Puerto Rico

Puerto Rican Sofrito

August 28, 2016

Puerto Rican Sofrito is something you badly need if you want to explore the cuisine of this beautiful Caribbean country. This aromatic flavoring made with cilantro, bell peppers, garlic, and onion is added everywhere!

If you have never tried Puerto Rican Sofrito, you don't know what you are missing. This combination of peppers, cilantro, garlic, and onion can be used as a base in many Caribbean dishes! | cookingtheglobe.com

I didn’t know too much about Puerto Rico, let alone the cuisine of this country, until recently. All my knowledge was limited to the sports world, where I saw the national Puerto Rico basketball team doing some awesome things few years ago. Basketball is our second religion (I’m from Lithuania), so we are really crazy about it. Apart from that Puerto Rico was just a country with an exotic name to me. Oh, I did know that it’s in the Caribbean. However, all this changed when I bought an old book called “Puerto Rican Cuisine in America” by Oswald Rivera. It wasn’t a coincidence, I wasΒ particularly looking for the best book on Puerto Rican cuisine (because I love exploring new cuisines all the time) and judging by the reviews this one was the best.

If you have never tried Puerto Rican Sofrito, you don't know what you are missing. This combination of peppers, cilantro, garlic, and onion can be used as a base in many Caribbean dishes! | cookingtheglobe.com

The book is really awesome. I’ve already made like five recipes from it, and all of them were great. For a big part of Puerto Rican recipes you will need one magical thing – Sofrito. It’s like a foundation, a flavoring that’s added to many dishes coming from this Caribbean country. Oswald Rivera, in his book, says that the main difference between Puerto Rican and American cuisines is three things: sofrito, adobo, and achiote. Adobo is a seasoning, achiote is for coloring, and sofrito, as I have already mentioned, is a flavoring. Let’s prepare it!

If you have never tried Puerto Rican Sofrito, you don't know what you are missing. This combination of peppers, cilantro, garlic, and onion can be used as a base in many Caribbean dishes! | cookingtheglobe.com

So, alright, sofrito is a base added to numerous Puerto Rican dishes, but what it consists of? Basically, it’s a mix of peppers, cilantro, garlic, onion, and vegetable oil. All the ingredients are processed in a blender until smooth and voila – you have a flavorful sauce, which you can add to various dishes.

Actually, the authentic ingredients are a little bit different. Puerto Rican sofrito usually includes culantro (also called recao) and no, it’s not another way to spell cilantro, it’s just a different herb. These two are cousins though, and their tastes are comparable. It’s impossible to find culantro in my country, but after a little research I found out that it’s perfectly fine to substitute it with accessible-everywhere cilantro. The authentic recipe also asks for Aji Dulce peppers, but I substituted them with a red bell pepper.

If you have never tried Puerto Rican Sofrito, you don't know what you are missing. This combination of peppers, cilantro, garlic, and onion can be used as a base in many Caribbean dishes! | cookingtheglobe.com

The end result is fantastic. Puerto Rican sofrito is a flavor bomb that you can add everywhere you want to. The combination of cilantro, bell peppers, garlic, and onion is so simple yet so good. You know what else I like about this sofrito? It can be frozen and kept in your freezer indefinitely! Just use an ice cube tray for the smaller portions and that’s it! If you have never tried Puerto Rican Sofrito, you don't know what you are missing. This combination of peppers, cilantro, garlic, and onion can be used as a base in many Caribbean dishes! | cookingtheglobe.com

5 from 4 votes
If you have never tried Puerto Rican Sofrito, you don't know what you are missing. This combination of peppers, cilantro, garlic, and onion can be used as a base in many Caribbean dishes! | cookingtheglobe.com
Print
Puerto Rican Sofrito
Prep Time
5 mins
Total Time
5 mins
 

Only 5 minutes with a blender and you have this aromatic Puerto Rican flavoring which can be added to various dishes of this Caribbean country!

Cuisine: Puerto Rican
Servings: 1 cup
Calories Per Serving: 250 kcal
Author: CookingTheGlobe
Ingredients
  • 8 stems cilantro , chopped
  • 1 medium green bell pepper , chopped
  • 3 cloves garlic , crushed
  • 1 medium onion , coarsely chopped
  • 1/4 pound (110g) red bell pepper , chopped
  • 1 tablespoon vegetable oil
Instructions
  1. Put all the ingredients (except the vegetable oil) to a blender and process until smooth. Add the vegetable oil while pureeing.

 

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18 Comments

  • Reply Marilyn August 31, 2016 at 12:23 pm

    I love the explanation that you gave about sofrito and the spices!! It’s so easy and looks delicious!

    • Reply Igor September 5, 2016 at 9:34 pm

      I am glad you liked it, Marilyn! πŸ™‚

  • Reply Sara | Belly Rumbles August 31, 2016 at 1:14 pm

    Such a flavour packed sofrito. Cooking cuisines from other cultures is such a wonderful way to learn, not only about their foods, but about the lifestyle.

    • Reply Igor September 5, 2016 at 9:38 pm

      True. I am learning so much every single day πŸ™‚

  • Reply Ali @ Home & Plate August 31, 2016 at 2:06 pm

    I bet this sofrito would be delicious on grilled meat. This sauce has all the ingredients necessary to pack a punch to so many dishes. Yum.

    • Reply Igor September 5, 2016 at 9:39 pm

      Great idea about the grilled meat. I am pretty sure it would be super delicious!

  • Reply Michele August 31, 2016 at 2:10 pm

    Ive always wondered what a sofrito really was. A few years ago on Top Chef once of the contestants used it all the time. it sounds like a great addition to my repertoire!

    • Reply Igor September 5, 2016 at 9:43 pm

      Yeah, the same here. I knew this word for a long time but only few weeks ago I learned what it really is!

  • Reply Platter Talk August 31, 2016 at 2:47 pm

    Waiting for adding this with my pulled pork! Delishious!

    • Reply Igor September 5, 2016 at 9:44 pm

      Nice idea! I am sure it will go great with pulled pork πŸ˜‰

  • Reply JPinPHX August 31, 2016 at 9:45 pm

    I make sofrito 4-5 times a year and freeze containers to use. I add achiote oil to mine (achiote seeds in vegetable oil, heated and then seperated) Gives an extra boost of taste and color.

    • Reply Igor September 5, 2016 at 9:46 pm

      Thanks for the suggestion! I will look for the seeds in my local supermarket πŸ™‚

  • Reply cakespy September 2, 2016 at 7:28 pm

    AWESOME!! My parents have a house in Puerto rico and I can attest to how common this sauce is – and how life changing. I have never thought to make my own!

    • Reply Igor September 5, 2016 at 9:47 pm

      Thanks for the comment! πŸ˜‰

  • Reply Pat C.Wilson September 19, 2016 at 2:43 pm

    i like the combination of all these ingredients. my kids don’t love vegetables,so i’ll try this out, hope they love it. I forward more posts from you, Igor. have a nice day.

    • Reply Igor September 27, 2016 at 7:35 am

      Hope your kids will love it, Pat!

  • Reply Cameo Rose January 17, 2017 at 10:31 pm

    I usually sub ginger when recipes call for garlic, because I am allergic to garlic. Not sure that would work in this situation though, what do you think?

    • Reply Igor January 20, 2017 at 1:05 pm

      I don’t see why it wouldn’t work πŸ˜‰

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