Sofrito with Adobo Queen Nancy Reyes Lumen

Recipes, Food, How To
Sofrito with Adobo Queen Nancy Reyes Lumen
May 29, 2017

Filipino food is about ingenuity- whether it's mixing together unlikely ingredients or using animal parts most people would throw away, Filipino food is about making the most of what you have and turning it into an awesome dish.

The Adobo Queen, Nancy Reyes Lumen, is back to teach me how to make one example of Filipino ingenuity in food: Sofrito. This mixture of tomato, garlic, and spices can be a side/dip, a pasta sauce, soup base, or the base of stews and slow-cooked dishes like adobo, afritada, etc. A good sofrito adds a ton of flavor in a pinch, and if bottled up nicely, makes for a great gift. 

Watch the video below and get your sofrito cooking!



½ K shallots, very finely minced

about 8 heads garlic, very finely minced

1 K over ripe very red tomatoes

(buy a lot and freeze when in season)

¼ C  tomato paste

Plenty of regular olive oil, 1-2 C

About ½ C extra virgin olive oil for later use

achuete seeds - small pack

regular olive oil

about 30 grams panocha (or 2 Tbsp brown sugar or muscovado sugar or coco sugar)

rock salt             

freshly ground peppercorn 



Make achuete oil, if desired: heat 1 C regular olive oil with achuete seeds

Be sure to keep heat on low

Let achuete seeds color the oil orange.

Remove achuete seeds from oil .

Store this oil if there are leftovers and use for sautéing

Shortcut: use achuete powder!

When using frozen tomatoes, simply squeeze out the skins, set aside.

Mince the tomato pulp

If using fresh red tomatoes, remove seeds if desired, then mince finely

In plenty of achuete olive oil, on low heat, sauté the shallots till very soft

Remove from pan, set aside.

In same bowl, do the same with garlic

In the same bowl, add more oil and sauté tomatoes

Cook till tomato juices evaporate

Add back shallots and garlic, tomato paste and seasonings.

Keep on low heat and cook till oils come out.

You can cook this as long as you want to desired thickness and purpose.

Use immediately or store in glass jars sealed with extra virgin olive oil.

For Tomato Skins:

Do not throw these , they can still be used

Because of their bright red color, use as garnish

You can either mix with some calamansi syrup and bring to a bowl and serve as a pickle

Or add salt and drain

Then dredge with some flour and baking powder

Fry till crispy.

You have tomato skins chicharon for garnish!!


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Erwan Heussaff

I'm an Ex-Fat Kid who loves to cook and create content. I believe food is an essential part in a healthy life and I try to show that through video recipes of some healthy, and some not-so-healthy dishes. It's all about balance. I touch on travel, fitness, nutrition and life in general. Come and join The Fat Kid Inside community. It's good fun.

– Founder and Former Fat Kid

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