Sofrito is a Spanish word for a well cooked and fragrant sauce. (The word is cognate with Italian soffritto, which means "sautéed".) It can refer to any of the following:

  • In Spanish cuisine, it contains garlic, onions, and tomatoes cooked in olive oil and is used as the base for many dishes. In Haiti it is referred to as Epis. The sauce is similar to the mirepoix in French cuisine and the soffritto of Italian cuisine.
  • In Caribbean and Latin American cuisine, it is a sauce of tomatoes, roasted peppers, garlic, onions and herbs.
  • In Cuban cuisine, it is a base for beans, stews, rices, and other dishes, including ropa vieja and picadillo. The main components for Cuban sofrito are onions, garlic, tomatoes and peppers. Chorizo, tocino (bacon), and ham are added for specific recipes, like beans. Other secondary components include, but are not limited to, cumin, oregano, bay leaf, cilantro, and culantro.
  • In Puerto Rico it is mostly used when cooking legumes, rice dishes, sauces, soups and stews. The two main ingredients that give Puertorriqueño sofrito its characteristic flavor are: recao (also known as culantro) and ají dulce. Bell peppers may be substituted for ají dulce. Sofrito is also traditionally made with salted pork, cured ham, and lard. When pork is used the sofrito is cooked before storing.
  • In the Sephardic cuisine of the eastern Mediterranean, it is a sauce of water or stock with lemon juice, flavored with turmeric, garlic and cardamom. It can be used in cooking chicken, veal, calves' brains or fish.
  • In Greek cuisine it is a dish native to, and almost exclusively to be found on, the island of Corfu. Sofrito is a veal steak slow cooked in a white wine, garlic and herb sauce and is usually served with rice.
  • In Italian cuisine soffritto is a sautéed mixture of chopped onions, celery, carrots, seasonings, etc. It is the Italian equivalent of mirepoix.


  • Roden, Claudia, A New Book of Middle Eastern Food: London 1986 ISBN 0-14-046588-X
  • Roden, Claudia, The Book of Jewish Food: New York 1997, London 1999 ISBN 0-14-046609-6

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