VIDEO FEATURE: Martin’s Comida Chingona

Authentic molé on a menu is a rarity. Only a handful of restaurants in Tucson offer molé and Martin’s Comida Chingona is one of them.

Owner Martin Fuentes opened in May 2001 with a simple menu that didn’t need freezers or deep fryers.

It was when a restaurant opened near by and Fuentes tried one of their burros, that he said, “I can make this.” Fuentes decided to step his game up and broaden his kitchen and menu to give the customers what they want – molé.

“As a kid, it was my favorite meal,” Fuentes said. “My mom would make it for me after baseball games. It would always be molé, white rice, beans, corn tortillas, and milk.”

So why is such a beloved dish so rare to find in restaurants here in Tucson? The process of preparing the broth and paste itself can take up to three days.

“It takes a lot of steps to make the paste and you have to make a good broth to make the paste work,” Fuentes said. “Just making the chicken broth, I’ll boil the chicken and let the broth sit over night and skim it so it has a nice, clear taste to it.”

Fuentes also offers a lighter vegetarian mole substitute.

Dishes featured in video:

  • Blue Corn Quesadilla With Spinach and Mole
  • Mole Chilaquiles with Eggs
  • Chicken Mole Tacos

For more information, check out Martin’s Comida Chingona on Facebook.

Shana Rose is a Tucson-based food writer and videographer.