These Homemade Dominican Sofrito and Sazón Recipes are the favorite base for Dominican dishes. Here are a few to choose from.
'Cada cocinero tiene su librito' (every cook has his/her own little book) goes the Dominican saying. Each home has its own traditions, likes, and dislikes. It is impossible to offer you recipes that duplicate the flavors of each of your homes, and the flavors of each home are contained in the base for Dominican cooking: the sofrito / sazón.
I love to do things myself (and save money in the process), so some time ago somebody asked if anyone had a good recipe for homemade 'sazón / sofrito'. Always keen to help, our regular readers shared their recipes with us. Before we get to my recipe, I'll show three of theirs.
Our reader's sofritos
- 2 bunches of cilantro
- 4 radishes
- 1 of each: green, red, and yellow pepper
- 1 onion
- 5 cloves of garlic
- 1 lime (just the juice)
- if you like a couple of the small hot yellow and orange peppers (only two sometimes they are really hot).
- I put all of these ingredients into a blender and set it a chop or blend, you don't want it watery, you could even use a food processor. I put it in a container, and refrigerate it. It keeps for a long time at least 3 weeks.
- Olive Oil
- Tomato paste
- Although I have learned to interchange Oregano and Cilantro. When I use one I don't use the other.
- 4-5 cloves of garlic
- 2-3 sopita (bouillon cubes)
- a bunch of cilantro
- ½ of aji / pepper (the one they sell in the DR long pale green not hot)
- a tablespoon of bitter orange
- half a red onion (depending on its size if small a whole one)
- a tomato or two seeded
- a little olive oil
- I either use a blender or food processor. I like to baste the chicken with this and roast it in the oven, basting every 15 minutes until it's done.
As you can see from the above (and the comments further below) each Dominican's combination of herbs and spices is almost as unique as are our fingerprints, and a product of our own family traditions, and personal tastes and preferences. There's almost no way to make it wrong.
And here's my own:
About my recipe
I generally do not pre-make sazón at home and rather sauté fresh ingredients, but my mom, who worked outside of the home, loved to find ways to save some time in the kitchen. She would make giant batches of this and kept it refrigerated, the salt makes it a little inhospitable for bacteria and helped prolong the shelf life. Since the recipe I offer is for a modest yield, not as much salt is needed.
This is mami's sazón, the flavors and aromas of my childhood. Feel free to share yours with us too.
Dominican Sofrito & Sazón Recipe
- 2 cubanela/cubanelle peppers, , diced
- 6 cloves of garlic, , crushed
- 1 medium red onion, , cut into strips
- 3 bunches of cilantro, chopped
- 1 teaspoon of powdered annato/anato/bija
- 1 tablespoon of oregano, fresh leaves, or 1 tsp dry
- A pinch of salt
- 1 tablespoon of olive oil
To use immediately
- Cook: Saute all the ingredients at very low heat until they release their flavor and the onions have become translucent. Continue with your cooking preparation.
- Blend: Combine the ingredients and mix in a blender until you obtain a coarse paste. Keep refrigerated for up to a week. Or freeze in a zippy bag for up to a month.