Uliche (Mole Blanco)

April 29, 2022
4 Ratings
Photo by Ren Fuller
  • Prep time 15 minutes
  • Cook time 1 hour 20 minutes
  • Serves 6 to 8
Author Notes

I love this mole because it uses masa as the base, which adds not only flavor and richness but also thickens it to the consistency of a cream or pureed soup. Uliche is a pre-Hispanic dish and is very Tabasqueño. It was consumed by the indigenous people living along the Gulf Coast and is also an example of a white mole, which most Americans have never seen or tasted. It can be customized to your taste or to the season—you can make it vegetarian by swapping out the lard and chicken for olive oil and hearty winter squash or root vegetables. —Rick Martinez

Test Kitchen Notes

Recipe reprinted with permission from Mi Cocina: Recipes and Rapture from My Kitchen in Mexico (‎Clarkson Potter, May 2022).

This post contains products independently chosen (and loved) by our editors and writers. As an Amazon Associate, Food52 earns an affiliate commission on qualifying purchases of the products we link to. —The Editors

What You'll Need
Watch This Recipe
Uliche (Mole Blanco)
  • 1/2 cup (63 grams) pepitas (raw pumpkin seeds), plus more for serving
  • 4 tablespoons rendered lard, extra-virgin olive oil, or vegetable oil, divided
  • 8 fresh yellow chiles such as güeros/caribes, banana, or cubanelle (564 grams), halved and seeded, stems on, divided
  • 1 large white onion (400 grams), cut into thin wedges, divided
  • 1 medium green bell pepper (180 grams), stemmed, seeded, and quartered
  • 6 garlic cloves, lightly crushed
  • 3 3/4 teaspoons Morton kosher salt (26 grams), plus more to taste
  • 1 small bunch of fresh cilantro (50 grams)
  • 3 fresh oregano or marjoram sprigs
  • 1 tablespoon coriander seeds
  • 1 teaspoon black peppercorns
  • 1 whole chicken (1.5 kilograms), cut into 10 pieces
  • 2 large Roma tomatoes (178 grams), cored and quartered
  • 1.1 pounds (500 grams) fresh white fine-grind corn masa for tortillas
  1. Heat a large skillet over medium-high heat. Toast 1/2 cup of the pepitas, tossing, until fragrant and browned in spots, for 3 to 4 minutes. Transfer to a bowl.
  2. In a large heavy pot over medium, heat 2 tablespoons of the lard. Cook half of the chiles güeros, half of the onion, and all of the bell pepper, garlic, and salt, stirring, until tender but not taking on any color (if they start to brown, reduce the heat), for 8 to 10 minutes. Add the cilantro, oregano, coriander seeds, and peppercorns; cook, stirring constantly, until very fragrant, for about 2 minutes. Add the chicken and 12 cups water. Bring to a boil, reduce the heat to medium-low, and simmer, uncovered, until the chicken is cooked through and pulls easily away from the bone, for 40 to 50 minutes.
  3. Meanwhile, arrange a rack in the center of the oven and preheat to 425°F.
  4. On a large sheet pan, spread the tomatoes and remaining chiles güeros and onion. Drizzle with the remaining 2 tablespoons lard. Roast, tossing the chiles once or twice, until browned, for 15 to 25 minutes. Season with salt; let cool.
  5. Transfer the chicken to a plate. Strain the stock through a fine-mesh sieve set over a large bowl (discard the solids). Transfer 4 cups of the stock to a blender and add the masa and toasted pepitas. Puree until smooth.
  6. Wipe out the pot. Pour in the masa mixture and the remaining stock and bring to a simmer. Season with salt and add the chicken to warm through.
  7. Divide the stew among bowls. Top with the chiles, onion, tomatoes, and pepitas.

See what other Food52ers are saying.

  • Deb Phalen
    Deb Phalen
  • Squujee
Rick Martinez

Recipe by: Rick Martinez

Rick Martinez is currently living his dream—cooking, eating and enjoying the Mexican Pacific coast in Mazatlán. He is finishing his first cookbook, Under the Papaya Tree, food from the seven regions of Mexico and loved traveling the country so much, he decided to buy a house on the beach. He is a regular contributor to Bon Appétit, New York Times and hosts live, weekly cooking classes for Food Network Kitchens. Earlier this year, he was nominated for a James Beard Award for “How to win the Cookie Swap” in Bon Appétit’s holiday issue.

2 Reviews

Deb P. November 28, 2022
I love the Mi Cocina cookbook - everything we have made has just been amazing - but this is one of the worst things I have ever eaten. Flavorless, unappetizing to look at - and 1.1 lbs of masa? Turned into a paste!
Squujee January 9, 2023
When I made this it was a total paste, too, until I realized I forgot to complete the final step. I had only added the 4 cups of stock to the masa and did not empty the remaining stock before the simmer. I fixed it after a very strange (and pasty) first bowl. After adding the tensing stock, I ended up with a soup that was very delicious and, I felt, flavorful. You have to use 500grams of fresh masa too, not masa de harina. When the masa is wet, it’ll weigh more and add less total flour to the sauce.