To submit requests for assistance, or provide feedback regarding accessibility, please contact


Tacos al Pastor | Achiote-Marinated Pork Tacos

Gabriela Cámara

Lesson time 23:02 min

Tacos al pastor are the signature street food of Mexico City. Gabriela teaches you how to prepare an at-home version, which includes how to make an adobo rub, marinate the meat, cook pineapple, and assemble (and eat) the tacos.

Gabriela Cámara
Teaches Mexican Cooking
Celebrated chef Gabriela Cámara shares her approach to making Mexican food that brings people together: simple ingredients, exceptional care.
Get Started


[MUSIC PLAYING] - I am going to teach you how to make al pastor. Al pastor is a marinade that we usually, in Mexico, use with pork meat, but it has now become so popular. It's a very Mexico City thing. And it's basically a rub that starts off with chiles, and I have these chiles here. We have chili ancho, chili pasilla, chili guajillo, chili de arbol, chili cascabel. I'm going to devein these, so we destem them and take the seeds out. This is going to avoid the sauce from being extra spicy. It's going to have its flavor, but it's not going to be as spicy. Isn't this lovely? This is a rattle chili. It's called cascabel, which is a rattle, because it rattles. I would not recommend that you give it to your baby, but it is a really nice rattle. But your hands will be very, very, very dangerously spicy if you touch this. The name comes from how they look, right? Pasilla is like a raisin. Anyway, so I am going to swap this for a set of chiles that have already been destemmed, and I'm going to put them in this camal that has already been heated, and I'm going to toast them for a little bit as a base for our al pastor sauce. And I'm just going to leave it a little bit over the camal. The toasting of the chiles allows for them not to be not to be rubbery, so it's going to be easier to grind them. But I just want them-- oh, it's so nice. The aromas coming out of the chiles are delicious. And make sure that you have an exhaust. I am using a camal. If you don't have a camal, you can use a regular pan. I'm going to liberate the aromas and you want to make them less rubbery. The ancho actually can take more, so I'm going to leave that one until the end. Then we're going to open our blender. Here we go. OK. We're going to put all our chiles. I want to put the whole tomato. I'm not even going to bother taking out the core. These are all the ingredients. You have them on the list, and it's a very straightforward marinade that we use for everything. At the restaurant we use it. You can have it at your home and use it for different things that you're going to cook. It holds up so you can actually keep it in the fridge for a little bit. Just make sure that the garlic isn't in huge pieces. Then we're going to take out a few of the seeds. So al pastor is a recipe that is very typical of Mexico City. But it actually comes from the meat being roasted on a spit and a marinade that uses ingredients from the southeast of Mexico, from the lands of tropical Yucatan. And we use a paste of annatto achiote paste. I'm going to put a little bit of the orange juice in the achiote paste just so that it dissolves a little bit better. And I'm going to use a spoon for this. I'm just going to let it sit there for a little bit. So on the streets of Mexico, you find many iterations of al pastor. Al pastor is a very traditional dish of Mexico City. Actually, people have talked about al pastor as the dish of Mexico City food. And it's a street food. People g...

Savor every moment

A “star of modern Mexican cuisine,” Gabriela Cámara brings her local, sustainable twist to time-honored traditions. Now the chef of Contramar shares the richness of her culture through the art of food. Learn step-by-step recipes—for dishes of her own design, like tuna tostadas, and staples like tacos al pastor, salsa, and tortillas—and delight loved ones with your own delicious renditions of Mexican favorites.


Students give MasterClass an average rating of 4.7 out of 5 stars.

Gabriela Cámara was a perfect unknown for me until now. It was a pleasure to take her masterclass, her way to show how to cook mexican dishes was appealing and delightful.

It has helped me become more confident with my cooking.

I loved this! I learned so much, just about flavors, and what is authentic to Mexican culture, and that ut's also okay to experiment once you understand and appreciate the traditional base of the dish. I need a part 2!

It's inspiring to see someone enjoy cooking so much. Her spirit to live a quality life by cooking great meals for her love ones is contagious.



The workbook specifies (in the Chile section, pg 28) that the dried chiles should be soaked in hot water for 30 min prior to using in a recipe however neither the Al Pastor recipe in the workbook nor in the video is there any mention of soaking the chiles. Do we soak the dried chile or not for the Al Pastor recipe? Would love to hear what everyone has been doing!


I loved the instructions , but the recipes that comes w this is not good , why grams ? and how do you measure grams of orange juice ? the salsa verde crude is very good ,but I did a quarter of the amount of jalepeno and for me the perfect hotness


i am getting hungry after watching this for 30sec . i cant take this anymore . I am off to the kitchen . love you Gabriela

Elizabeth F.

I really enjoy Gabriela as an instructor!! She is so enthusiastic about her heritage and the cuisine. I learned Mexican cooking from a neighbor in San Diego, Micaela Parades. (I'm the only gringo I know that makes tamales.) Her father was Mexican and her mother, American, but grew up in a tiny bordertown just east of Tijuana. I LOVE authentic Mexican cooking---not the Cal-Mex or Tex-Mex you usually find in the US. Thank you for adding her to the list of MC instructors!!!


I tried this recipe but the quantities of the achiote paste (3g) and orange juice (12g) indicated in the recipe is probably wrong, perhaps a zero is missing in the recipe? 30g and 120g for achiote paste and orange juice seems more like the right amounts when I measured it out. 12 g of orange juice is only 1 tablespoon.

Amby B.

LOVED IT...trying to put together the ingrediants list so I can make this...can't wait

A fellow student

Wonderful lesson! A mouth watering experience. I can't wait to try to prepare homemade masa and cook tortillas from scratch. The salsas are doable, oh my goodness. The al pastor will require patience on my part with the overnight marinade but we will most certainly try to cook this meal at home and not run out to Highland Park for street tacos. :) Thank you Gabriela!

Ellen M.

Very clear presentation. Small suggestion on the recipes: would appreciate amounts listed as grams and ounces

Mechelle W.

The lesson looks easy to follow. Heading to Hispanic market to look for supplies. Bought the Masterclass unlimited for Quarantine home school and enrichment reasons. My daughter picked your class first to try. She is studying Spanish next year in College for a Major. Can't wait to try it.

Gladys P.

Love love love tacos! We usually have a DIY, buffet style taco dinner, though of course not as authentic as the Al Pastor. Hubby wants to recreate this during quarantine, it would be my first time to try with the pineapple and the salsa. Thank you for sharing this recipe!