Psst... We're working on the next generation of Chowhound! View >
HOME > Chowhound > Mexico >
Oct 29, 2011 04:53 PM

Oaxaca - mole paste storage?

I recently brought some mole paste home from Oaxaca ........ will not be using it all soon. Should I freeze it for longer term storage ( 2-3 months ) or is it OK in the fridge ? TIA

  1. Click to Upload a photo (10 MB limit)
  1. Either is fine, I've even left it on a pantry shelf with no ill me or the mole paste

    12 Replies
    1. re: DiningDiva

      Thank you ...... considering it sits out in the market I sort of thought it would be OK in the fridge for quite awhile.

      1. re: gordon wing

        It should be. I had some mole negro paste that got shoved to the back of the fridge where it languished for months, possibly even a year or more. When I reconsituted it , it was just fine.

        1. re: DiningDiva

          As far as reconstituting the mole, how do you do that? I've been looking online and not finding much info. thanks!

          1. re: katedoo

            Heat a little oil in a skillet. Add a tomato that has been pureed and cook it down over medium heat until most of the excess water has been cooked off. Add as much mole paste as you want and stir until the tomato has been combined into it. Then add water or stock and simmer for about 30 minutes or until the mole is hot and the consistency of heavy cream.

            You can skip the tomato step and simply go straight to sautéing the mole paste in some oil, but if you're using a jarred paste the tomato helps the flavor and texture.

            Once the mole has been reconstitued, taste and adjust the seasonings to suit your taste. It sometimes needs a bit of sugar the round out the flavors

            1. re: DiningDiva

              I bought two moles on Monday Jan 19 from a vendor in LA's Grand Central Market. She had about 7 or 8 jars priced at $7-8/lb. The minimum amount she would sell is 1/2 lb.
              I got the traditional poblano, and a lighter brownish-red colored one, not sure of its name or content. She let me taste both.
              I made a chicken mole with the poblano, and it came out very nice. Not strong on the chocolate flavor.
              Have to try the other one next.

              1. re: suvro

                The reddish/brown mole paste you have might be Coloradito, it's another favorite.

                There are thousands of versions of mole in Mexico. It seems that every community and family has their favorite(s) :-). Chocolate is not used in many of them. When it is used, it's function is to help round out the flavors. Remember, the Mexican chocolate that would be used in mole has some sugar, canela and possibly some nuts. All of those are regular mole ingredients, so by adding chocolate you're kind of rebalancing the sauce. A well made mole should not taste of any one ingredient but rather have it's own distinct flavor that is an amalgamation of all the ingredients.

                Good luck with your other mole paste. I bet it's going to be very tasty

                1. re: DiningDiva

                  Thanks for the information.

                  On our recent trip to Puerto Vallarta, we had a shrimp in mole sauce at Mariscos Cuetos Restaurant. While the sauce was a bit too sweet for my taste, this is what I am going to try and replicate - with shrimp.

                  1. re: suvro

                    That looks delicious!!

                    When I have left over mole I sometimes add some crema to mellow it out a bit and then serve it with shrimp.

                    Good luck, your shrimp dish looks great

                2. re: suvro

                  I just visited that market and took a picture of the moles on offer, chatting a bit with the vendor. I told her I had seen mole being made on YouTube. She said then I knew what hard work it was!

                  I wish I had asked for a taste, like you did. I had no idea about each of them, and should have paused longer to find out more. Now that I have the photo, I can look them up on-line.

                  But now I am back in Boston - I think I'll send my LA-based son over to buy me some and send it to me. Evidently the paste keeps well. It reminds me of Indian jarred curries with their gritty texture, on superficial view. I think however the Mexican ones are used more as a gravy that you pour over.

                  1. re: DianneFoster

                    In Mexico, mole is the star of the plate, not the protein. Servings are usually generous and any rice and/or protein added to round out the plate. The focus is on the sauce and there are women in each community who are well known for their moles and are often hired to prepare it for the celebrations and gatherings for other families.

                    Making mole isn't necessarily difficult, but it is very, very labor intensive and knowing how to handle each ingredient is a plus. It does take some patience :-)

                    You are right, it keeps well. I wouldn't, however, consider it more like gravy, it's not really a pour over thing. Because of the time and labor involved in preparing mole, it (the sauce) is the main attraction :-) When you've prepared the mole, or reconstituted it from scratch, you can sear and then finish cooking almost any meat in the sauce.

        2. re: DiningDiva

          I too often have bought mole paste and stored it on a shelf, only to use it rarely or never. But that's just me, amigos; I'm too lazy to make something of which I'm only marginally fond. But I've never had it go bad.

          1. re: Anonimo

            I, too, have had mole paste languish on the shelf but not because I don't like it ;-). More like out of sight, out of mind...until I move something and find the little bag.

            But I think one of the keys to getting a mole paste you'll actually use is asking for "una prueba". I've never yet had a marekt vendor refuse a request for a little taste. You can get a good idea about the overall flavor profile and whether you think you'll like it or not. Too bitter? Too sweet? Too spicy? keep on moving to the next vendor. Mole pastes are not all created equal