The chef from Mokonuts refers to an onion sofrito/confit that is braised for 4-5 hours. What is this technique, where can I find more about it?


Sofrito could be many things, but at Mokonuts we slowly confit lots of diced onions in a lot of olive oil for 4 to 5 hours. They should be confited, but not burnt, and should end up looking like sun-dried raisins. The result is an aromatic and pungent purée of onions that is packed with flavor. This onion preparation is then used as a base for the legume cooking liquid.

Sofrito is not 4-5 hours and neither is confit.

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    It's possible to read the quote as "we do this instead of a (conventional) sofrito" - so don't get too hung up on the terminology
    – Chris H
    Apr 19, 2023 at 11:01

1 Answer 1


"Confit" in French literally means "to preserve", but has the culinary meaning of "slowly cooking food to make it preservable", Wikipedia has a nice write-up on it.

So I do agree that slowly cooking onions over 4-5 hours is a sort of confit. "Caramelized onions" is a term more commonly used in English-speaking countries as far as I know. This is usually done by adding small splashes of water or white wine to keep the onions from frying too quickly. Check out this recipe from Serioseats for a detailed writeup.

Sofrito, on the other hand, is the typical Italian vegetable base for stocks and stews with small diced onions, carrots, and celery, and occasionally garlic, fennel, and other additions.

  • If you have a slow cooker, or just a heavy pan with a tight lid, and a low enough heat source, you don;t need to add water to caramelising onions. But caramelised onions also don't use much fat, and the chef calls for "a lot of olive oil" in the quote, so the effect will be a bit different. But you're right that confit is a process and sofrito a (combination of) ingredient(s).
    – Chris H
    Apr 19, 2023 at 10:56

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