My oh my, do I have a treat for you! Today’s recipe is for Arroz a La Cubana – a Cuban-style rice dish that will have your taste buds dancing the rumba! This dish is known for its savory beef, fried eggs, ripe plantains, and tomato sauce that are all sprinkled on top of white rice. It’s an explosion of flavors in your mouth that will transport you straight to Havana, Cuba.
Now, don’t let the name fool you. Although this recipe has “Cubana” in its name, it’s actually a Filipino-style arroz – meaning it’s infused with Spanish cuisine but with a Filipino twist. And let me tell you, this fusion creates a delicious and unique flavor that you won’t find elsewhere.
If you’re like me and love trying new dishes that blend different cultures together, then this recipe is for you. The creamy texture of the yolk mixed with the savory beef and sweet plantains is simply heavenly. Plus, it’s an easy and inexpensive meal that can feed the whole family.
So get your apron on and let’s cook up some Arroz a La Cubana – trust me, your taste buds will thank you!
Why You’ll Love This Recipe
Folks, let me tell you something – this Arroz a La Cubana recipe is a true delight. You’ll be hooked by the first bite! Let me give you just a few reasons why.
Firstly, this dish has got all the flavors of a classic Cuban meal – with aromatic herbs like basil and fresh parsley, rich tomato sauce, and savory ground beef in each and every spoonful. It’s like taking a little trip to Havana without ever leaving your own kitchen.
Secondly, if you love your rice dishes then this recipe will rock your world. The combination of fluffy white rice and sweet plantains make for an unbeatable flavor combo that’s sheer heaven. And let’s not forget about the addition of tender potatoes, sweet bell peppers, and brightly-colored peas – these ingredients bring both flavor and nutrition to this already delicious dish.
And last but not least, let’s talk about the egg on top. Whether it’s fried or sunny side up, adding that perfectly cooked egg to your plate of Arroz a La Cubana elevates it to yet another level of tastiness. It’s the cherry on top of an already perfect Cuban-style rice bowl.
So there you have it, folks – three simple reasons why this Arroz a La Cubana recipe is an absolute must-try. Trust me when I say that once you’ve tried it, you’ll be hooked for life!
Here is a rundown of all the ingredients you will need to make Arroz a La Cubana, a savory beef and rice dish that originated from Cuba. This recipe serves 4 people, so adjust accordingly if you need to feed more.
For the rice:
- 2 cups uncooked white rice
- 4 cups water
- Salt (to taste)
- 2 cloves garlic
- 1 bay leaf
For the beef:
- 1 pound ground beef
- 2 tablespoons olive oil
- 1 large onion (peeled and chopped)
- 2 cloves garlic (minced)
- 2 large tomatoes (peeled and chopped)
- 1 bell pepper (diced)
- 1 potato (peeled and diced)
- 1 carrot (peeled and diced)
- 1/4 cup raisins
- salt and black pepper (to taste)
- 1 tablespoon tomato paste
- 1/4 cup light soy sauce
- Fresh parsley or basil leaves for garnish
For the fried eggs:
- 4 eggs
- Olive oil
You may find these ingredients at your nearest grocery store, they are widely available. You can also substitute some of these ingredients with others that suit your palette more, I will expand on this in the next section.
The Recipe How-To
Now that we have discussed the fascinating history behind Arroz a La Cubana and have gathered all the necessary ingredients, let’s dive into how to make this Cuban-style rice dish. Don your chef hat and apron because things are about to get cooking!
Step 1: Heat the Olive Oil
Begin by heating olive oil in a large pan over medium heat. We recommend using extra virgin olive oil as it adds a robust, fruity flavor. Once hot, add one diced onion and two minced garlic cloves. Cook them till they are soft and translucent.
Step 2: Add Ground Beef
Add one pound of ground beef to the pan and cook until browned. Make sure to break down any clumps of meat with a spatula for even cooking.
Step 3: Add Tomato Sauce
Once the meat is browned, add two peeled and chopped ripe tomatoes, a quarter cup of tomato sauce, one tablespoon of tomato paste, and one bay leaf. Stir the mixture till it’s even and let it simmer for 5 minutes.
Step 4: Add Vegetables
Now, it is time to add vegetables to our mix. Add half a cup of sliced carrots, half a cup of peas, half a cup of diced bell pepper, and one-third cup of raisins. This brings in a variety of colors and flavors into the dish, giving it vibrant appeal.
Step 5: Cook Rice
In another pot, bring four cups of water to boil then add two cups of white rice. Add salt to taste (usually around a teaspoon), one bay leaf, three fresh basil leaves, and two sprigs of fresh parsley to enhance flavor. Let the rice cook until tender or for about 15-18 minutes.
Step 6: Fry Eggs
While waiting for the rice to cook, fry four eggs sunny side up in a separate pan.
Step 7: Plate and Serve
Now that you have all of the components ready, it’s time to put the dish together. On a serving platter or individual plates, serve the rice and beef mixture, topped with the sunny-side-up eggs on one side. On the other side of the plate, place fried plantains for an extra bit of sweetness.
Now serve your savory and satisfying Arroz a La Cubana while hot and enjoy this Cuban-style rice recipe bursting with flavors!
Substitutions and Variations
Now that you’ve got the hang of making Arroz a La Cubana, it’s time to experiment with some substitutions and variations. Although Filipinos have their own version of Arroz a La Cubana, this recipe is adaptable to suit different tastes and dietary requirements.
