Get This In Your Belly: Coloradito de Puerco at El Moctezuma #2

Categories: Mexi Meals
Dave Lieberman
I've been to El Moctezuma many times. I'm slowly working my way through its menu of Oaxacan specialities such as memelas; tlayudas; huge, banana-leaf-wrapped tamales; and of course plenty of moles.

Until we took a visiting Marylander for Oaxacan food last week, I had never had the coloradito de puerco, and it's as though a hole has been healed in my culinary soul.

Coloradito ("little red") is very similar to the famous mole negro, except that where mole negro gets its black color and back-of-the-throat slight bitterness from unsweetened Mexican chocolate, coloradito is all chiles and spices. It's got nearly as many ingredients, but the absence of the big hit of chocolate leaves warmth in the sauce.

Most coloradito (as with most mole negro) are served with chicken, but since we'd ordered the amarillo de pollo (also very good, like a Mexican curry), we decided to get pork in our coloradito. What came out was several pieces of pork ribs (chuletas), cooked separately until tender, then finished in the rich, adhesive sauce. The bones came out with no effort whatsoever, and the pork was so tender you could have eaten it with a spoon. The flavor of the meat complemented the sauce as though it were the missing last ingredient.

The best part? Change back from a $10 for a big portion, with plenty of white rice to soak up the rest of the sauce.

Location Info

El Moctezuma Restaurant

12531 Harbor Blvd., Garden Grove, CA

Category: Restaurant

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Christian Z.
Christian Z.

I've had the tlayuda and a couple other things but not this yet.

Not a pretty picture, Dave ... but that doesn't mean I won't be going back to this hidden gem of an eatery and ordering it the same way you did. It definitely sounds scrumptious.

On a side note, if my ghetto Spanglish serves me correct, "coloradito" does indeed refer to the exquisite red Oaxacan mole, however the term literally means "little colored one", which probably wouldn't fly to well in today's over-PC climate.

Joel S
Joel S

Looks like something my dog leaves in the yard after I switch her food.

Parley Baer
Parley Baer

The over-abundance of "the rich, adhesive" mole looks a bit weird, but the chuletas sound lovely. Since the bones are cut short, there's plenty of opportunity for deliciously flavorful pork marrow to seep into the cooking sauce and then mix with the mole.

"The ... meat complemented the sauce as though it were the missing last ingredient." Nice.

Dave Lieberman
Dave Lieberman

Colorado, encarnado and rojo all mean the same thing... which one you use for "red" depends on how old you are, where you learned Spanish, and how posh you're trying to be. :)

Ahhh.... just looked it up, you're correcto! Didn't know that. I also didn't know it can also mean "risqué" in Mexico. Good to know. ;)

Gloria Groop
Gloria Groop

Over at the Weakly, do you get a full hour for recess every day, or do they make you put your head down for a nap part of that time? We know you love recess, Gus, but still I'd double the nap time, in case you ever have to actually stand and deliver.

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