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Sofritas

Prep Time15 mins
Cook Time40 mins
Total Time55 mins
Servings: 4
Calories: 216kcal
Author: Nisha Vora

Ingredients

  • 1 poblano pepper or green bell pepper, kept whole
  • 3 tablespoons olive oil or avocado oil, divided
  • 1 medium yellow or red onion, finely chopped
  • 4 garlic cloves, chopped
  • 2 tablespoons tomato paste
  • 1 ½ teaspoons ground cumin
  • 1 teaspoon Mexican oregano or regular oregano
  • ½ teaspoon ancho chile powder
  • 1 ½ teaspoons kosher salt, divided
  • A generous amount of freshly cracked black pepper
  • 1 (12 to 16-ounce) block of super firm tofu (also sold as high-protein tofu)*
  • 2 roma tomatoes, chopped
  • 1 chipotle pepper in adobo + 1/2 tablespoon adobo sauce**
  • 2 teaspoons red wine vinegar
  • ½ cup (120 mL) water
  • Lime juice to finish

Instructions

  • Broil the poblano pepper or green bell pepper. You have two options; the gas flame gets you a smokier flavor. No need to peel or remove the seeds when done.
    a. Broiler: Arrange an oven rack 6 inches underneath the broiler flame. Lightly oil the whole poblano pepper. Add the pepper to a sheet pan and broil for 5 minutes, flip, and repeat. Allow to cool a bit, then remove the stem and seeds inside.
    b. Gas flame: Cut the stem off from the pepper. Turn a gas burner to high heat. Use metal tongs to arrange the pepper on top of the flame. Using tongs, turn the pepper occasionally, about every minute, until the skin on all sides is blackened and blistered, about 4 minutes total, but do not allow it to turn to white ash or catch fire.
  • Cook the aromatics. Heat 1 ½ tablespoons of oil in a medium nonstick frying pan over medium high heat. Once the oil is hot, add the onions and season with a pinch of salt. Cook for 5 to 6 minutes, or until just starting to get some color. Add garlic and cook for 2 minutes, stirring frequently. Add tomato paste, cumin, oregano, chile powder, 1 teaspoon of salt, and pepper and cook for 1 minute. Add the tomatoes and cook until they’ve softened, about 5 minutes. Clean out the pan.***
  • While the onions are cooking, cut the tofu into 4 slabs. Squeeze out as much water as you can. Crumble tofu into small pieces, about the size of a blueberry. See the photo for reference.
  • Transfer the onion-tomato mixture to a blender or food processor. Add the broiled poblano pepper, chipotle peppers in adobo, vinegar, and water. Blend until relatively smooth. Taste the sauce, adding any sweetener as needed or more vinegar or salt.
  • Heat the remaining 1 ½ tablespoons oil in the frying pan over medium-high heat. Once hot, add the tofu and spread out in a single packed layer and season with ½ teaspoon kosher salt. Allow to cook 2 to 3 minutes undisturbed. Flip and continue cooking for a total of 12 minutes, stirring only every 2 to 3 minutes, until most of the tofu is browned.
  • Pour in the sauce and simmer for 5 minutes, stirring occasionally. It’ll start to thicken, so turn the heat to medium or medium-low and cook for another 5 minutes, or until flavors have developed and tofu is saucy. If it gets too thick, add a few splashes of water.
  • Taste, adjusting seasonings as needed. If it’s a bit tangy, add a pinch of organic brown or cane sugar. Finish with a squeeze of lime juice.

Notes

* If super firm tofu is not available, use extra firm tofu. Crumble the tofu into small pieces but not as small as the super firm tofu: if you crumble really small, it will get mushy. Check out the reference photo in the FAQ section. Then, coat the tofu crumbles with 1 tablespoon cornstarch and ½ teaspoon kosher salt. Coating the tofu in cornstarch improves its texture quite a bit, giving it a slightly crisp coating and more chew, similar to Chipotle’s sofritas.
** Use ½ teaspoon adobo sauce for mild heat.
*** Want to save ~10 minutes? Cook the tofu in a separate pan while you cook the aromatics.