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Island Bites: Authentic Puerto Rican Sofrito Recipe

What is sofrito?

The name sofrito come from the spanish verb "sofreir", which means to lightly fry or saute.


Sofrito is a blend of aromatics, herbs and spices used as a base in Spanish and Latin american cuisine. The ingredients and preparation may vary according to the country, but the blend is always sauteed in oil or lard.

In Puerto Rican cuisine, sofrito is the base for most stews, soups and rice dishes. Authentic Puerto Rican sofrito is a blend of onions, cubanelle peppers, ajicitos, garlic and recao.

Ajicitos/Aji dulce

Ajicitos/Aji dulce

Ajicito or ají dulce is a sweet pepper, a variety of capsicum chinense. It is a small green pepper that turns yellow and then red when it ripens. It is similar in shape and size to a habanero pepper, but without the heat. The ají dulce is widely used in South American and Caribbean cuisines.



Culantro or recao is a tropical herb, similar in taste to cilantro, only stronger. Also known as long coriander, cilantro ancho and chado beni, it is used in seasoning and marinades. It is a very popular herb in the Caribbean, but it is also used in Southeast Asian cuisines.

Cubanelle peppers

Cubanelle peppers

Cubanelle pepper is a sweet pepper, a variety of capsicum annuum. It has thin light green flesh, which turns red when it ripens. It is mostly used in the Caribbean, specially in Cuba, Dominican Republic and Puerto Rico.

Authentic Puerto Rican Sofrito

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  • 1 large spanish or yellow onion, peeled
  • 3 cubanelle pepper, seeded
  • 15 to 20 garlic cloves, peeled
  • 10 to 15 culantro leaves
  • 10 to 15 ajicitos, seeded
  • 1/4 cup oil
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  • You could freeze sofrito in ice cube trays. Then, transfer the sofrito cubes to a ziplock freezer bag. It will last up to 6 months.
  • Do not add water to sofrito.


  1. Coarsely chop onion and peppers. Add vegetables into a food processor or blender and pulse until finely chopped.
  2. Mix in the oil. Transfer to an airtight container. Store in the fridge up to 2 weeks.

© 2015 IslandBites


IslandBites (author) from Puerto Rico on August 04, 2015:


Larry Rankin from Oklahoma on August 04, 2015:

Looks delicious.

IslandBites (author) from Puerto Rico on May 05, 2015:

Oh, the smell! Yum! LOL Thanks!

Carlo Giovannetti from Puerto Rico on May 05, 2015:

Great recipe and great product. Love your take on it and the smell of it! ;-)

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