Key Art of "Summer of Rockets" featuring Keeley Hawes and Toby Stephens.

Summer of Rockets

Start watching


Start watching

SoCal Update

Start watching
millionaire still

KCET Must See Movies

Start watching

Independent Lens

Start watching

Tending Nature

Start watching
Southland Sessions

Southland Sessions

Start watching

Earth Focus

Start watching
City Rising

City Rising

Start watching
Lost LA

Lost LA

Start watching
Your donation supports our high-quality, inspiring and commercial-free programming.
Support Icon
Learn about the many ways to support KCET.
Support Icon
Contact our Leadership, Advancement, Membership and Special Events teams.

To Love and Serve Mole Poblano

Support Provided By

I was first introduced to mole when I was very little. It was my grandfather’s birthday and the house was full of people all coming to enjoy my grandmother’s cooking. I remember seeing my grandmother gather various ingredients in the days leading up to the party: plump tomatoes and colorful dried chili peppers, almonds, spices, and even chocolate. To think all those things resulted in a brown-ish paste — well, I was confused.

But my first taste was like nothing I’d ever had — I loved it instantly. It was sweet, smoky and just a tad spicy. My family had been training me to eat chili ever since I was two years old, so a little spice was nothing, even to my young palate. After that day, I always looked forward to my grandpa’s birthday dinner.

The word mole simply means a mixture of things. For instance, the word guacamole broken into two is guac for aguacate (or avocado) and mole, meaning a mixture of ingredients. Many people are intimidated by the sound and look of mole, equating it to simply being a chocolate sauce; but mole is so much more. Mole is mostly known to come from Oaxaca and Puebla, but it is made all over Mexico. All mole consists of the same basic ingredients: dried chili peppers, nuts, seeds, spices and a binder.

This recipe is a simple version my grandmother made. The beauty of mole is you can get as creative as you feel and you really can’t go wrong. Mole making isn’t an exact science; this recipe is more of a guideline and we advise using your own senses to adjust accordingly to your own taste. Give it a try and start your own mole tradition.

Mole Recipe (1)
Photo: Courtesy of Antonio Diaz

Mole Poblano
Serves 10


2 tablespoons vegetable oil
1 cup chicken stock
10 ancho chiles
10 guajillo chiles 
2 tomatillos
½ onion
3 garlic cloves
½ tablespoon of cinnamon 
2 tomatoes
½ tablespoon of sesame seeds
1 slice of fried bread
½ tablet of chocolate (Ibarra brand, preferably)
Handful of almonds (my grandmother’s measurement)


1. Sauté chiles whole in 2 tablespoons vegetable oil, then soak in water to soften, about 15 minutes.                            

2. Once chile is soft, remove seeds and stems. Sauté remaining ingredients (except chocolate) one by one and set aside. 

3. If using a molcajete, grind items one at a time; or if using blender, blend all items at once, using the water used to soak chiles.

4. Heat the mole paste in a saucepan with oil. Add chicken stock. Pour mole over chicken.

Mole Recipe (2)
Photo: Courtesy of Antonio Diaz

Support Provided By
Read More
An asymmetrical ceramic dish holds a small, bite-sized piece of white steamed fish sitting in a thin, broth-y sauce. The fish is topped with a fine green powder. Additionally, someone is pouring more of the sauce from a small ceramic container.

Michelin Star Chef Finds Confidence in the Flavors of His Taiwanese Upbringing

Los Angeles' Kato Restaurant, where the dishes are edible mnemonic devices for Asian Americans, is an homage to Chef Jon Yao's Taiwanese heritage.
A table is prepared with various Lao dishes. The plate in the foreground is a papaya salad with Lao sausage and chicken. Behind it is a bowl of sukiyaki. To the left of the papaya salad is sticky rice nestled in a small woven basket and to the right is a plate of sakoo yut sai or tapioca dumplings. A bottle of beer also sits on the table.

Lao Street Food Pop-Up Is an Homage to a Family Legacy

Over forty years after his mother ran a sukiyaki shop at a refugee camp, Thip Soulisak prepares the same sukiyaki recipe and other family dishes with his Lao street food and noodle shop pop-up PhoLaoSouphy.

A Love Letter to Pirozhki

Pirozhki is best known for its sweet or savory filling, egg-washed dome and pillowy dough. But pirozhki is more than that. It's a labor of love that transcends time.