Psst... We're working on the next generation of Chowhound! View >
HOME > Chowhound > Home Cooking >
Jun 3, 2008 07:24 PM

Can Goya Bitter Orange Marinade sub for "sour orange juice"...

Plans this weekend include Bruce Aidell's recipe for "Grill-Roasted Pork Shoulder Cuban Style" on the Weber for company. Just reading the ingredients, prep etc. makes me drool big-time...

Only thing that I'm questioning:
One of the ingredients he calls for is 1/2 cup freshly squeezed orange juice (sour oranges preferred).

I recently picked up a bottle of Goya's Naranja Agria (Bitter Orange) Marinade. I'm hoping that using it as a sub for the sour orange juice will work.

Does anyone have any experience using this product rather than sour orange juice?

There's also 1/2 cup of fresh lime juice and 1/4 Triple Sec or Grand Marnier included plus several other ingredients, none of which present a problem. I'm just concerned about the Goya product...

  1. Click to Upload a photo (10 MB limit)
  1. "The stuff from Goya is very low quality. Sour Oranges are also widely used in the Yucatan as in marinades, pickled onion relish & sauces... Rick Bayless' Authentic Mexican has a recipe to approximate them using Grapefruit, Limes & Navel Oranges." -- this a/c to:

    also, from another site:
    the following:

    I have a bottle of Goya naranja agria in my pantry (I use it when making pernil -- roasted marinated pork shoulder -- and other Latin American-style dishes). And here's what it contains:
    Water, Orange juice concentrate, Citric acid, Seville orange essence, Seville orange oil, Grapefruit extract, Preservatives: 1/20 of 1% Potassium sorbate, 1/20 of 1% Sodium Benzoate, and 1/50 of 1% Sulphur dioxide
    So in a 355ml bottle, there's 0.1775ml each of the first two, and 0.071ml of the last. Putting it into ounces, the 12-ounce bottle contains 0.006 ounces (6/1000ths of an ounce) and 0.0024 ounces (24/10,000ths), respectively. One drop is 1/60th of a teaspoon, which makes 1 drop = 1/360th of an ounce. Which means 2.16 drops and 0.864 drops IN THE WHOLE BOTTLE. With all due respect, Scott, that doesn't strike me as "loaded with preservatives". Obviously, if I've got the stuff, I have no qualms about using it.

    But if you do, in Rick Bayless's Mexican Kitchen, he recommends the following:
    . . . using less (or diluted) lime juice or mild vinegar if sour orange isn't on the horizon. All the bottled sour orange juice I've seen in the Caribbean markets hasn't really been "sour orange" juice, so I avoid it. If you're set on experiencing a flavor that is very similar to sour orange, try this concoction that I developed for Authentic Mexican: Mix 3/4 cup fresh grapefruit juice with 6 tablespoons fresh lime juice and 1/2 teaspoon finely minced orange zest (colored part only), let stand 2 to 3 hours, then strain to remove the zest. This will make 1 cup, which should be used within 24 hours."

    3 Replies
    1. re: alkapal

      As a simpler alternative, I've also seen it suggested mixing regular orange juice and lime juice 50/50.

      1. re: alkapal

        alkapal: When I bought it I guess I didn't look at the ingredients list - I did the other night when I posted and I thought to myself "this doesn't sound so great to me....why the heck did I buy it"!

        Thanks for the input re Rick Bayless' substitution suggestion... The idea of mixing grapefruit juice with more lime and especially orange zest, steeping and straining sounds like a very good alternative.

        1. re: RWCFoodie

          you are most welcome. the bayless substitute sounds like a good one. pretty tart!

      2. I'm not really a fan of the Goya marinade. I've used it in the past, but I much prefer the results I get by using a combination of vinegar and orange juice, instead. As mentioned, there are several other alternatives.

        1. Normally I avoid their products, but keep an eye out for El Mexicano brand Naranja Agria - 100% seville orange juice plus preservatives and xanthum gum. UPC code is 0-42743-23156-3.

