Chipotle Tofu Sofritas
This is a rich and spicy, vegetarian tofu dish that is great served as tacos, burritos, or as a bowl. You can cut this recipe down to your needs...but the sauce is so great you may just want to make a full recipe!
Recipe type: Vegetarian
Cuisine: Mexican
  • 3 lbs tofu
  • 3 six to seven inch poblano peppers, rinsed
  • 1 bell pepper, rinsed
  • ½ medium red onion, sliced in half from tip to stem, keeping stem but removing the paper husk
  • 7 oz can of chipotles in adobo sauce
  • 2 cans water
  • 2 Tablespoons cumin
  • 2 Tablespoons oregano
  • 2 teaspoons salt (teaspoons!)
  1. Open up your tofu packages and drain off all of the liquid.
  2. Place the tofu blocks in a colander, place the colander over a bowl so that the bottom of the colander is not sitting right on the bottom of the bowl, and put a weight on top of the tofu. I used a small, heavy pot lid. After about 5-10 minutes the tofu will leak out more water. You really want as much water out as possible, because it will dilute the sauce—and the water inside the tofu will come out of the tofu when it cooks. So let it drain a good while. (You can do this “draining” part overnight or while you are at work. In the refrigerator is fine.) It’s ok if the tofu breaks up a little; you are going to break it up a lot when you braise it!
  3. Once the tofu has started draining, take three six- to seven-inch poblano peppers and one green bell pepper and rinse them in your sink. Keep the stems on. Set them directly on your gas range (or on an ovensafe pan under your oven’s broiler, keeping the pan about six to eight inches from the heat source) to char them all over. You don’t need to oil them beforehand—I don’t like the extra smoke.
  4. Char them well, so that they have no more green on them. I rotate them with tongs to get all sides, top and bottom. Once they have fully charred, pull them off to your cutting board.
  5. Now you want to remove that stem and the bulb of seeds right under it. I do that by twisting the center stem with my tongs. Once you twist about 360 degrees around, that stem will pop right out. Then drop it into your blender or food processor. Do the same for all the peppers. Do not remove any of the char, like you would for making roasted peppers for salads. You want all that char in the sauce. It gives it soul.
  6. Once you have the peppers off the burners, char up one half of a red onion. I cut the onion in half so that a portion of stem is still attached to my half. That will hold the onion together as you char it. Make sure to take off the onion’s outer papery layer before you char it, because it burns up fast, and you don’t want to eat that anyway. Once that half red onion is nicely charred, cut off the stem and add that half onion to your blender, too.
  7. Add one 7 oz. can of chipotle peppers in adobo sauce to your blender. Add the whole thing, peppers and sauce and all. Then add two “cans” of water.
  8. Add in 2 tablespoons cumin, 2 tablespoons oregano, and 2 teaspoons of salt (not 2 tablespoons salt!).
  9. Take a taste. It’s ok if it’s spicy, because the tofu will really soak up all the flavors and make it much milder. So that means you do want it savory with spices, too. I found that the tofu cut the strength of the flavors in about half, so it’s ok to go heavier on the heat and spice at this point.
  10. Now that the sauce is complete, let’s get the tofu cooking. Put about 2 tablespoons of oil in the bottom of a non-stick or well-seasoned pan or pot. I used a Le Creuset Dutch oven because it has a nice enameled bottom that is relatively nonstick. Get that oil heated up over medium-high heat and using tongs, carefully add in your tofu blocks so they don’t splatter oil up on you. (When oil hits water, it splashes. Since tofu is full of water, you will want to be careful!)
  11. Cook the tofu over medium-high heat, enough so that it is making some good frying noise, but not burning. It will stick to the bottom, which is great. You are making tasty colored tofu bits down there. Just let it cook and eventually it will release. I let it cook for about 3 minutes or so a side and then try and turn it, which gets messy. Don’t worry! Just keep going, frying and turning.
  12. Try and cook the tofu on all sides, getting it yellow or lightly brown. A nice golden color was as colored as I could get it. (As alternatives, I think it would also be great to smoke the tofu, or to simply grill it in a well-seasoned grill pan!) Once you can’t turn them with your tongs any more, pull out a wooden spoon or spatula and start breaking down the tofu and cooking it to get more color. I broke up the tofu and let it sit for three minutes or so just cooking on the bottom, then stirred and turned over the tofu to let another part get golden colored. You really want to break up the tofu into small pieces. I stirred and stirred with the spoon until it broke down into pieces about as large as meat would be for tacos.
  13. A lot of water will come out of the tofu, and that is normal. I kept the heat pretty high to burn off as much water as I could so that the sauce wouldn’t be overly-diluted. If you have a lot of water coming out of your tofu, it’s ok to turn the heat up to high, so long as you stay close and keep stirring it.
  14. Once you have a nice golden color to your tofu, it’s time to add the sauce. I added ½ of the blenderful to the three pounds of tofu, so about six cups of sauce. If you are using less tofu, use less sauce—perhaps two cups of sauce per one pound block of tofu. Because the tofu is so bland by itself, it really took a lot of sauce to flavor it. Make it as flavorful as you like.
  15. Let the tofu braise in the sauce for a good twenty minutes. It will really soak up the sauce and darken. That’s what you are looking for—tofu that is no longer white, but now has pulled in that rich, spicy sauce!
  16. Taste it and see what you think. Does it need more sauce? Just some salt and pepper? Go ahead and add what you like.
  17. When you are done, it’s time to make tacos or bowls. I like soft corn tacos with this, but you can just as easily make it with soft flour or whole wheat tortillas or crunch corn tacos. With regard to the toppings, we really liked cilantro and limes, sour cream, chopped tomatoes, shredded lettuce, cheese and a dash of hot sauce. It would make a great burrito, and certainly makes a delicious bowl—just add all of your taco ingredients on top of the Sofritas and have at it. I really liked it that way.
Recipe by WooPigFoodie at