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Mole negro enmoladas on a talavera plate and a bright orange tablecloth with flowers behind it.
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Oaxacan Mole Negro Cauliflower Enmoladas

Oaxaca’s crown jewel is without a doubt Mole Negro. A dark smoky, slightly bitter, and incredibly rich sauce is paired with cauliflower in the vegan version.
Course Main Course
Cuisine Mexican
Keyword mole negro, oaxaca, traditional
Prep Time 15 minutes
Cook Time 1 hour
Total Time 1 hour 15 minutes
Servings 12 servings
Author Dora S.


  • 2 cups Extra virgin coconut oil
  • 1 cup Chile chilhuacle negro dried
  • 1 cup Chile chilhuacle rojo
  • 1 cup Chile Mulato
  • 1 cup Chile Pasilla
  • ¼ cup Sesame seeds
  • ¼ cup Peanuts raw
  • ¼ cup Pecans raw
  • ½ cup Hazelnuts raw
  • ¼ cup Pepitas pumpkin seeds, raw
  • 2 Corn tortillas
  • 3 Slices whole wheat bread
  • 2 Large red onions
  • 4 Garlic cloves peeled
  • 2 Ripe plantains peeled
  • ¼ cup Goji berries
  • 8 Plum tomatoes cut into dice
  • 10 Tomatillos husks removed, cut into dice
  • 1 tsp. Salt
  • 1 tsp. Ground nutmeg
  • 1 tsp. Ground cinnamon
  • 1 tsp. Dried oregano
  • 1 tsp.Dried thyme
  • 1 tsp. Ground ginger
  • 1 tsp. Ground cumin
  • 1 tsp. Ground turmeric
  • 5 Whole cloves
  • 5 Whole allspice
  • ¼ cup Coconut sugar
  • 1 cup Dark chocolate dairy-free
  • 4 Avocado leaves toasted
  • 5 cups Vegetable broth

To Serve:

  • 10 corn tortillas
  • 1 Large head of cauliflower
  • ¼ cup Coconut oil extra virgin
  • Sea salt
  • 1 tsp. Smoked Paprika
  • 1 tsp. Ground cumin

Pickled Red Onions:

  • 1 Large red onin
  • 2 Limes juiced
  • 2 tbsp. water
  • 1 tsp. Oregano


  • 1 cup Sunflower seeds hulled, raw
  • 1 ½ cups Water
  • 1 tsp. Sea salt
  • 1 Lime juiced
  • 1 tsp. Nutritional yeast


To make the crema:

  • Fill a large glass container with water and add the sunflower seeds. Let them soak overnight in the refrigerator. (Preferably one day before you make the mole.)
  • Drain the seeds.
  • Place the sunflower seeds, water, salt, lime juice, and nutritional yeast in the blender and process until smooth.
  • You can adjust the lime and salt to taste or even add some other spice like jalapeño, ginger, turmeric or nutmeg.

To Make the Mole:

  • Set a large sauté pan to medium-high heat add all the chiles (stems and seeds removed), and toast lightly on both sides. Transfer to a bowl with cold water and set aside for later.
  • In a large pot or wok, add 1 cup of coconut oil and heat to medium heat. Add sesame seeds, peanuts, nuts, hazelnuts, pumpkin seeds, bread, tortilla, onion, garlic, plantain slices, and goji berries. Add them one at a time until they are a deep golden brown, then remove them from the pan, set them aside, and add the next ingredient.
  • Add the diced tomatoes and tomatillos to the pot, season them with salt, nutmeg, cinnamon, oregano, thyme, ground ginger, cumin, clove, turmeric, and allspice, cook until golden brown. Remove from pan and set aside.
  • Place all the fried ingredients plus the drained dried chiles in the blender, and process until smooth. Strain this mixture.
  • Heat a large pot to medium heat and add the remaining 1 cup of coconut oil, fry the sauce for 5 minutes and add the 5 cups of vegetable broth.
  • Add the coconut sugar, chocolate, and avocado leaves (previously toasted). Simmer for 45 min at medium heat, stirring constantly to avoid sticking.
  • While de mole is simmering, cut the cauliflower in small florets and sauté it with a little bit of coconut oil. Seasons with cumin, paprika, and salt to taste. Cover and let it pan steam for about 10 minutes or until tender. Add a little bit of water to the pan if necessary.
  • Prepare the crema (instructions above) and marinate the red onion with the lime juice, water, and oregano.
  • Fill the tortillas (heat them up for a couple of seconds in the microwave so they are easy to fold), and fold them in half.
  • Pour the finished mole
    sauce on top of the folded tortillas and drizzle some crema, and top with
    pickled red onions.


Chef’s Notes:
This recipe makes mole sauce for about 12 people. I recommend you don't try to half this recipe. You can simply freeze the leftover sauce for later use.
If you can’t find hazelnuts you can use almonds
You can also use cranberries instead of goji berries
If you are gluten-free, you can use gluten-free bread instead.
You can also serve your cauliflower enmoladas with this almond crema.