You might call sofrito the Latino version of mirepoix. It’s the base of many of the classic and timeless rice recipes, roasts, and stews.
While you might feel like THEY must all use the same sofrito recipes every Latin and Hispanic country has its own slightly different version of sofrito.
complexity, boldness, and passion.
What is sofrito?
Sofrito is a bold, passionate, and complex base of flavor used in classic recipes like arroz con gandules rice and pigeon peas , guisados or stews, and pernil.
Sofrito varies from country to country, but the base is typically the same, onions, either round or long (scallions), tomato, peppers, or both. The classic Puerto Rican sofrito is green, with round onions, green bell pepper, green aji dulce, garlic, and culantro or cilantro.
How can I make sofrito?
There is no wrong way to make sofrito and if there are ingredients you can’t find, like culantro, but have cilantro, then swap the culantro in the recipe for cilantro.
What is the difference between culantro and cilantro?
For the longest time, I had no idea culantro existed. Colombians rarely cook with it, cilantro however, we use without discretion. The beauty of diversity is the exposure to other cultures’ cuisines, and we were in love with the Puerto Rican restaurants in Brooklyn. My family first moved to Brooklyn from Cali, Colombia, and my aunt became an incredible fan of all things Puerto Rican. Including sofrito and lots, and lots of culantro.
Culantro has long and serrated leaves and thrives when cooked. On the other hand, cilantro is fragile and thrives in raw and cold dishes. Cilantro can become a little bitter when it is overly manipulated.
Help! Where can I find culantro?
Culantro can be found in ethnic supermarkets and is sometimes called coriander.
Do not fret, however, if you cannot find culantro, cilantro is a great alternative.
Quick Sofrito Recipe
- 1 whole Green Bell Pepper
- 6 whole Sweet Pepper
- 1 whole Garlic
- 1 whole Sweet Onion
- 1 bunch Culantro
- Step 1Ensure the processor is assembled, attach the blade, and lock it in place before adding all ingredients. In a large bowl, clean and rinse the culantro, and peppers. Prep the bell pepper and sweet peppers by removing the seeds and stems. Cut them into chunks and add them to the food processor.Cut the culantro and add them to the food processor.Peel and cut the onions into small chunks and place them in the food processor.
- Step 2You can either use fresh garlic cloves or frozen peeled garlic cloves. Add them to the food processor.
- Step 3Screw the lid onto the processor and pulse until the mix is smooth, only slightly chunky. Voila, you have sofrito.