How to “Molcajetear”

When I first arrived into San Jose a couple of years ago – I had both the misfortune and fortune of staying at an all-inclusive resort for 2 weeks. The resort was excellent however we wanted something more authentic.

As a result of that – we ventured outside of the hotel on a daily basis to experience both local culture and (of course) cuisine. We wanted to experience “real” Mexican food and decided to shy away from what both Americans and Canadians typically think of when having Mexican food. One of our favorites then and still today is the Molcajete. The recipe below will give you insight into how to enjoy this traditional dish in the comfort of your home! Enjoy!

Traditional Molcajete Mixto Recipe

The molcajete was used by pre-Hispanic Mesoamerican cultures, including the Aztec and Maya, stretching back several thousand years. Traditionally carved out of a single block of vesicular basalt, molcajetes are typically round in shape and supported by three short legs.

“This mixed grill of carne asada, nopales, chicken, shrimp, jalapenos, and chorizo sausage is served in a heated molcajete with queso fresco, salsa, avocado and lime for a delicious Mexican feast.”


  • 1/2 pound thinly sliced carne asada (beef steak)
  • 1/2 pound boneless chicken breast
  • 5 large, shelled shrimp
  • 4 1/2 ounces chorizo (Mexican sausage)
  • 2 nopales (cactus leaves) or zucchini and yellow squash
  • 2 jalapeno peppers
  • 1/4 bunch cilantro
  • 2 green onions
  • 1 large tomato
  • 1/2 teaspoon pepper
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt
  • 1 lime, quartered
  • 1 avocado
  • 1/4 pound queso fresco (Mexican cheese)
  • 1 (16 ounce) jar HERDEZ(R) Salsa Verde
  • 1 (8 ounce) package small tortillas
  • Stone molcajete (mortar and pestle)

How to Make it

  1. Using oven mitts, heat the molcajete over the grill or stove.*
  2. Grill carne asada for five minutes.
  3. Add and grill chicken, nopales on one side for five minutes, turn over. Also, add jalapenos turning every two minutes to soften.
  4. Sprinkle salt and pepper over meats. Add and grill chorizo and shrimp. Add green onions and rotate to cook on all sides, about two minutes.
  5. While meat cooks, slice the tomatoes, avocado and cheese into 1/2 inch wedges.
  6. Using oven mitts, pour half of the salsa into the heated molcajete.
  7. Remove the meats and slice in long, thin strips.
  8. Place the beef, chicken, shrimp, nopales, and cheese around the inside edge of the bowl. Add the chorizo to the center of the bowl. Add the tomatoes, green onions, avocados and jalapenos around the chorizo. Pour remaining salsa over ingredients.
  9. Place the cilantro over the nopales. Place limes on top, to be squeezed when served.
  10. Use small tortillas to serve.


Robert Preece


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