This recipe is derived from one developed by Chef Valerie Frei, who was then at El Destilado in Oaxaca. Frei’s original recipe for this smooth and umami-rich vegan mole uses chilhuacle negro, but here I subsitute New Mexico chile nativo, along with pine nuts, to create a sauce with a uniquely New Mexican character. I love this sauce on a simple plate of rice, beans, and roasted winter squash and root vegetables, served with tortillas. 

Miso Mushroom Mole


  • 1 pound crimini or button mushrooms chopped
  • 1 medium onion chopped
  • 4 garlic cloves chopped
  • 5 pods chile nativo or chilhuacle negro
  • 1/4 cup pine nuts omit if using chilhuacle negro
  • 3 medium-sized red potatoes cubed
  • Avocado oil
  • 2 1/2 cups low-sodium vegetable stock
  • 1 tablespoon miso paste


  • Over medium-high heat, sauté mushrooms in 2 tablespoons of avocado oil. Stir frequently at first, then occasionally as the natural liquid of the mushrooms cooks down. Sauté until they begin to caramelize, about 15 minutes, then add garlic and onion and 1 more tablespoon of oil. Sauté for 5 more minutes, adding the pine nuts for the final minute.
  • Add potatoes, chile pods, and stock. Bring to a boil, then simmer for 30 minutes, or until the potatoes are soft.
  • Turn off heat and add the miso paste. Blend with an immersion blender, or transfer to a blender. Mix until smooth.
  • Add salt, to taste.

Editor at Edible New Mexico and The Bite | + other stories

Willy Carleton is a co-editor of edible New Mexico and The Bite. He is the author of Fruit, Fiber, and Fire: A History of Modern Agriculture in New Mexico, which explores the cultural and environmental history of apples, cotton, and chiles in our region.