Is "sauce" a reasonable translation of "mojo"?

For example, "camarones al mojo de ajo" could be translated as "shrimp with sauce of garlic"

Is "gravy" a better translation of "mojo" than "sauce"?

In what contexts would you use substitute "sauce" versus "gravey" for "mojo"?

  • As shown in passing in the answers, "garlic sauce/mojo" is way more common/idiomatic than "sauce/mojo of garlic".
    – Pablo H
    Commented Aug 31, 2022 at 14:41
  • Isn't mojo de ajo redundant? Sounds like a phrase you'd see on an American restaurant to hint that mojo is a kind of garlic sauce, even if mojo itself isn't simply a synonym for "sauce".
    – chepner
    Commented Aug 31, 2022 at 16:56
  • We say garlic sauce in English, fyi.
    – Lambie
    Commented Sep 1, 2022 at 14:24

4 Answers 4


Mojo is the name of that type of sauce, it does not support translation. Would you translate Mayonnaise just as sauce? Or Bolognese, Caipirinha or Mojito? Exactly the same happens with Mojo. In fact, in Spain it's not said Salsa Mojo, but it's simply Mojo.

About the dish: "shrimp with garlic mojo" + (olive oil, vinegar, sea salt, and garlic sauce) if necessary.

  • mojo is a garlic sauce, quite simply, and it certainly can be translated.
    – Lambie
    Commented Sep 1, 2022 at 14:26
  • You wrote that "[mojo] does not support translation." Quizás no haya una sola palabra en inglés para "mojo". Sin embargo, no es razonable decir que "mojo" no se puede traducir. Aceptaría una oración completa como "una salsa blanca hecha de ajo, aceite y hierbas". Commented Sep 22, 2022 at 17:20
  • No hay una palabra traducida equivalente como Mayonnaise = mayonesa. Mojo = mojo.
    – Danielillo
    Commented Sep 22, 2022 at 17:32
  • In English, we are not allowed to use the phrase "If nessesary" at the end of a long sentence unless there is a verb apearing earlier in the same sentence. For example, we may write, "add onion if nessesary". The verb is "add". Commented Sep 22, 2022 at 17:37
  • @Danielillo "garlic sauce" is the name of a very common sauce used in American cuisine. The word "mojo" translates to "garlic sauce". I am certain that they are the same sauce except that Americans somtimes substitute butter in place of olive oil. Commented Sep 22, 2022 at 17:42

Most sauces are best left untranslated but mojo is clearly a type of sauce. Sauce covers a multitude of things and if I was going to translate it I would say garlic sauce. Having said that I suspect restaurants with ambitions would use the original Spanish as using the French, Italian or Spanish term may be seen as having higher prestige. mojo is definitely not a type of gravy, at least as we use the term in British English, as that which is a meat preparation originally made using the drippings from a joint of roasted meat.


A reasonable translation of "mojo" is "a citrusy sauce with garlic and herbs"


The translation of "mojo" is "garlic sauce"

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