          It is Not the same as their other marinades/mojos.

          I think that I've seen seville oranges at Whole Foods and Bristol Farms. In the OP's area, how about Andronicos or Berkeley Bowl?

          Otherwise the above alternatives look good.

          6 Replies
          1. re: DiveFan

            DiveFan: Thanks, I'll cruise around tomorrow and see if I can find the El Mexicano brand. I kind of think it's the wrong time of the year for fresh seville oranges but if I have time I'll cruise by WF in Redwood City and/or Andronico's in Palo Alto....

            If I can't find it, I'll go with the Bayless sub above and thanks to all of you for your suggestions! I'll report back which one I end up with and how the dish turns out. What could be bad about a pork butt marinated in citrus, garlic, oregano, etc. and grilled indirect low and slow in my trusty new Weber Performer (the one that is a traditional 22-1/2" charcoal grill with a wonderful propane starter - I love it!!!)

            1. re: RWCFoodie

              I couldn't find the El Mexicano Naranja Agria so went with the Bayless substitute: it was delicious! Having said that, I've never tasted it with the sour orange juice in the marinade so it's hard to tell what the difference would have been...

              Everyone really enjoyed the pork and the side dishes: I ended up doing a summer squash saute based on Mexican calabacitas preps: the key was I found the most beautiful, fresh, tiny yellow and green patty pans, yellow and green zucchini, and some cute little round guys at my local Farmer's Market yesterday morning - they couldn't have been fresher unless I picked them in my own yard (if I had one...) Plus the first Early Girls of the season.

              I also did yellow and white corn on the cob lolly pops with a chipotle cilantro butter - these got grilled also. What made them a good choice was they were easy to eat (and I didn't have 6 pairs of corn picks and didn't want to have to run out and buy them) - these use short bamboo shewers.

              Thanks again to everyone who took the time to answer my inquiry re the Goya product... and the suggestions for substitutes. The pork roast and it's Cuban inspired marinade will stay in my recipe file!

              If anyone is interested, the recipe came from "Bruce Aidells's Complete Book of Pork", page 172-173 "Grill-Roasted Pork Shoulder Cuban Style".

              1. re: RWCFoodie

                rwc, thanks so much for the report! congrats on a great dinner, too.

                1. re: alkapal

                  alkapal: thanks again for the Bayless sub reco - the addition of the orange zest really gave it a zing!

                  1. re: RWCFoodie

                    rwc, i'm going to try and start zesting all my citrus to use it more as an ingredient. the aromatic essential oils in the zest are so flavorful. i grew up in florida, and just peeling an orange (and getting the spray of orange oil) makes me feel good.

                    1. re: alkapal

                      Ah, aroma therapy + cooking = good feeling!

          2. Hi RWC,

            I see it's a little late to chime in, but fyi there are a lot of sour orange trees in the SF bay area. Most of them are mutts--not necessarily pure Seville perfect for marmalade--but they're just what you're looking for. And mostly people who have the trees leave the fruit to rot, so you can pick them with impunity. Just tonight we enjoyed a pernil marinated with sour oranges I picked a block from my house in Berkeley. Let me know and I can score you some. Glad your substitution worked out. Cheers, heidipie

            1 Reply
            1. re: heidipie

              Thanks Heidi! Is there fruit on them now? Might be an idea to juice and freeze some... Talking about fruit trees that people ignore: in my area there are loads of loquat trees in full fruit right now (I love loquats) - no one seems to pick them - I keep trying to work up the courage to walk up and ring a door bell and ask if I can pick some! I just don't have the cojones to just pick them without asking but I also don't have the nerve to ring the door bells and ask! Note to self: grow a backbone....

            2. In Texas, El Mexicano naranja agria, using "sour orange juice from concentrate," is available from Terry's Supermarkets. The Goya brand, as described, is essentially the erzats version you can prepare by yourself. The best approximation is a combination of grapefruit and lime juices.