Mole Method

by Luis Gutierrez
Photography by Jody Horton

Fairly difficult

Mole Method


For 1 Batch(es)


  • 2 medium yellow onions
  • 4 Roma or medium tomatoes
  • 6 tomatillos
  • 1 cups prunes
  • 1 cups raisins
  • 1 2” ginger root, slivered
  • 2 whole garlic bulbs
  • 3 2–3” cinnamon sticks
  • 2 corn tortillas, toasted
  • 1 cups sesame seeds
  • 1 tablespoons black mustard seeds
  • 1 cups almonds
  • 1 cups pistachios
  • 2 ripe plantains, sliced
  • 12 ounces dark organic chocolate*
  • 1 cups dark brown sugar
  • 4 cups rice (Texmati organic)
  • Chile (dried chiles):
  • 10 ancho/mulato
  • 10 guajillo
  • 10 cascabel
  • 4 chipotle

Mole Method Directions

  1. Use 4 ounces of fish per serving. Use a firm whole fish such as redfish, black drum or cod. Fillet and chop into large chunks. Reserve the heads, tails and bones for stock.
  2. To make the stock, put fish heads, tails and bones in a large pot of water with carrots, onion quarters studded with whole cloves, bay leaves, a few whole black peppercorns and salt. Bring to a boil, skim froth, then reduce heat and simmer, uncovered, 30 minutes. Strain through a fine mesh sieve, discarding solids.
  3. Prepare the chiles. Cut open, seed and wash chiles. Lay on a griddle or in cast-iron pan and toast until hot and slightly burned—toss frequently. Put the chiles in a pot of water and soak for 30 minutes.
  4. Sauté onions, tomatoes and tomatillos in a cast-iron wok in a little olive oil or lard until roasted. Remove to bowl and let cool. Then chop coarsely.
  5. Sauté prunes, raisins, ginger, garlic, cinnamon sticks and toasted corn tortillas in a cast-iron wok in a little olive oil or lard until roasted. Remove and set aside. Remove two of the cinnamon sticks.
  6. Sauté the nuts in a cast-iron wok until roasted. Throw in black mustard and sesame seeds.
  7. Sauté plantains in cast-iron wok in olive oil. 
  8. Blend the tomatoes, onions and tomatillos in blender or food processor in batches. Put into large, oven-proof cooking pot. Bring to a simmer on the stove.
  9. Blend the roasted nuts with a little pepper-soaking water and add to cooking pot.
  10. Blend the sautéed prune-raisin mixture. Add cacao nibs, if using. Add some fish stock to the blender to make a thick puree. Strain the puree into the pot.
  11. Blend the chiles with some fish stock to make a thick puree. Strain the puree into the cooking pot.
  12. Blend the plantains with some fish stock to make a thick puree. Add to the simmering pot.
  13. Add chocolate to pot. Stir constantly for about 10 minutes at a low simmer. Mixture in pot is now a rich brown color and will be thickening. TASTE. Add sugar to taste and perhaps more pepper puree if a spicier taste is desired. Oils will start to separate. When mixture starts to form boiling bubbles (dangerous when bursting!) cover pot and put in 350° oven. Cook for an additional 30 minutes until flavors are well-blended. TASTE and add salt. Add fish to pot. Put back in oven and cook just until done, about 10-15 more minutes.

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