Sofrito originated in Spain, and the word refers to a technique where you fry aromatics to release flavor compounds. The sauce took on different forms as the Spanish colonized the Caribbean, and islanders recreated sofrito with available ingredients. In Puerto Rico, sofrito is called recaito, after recao, an herb that grows wild throughout the island and gives the puree its distinctive bright green color.
Now, while ají dulce is harder to come by unless you live in or near an area with a high concetration of Puerto Ricans/Caribbeans, culantro/recao can still be found in Asian grocery stores as, ‘spiny coriander’ or ‘long-leaf coriander’! However, substituting it for extra cilantro works just fine! ☺️
This will give you a really good sofrito so that you can still make those special dishes we all love, no matter where you live in the world. ❤️
- 3 large onions (any kind)
- 2 -3 bundles cilantro (1 of these will replace a bundle of culantro - spiny coriander)
- 3 Multi-Colored Peppers (or 1lb mini sweet peppers)
- 1 Green Bell Pepper (can also use cubanelle peppers)
- 4 - 6 Garlic bulbs, peeled (substitute for 1 cup pre-peeled garlic. NO store-bought minced garlic or garlic paste! Must be fresh!)
If you would like authentic Puerto Rican Sofrito you will need the following ingredients:
- 1.5 lbs Ajíes Dulces
- 1 Bundle Recao/Culantro (spiny coriander Leaves) - substitute extra cilantro if you can’t these.
- 1-2 Bundles Cilantro, Leaves and Stems
- 1 lb Multi-Colored Peppers
- 1 Green Bell Pepper
- 4 Large Bulbs Garlic
- 3 Large Onions (2 small ones in place of 1 large)
- Olive oil, a little in between batches for blending
- White Vinegar for washing veggies
Watch Mari making them and also show how you can store them when making in larger batches.