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How to Make Puerto Rican Sofrito

Updated on February 6, 2015
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Ms.Treadwell is a licensed attorney and the author of "How Do Hurricane Katrina's Winds Blow: Racism in 21st Century New Orleans."

My Homemade Sofrito - Wish you could smell the goodness!

Source

If you're wondering how Puerto Rican food has such a unique flavor, it's all about the sofrito. Three generations before me were born in Puerto Rico; I am the first generation who was not born on that beautiful Caribbean island. Those who are born into the culture (Boricuas) know that no Puerto Rican recipe is complete without the starting base known as “sofrito.” It is an interesting word originating from the Italian word “sofrito,” a blend of seasonings, but the Italian version used some different ingredients. Italians immigrated to Puerto Rico during Spanish Colonial times.

What is sofrito?

The sofrito is used to season rice, beans, soups, chicken, beef, and pork – the staples of this cultural food. The recipe for sofrito is handed down by each generation – and not in writing; it is taught in the kitchen. And, in accordance with tradition, most Puerto Rican girls learn this at a young age with their mothers or grandmothers. I first learned how to make sofrito from my grandmother, since I spent so much of my youth with her; and one of the things we loved to do together was cook.

No Cooking

Prep time: 15 min
Ready in: 15 min
Yields: Makes 6 cups

Ingredients

  • 1 green bell pepper
  • 1 red bell pepper
  • 1 onion (white or yellow)
  • 1/2 head garlic
  • 1/2 bunch cilantro
  • 1 tbsp salt
  • 1 tbsp pepper
  • 1 tbsp oregano
  • 1 cup water
  • capers (optional), to personal taste

Instructions

  1. Thoroughly, wash the peppers and cilantro.
  2. Peel off the skins from the onion and garlic.
  3. Remove stems and seed centers of peppers
  4. Chop peppers, onions, cilantro, and garlic and place into a blender. Then add salt, pepper, oregano, and the optional capers.
  5. Add water into blender.
  6. Liquify the ingredients.
  7. Pour into storage containers or ice cube trays for easy use.

Sofrito

Nutrition Facts
Serving size: 1 cup
Calories 14
Calories from Fat0
% Daily Value *
Fat 0 g
Saturated fat 0 g
Unsaturated fat 0 g
Carbohydrates 3 g1%
Sugar 2 g
Protein 0 g
Sodium 3 mg
* The Percent Daily Values are based on a 2,000 calorie diet, so your values may change depending on your calorie needs. The values here may not be 100% accurate because the recipes have not been professionally evaluated nor have they been evaluated by the U.S. FDA.

Tips on Using Sofrito

  • Use approximately 2 or 3 cubes (if previously stored in ice cube trays) of the sofrito for rice or soup.
  • If you're roasting a “pernil” (pork shoulder) or chicken, cut some small slits into the meat with a knife. Then generously pour the sofrito over the meat and work it in with your hands.
  • Try frying the sofrito a little with a few tablespoons of olive oil in a saute' pan until the aromas get going before using the sofrito in your recipe. The frying releases the oils in the ingredients (especially the garlic) so you will get a bolder flavor out of the sofrito.
  • Refrigerate or freeze unused sofrito until next time!


Note: If you're using ice cube trays for storing and freezing sofrito, you'll want to keep those trays separate from the ones you use to make ice. The sofrito flavor is strong enough to stay in the tray after washing.


My 97-year old granny, "Fin."

Source

Enjoy Puerto Rican Food

I grew up on arroz con gandules (rice with pigeon peas), pasteles, yellow rice, pink and white beans, and “pernil” (roast pork). There is nothing like Puerto Rican food; and it is the “sofrito” that gives the dishes their fantastic aroma and taste. Trust me; this is so much better than the store-bought sofrito, which contains tomato sauce and lots of sodium. There’s no comparison to freshly-made sofrito.

If you’re looking to make great Puerto Rican food, there is a wonderful website called elboricua.com. There you can find tons of recipes, cultural information, and other fun Puerto Rican facts.

One thing is true, traditional Puerto Rican foods are more than just a great meal: “traditional foods remind us of who we are, what we like, and those we love.” Puerto Rican meals are always a celebration (elboricua.com).

My grandmother’s recipe became my mom’s recipe and, finally, mine. I have already shared it with my children as well; and now, I’m sharing this special recipe with all of you. Hope you enjoy this Latin flavor!

Rate this recipe

5 stars from 1 rating of Puerto Rican Sofrito

By Liza Lugo, J.D.

(c) 2012, Revised 2014. All Rights Reserved.

Ms. Lugo retains exclusive copyright and publishing rights to all of her articles and photos by her located on Hub Pages. Portions of articles or entire content of any of these articles may not be used without the author's express written consent. Persons plagiarizing or using content without authorization may be subject to legal action.

Permission requests may be submitted to liza@lizalugojd.com



© 2012 Liza Treadwell Esq aka Liza Lugo JD

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    • profile image

      kelleyward 4 years ago

      Never heard of it but it sounds delicious. Thanks for sharing. Take care, Kelley

    • billybuc profile image

      Bill Holland 4 years ago from Olympia, WA

      I hate to admit this publicly but I have never had sofrito...in fact, I had never heard of it until this hub. You may make a convert out of me since I like to try new recipes. Thanks for the suggestion!

    • healingsword profile image

      Ann Wehrman 4 years ago from California

      Nicely written Hub, LAWDOCTORLEE! I love that you explain how cooking and enjoying food are more than just eating. Well cited, too :-). I grew up learning to cook in the kitchen with my grandmother, and remembered the close, wonderful feeling when I read your Hub!

    • lawdoctorlee profile image
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      Liza Treadwell Esq aka Liza Lugo JD 4 years ago from New York, NY

      kelleyward, thanks for taking the time to read this hub and for your comments. Try sofrito for seasoning chicken...you'll love it!

    • lawdoctorlee profile image
      Author

      Liza Treadwell Esq aka Liza Lugo JD 4 years ago from New York, NY

      billybuc, thank you for taking the time to read this hub and for your comments. Sofrito is a great way to change white rice...add the sofrito and a little tomato sauce and you will have an amazing Spanish yellow rice.

    • lawdoctorlee profile image
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      Liza Treadwell Esq aka Liza Lugo JD 4 years ago from New York, NY

      healingsword, thank you for taking the time to read this hub and for your comments. I appreciate your compliments.

    • AliciaC profile image

      Linda Crampton 4 years ago from British Columbia, Canada

      I've never tried sofrito, but it sounds very tasty! Thank you for sharing your recipe, lawdoctorlee. I'm looking forward to adding it to beans.

    • lawdoctorlee profile image
      Author

      Liza Treadwell Esq aka Liza Lugo JD 4 years ago from New York, NY

      AliciaC, thank you for taking the time to read this hub and for your comments. Sofrito is indeed VERY tasty. Adding it to beans is a fantastic way to use sofrito. Try also adding a little tomato sauce and water to the beans; and you'll love it!

    • GetitScene profile image

      Dale Anderson 4 years ago from The High Seas

      I really enjoy sofrito so this sounds delicious to me

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