespoons
  • Green olives, pitted -- 1/4 cup
  • Capers, rinsed -- 1 tablespoon
  • Bay leaf -- 1 or 2
  • Salt and pepper -- to taste
  • Olive oil -- 1/4 cup
  • Fish fillets, cut in serving size -- 2 pounds
  • Salt and pepper -- to taste


  1. Heat the first 1/4 cup olive oil in a saucepan over medium flame. Add the onions and peppers and saute until the onions are translucent. Add the garlic and sauté for another 1 to 2 minutes.
  2. Stir in the tomatoes, vinegar, olives, capers, bay leaf, salt and pepper. Simmer for 10 to 15 minutes until somewhat reduced.
  3. Heat the remaining olive oil in a saute pan or skillet over medium high flame. Season the fish with salt and pepper and saute on both sides until both sides are lightly browned.
  4. Pour the prepared sauce over the fish and simmer until the fish is cooked through, about 6 to 8 minutes.

Mojo Isleño Variations

  • Use other seafood like shrimp or scallops in place of the fish.
  • Substitute pimentos for the chopped bell pepper. Add at the same time as the tomatoes.
  • Marinate the fish in some minced garlic and lime juice before sauteing if you like.
  • The fish can also be grilled and the sauce served on the side.


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