For vegetarians and vegans, you can swap the ground beef for diced firm tofu, mushrooms or crumbled tempeh. The savory taste of the cubed plantains, stewed tomatoes and tomato sauce will still shine through. You can also use vegetable broth instead of beef broth if you prefer.
If you are watching your carb intake or following a gluten-free diet, opt for cauliflower rice or quinoa instead of white rice. For those who love sweet and salty flavors, add some chopped pineapple chunks or mangoes during the last five minutes of cooking.
For a healthier twist, you can use brown rice instead of white rice, and substitute soy sauce with tamari sauce or coconut aminos. You could also add some finely chopped kale or spinach leaves when you stir in the cooked ground beef to make it even more nutritious.
If you like a little spice in your food, try adding hot sauce or chili flakes to give it an extra kick. Alternatively, throw in some jalapeño peppers when sauteing the onions and garlic for an added punch.
No matter which way you prepare this dish, one thing is for sure – Arroz a La Cubana is a classic comfort food that can be customized to suit any taste buds. Always feel free to get creative with it!
Serving and Pairing
Now that you have your delicious Arroz a La Cubana ready, it’s time to think about how to enjoy it in the best possible way. This traditional Cuban-style rice recipe is packed with flavor and nutrients, and there are several options for serving and pairing that will complement this dish perfectly.
One great pairing option for Arroz a La Cubana is a fresh green salad drizzled with a tangy vinaigrette dressing. The crispness of the salad will help balance out the warmth and richness of the rice, making for a well-rounded meal that hits all the right notes.
Alternatively, you might opt for some sweet plantain slices on the side. The sweetness of the plantains contrasts beautifully with the savory flavors of the beef and rice, giving your taste buds an exciting explosion of flavors.
If you want to stick with something closer to your Arroz a La Cubana roots, another typical side dish is simply fried eggs. Adding a sunny-side-up egg to your dish will give you an extra boost of protein as well as adding even more depth to its flavor.
Finally, don’t forget that this dish also works perfectly on its own as a complete meal. You can enjoy it just like that or pair it with some wine or beer. This recipe’s versatility can match by any type of beverages – from light beers to full-bodied red wine – so feel free to choose your favorite!
Whether served as part of a larger spread or enjoyed solo, Arroz a La Cubana is sure to impress and leave you satisfied. So go ahead — serve it up in any way you like!
Make-Ahead, Storing and Reheating
Listen here, my friends, you can easily make this dish ahead of time if you’re entertaining a crowd or simply want to save some time during the week. The arroz a la cubana can be made up to two days in advance and stored in the refrigerator.
When it comes to reheating, I suggest mixing in a tablespoon of water per cup of rice before putting it in the microwave. This ensures that the rice stays moist and doesn’t dry out. Cover the dish with plastic wrap and heat for about two minutes on high.
If you don’t have access to a microwave or are anti-microwave like I am, you can reheat the arroz a la cubana on the stovetop as well. I recommend using a non-stick pan for easier cleanup. Add a splash of water or broth to moisten the rice and stir occasionally while reheating until it’s heated through.
Leftovers can be stored in an airtight container in the refrigerator for up to four days or frozen for up to three months. However, keep in mind that reheated rice tends to dry out over time, so add water or broth as necessary to keep it moist.
Now you know how to prep your delicious arroz a la cubana meal ahead of time without compromising on its quality and flavors!
Tips for Perfect Results
Now that you have all the ingredients ready, it’s time to focus on some tips to ensure that your Arroz a La Cubana comes out perfectly. This dish may seem simple, but it requires attention to detail to achieve a delicious flavor and the perfect texture. Here are some key tips to keep in mind:
1. Use fresh herbs
Fresh parsley and basil can really make a difference in the flavor of the dish. If possible, buy them fresh and chop them just before adding them to the rice.
2. Add enough liquid
Be sure to add enough liquid when cooking your rice. If you’re finding that your rice is still hard after the initial cook time, add a little more liquid (water or broth) and continue cooking until it reaches the desired texture.
3. Let stand after cooking
Once your Arroz a La Cubana is fully cooked, allow it to sit for a few minutes before serving. This will allow the flavors to meld together for a more even taste.
4. Experiment with spices
Don’t be afraid to experiment with different spices – this dish has many variations throughout Latin America and the Philippines. Try adding cumin or chili powder for an extra kick!
5. Fry your eggs sunny side up
The fried egg is an important part of this dish, so try frying them sunny side up for a nice presentation and runny yolk that mixes well with the rice.
Remember that practice makes perfect – don’t be discouraged if your first attempt isn’t perfect. Use these tips as a guide and make adjustments based on your personal preferences to create a delicious Arroz a La Cubana every time!
Now that you’ve learned how to make this delicious Arroz a La Cubana recipe, go ahead and give it a try! The savory beef, caramelized plantains, and sunny side up eggs all come together to create a dish that you won’t soon forget.
With so many variations and substitutions available, you can customize this recipe to your liking. Use ground pork instead of ground beef or add some sliced avocado for a twist. The possibilities are endless!
So, what are you waiting for? Head to the kitchen and start cooking up some Arroz a La Cubana. You won’t be disappointed! And if you’re looking to impress your guests or family members with an authentic Cuban-style rice dish, then this one is the perfect recipe.
In conclusion, this recipe is easy to follow, versatile, and sure to impress. Give it a try and let us know how it turns out!
Arroz a La Cubana Recipe
- 1/2 kg ground beef (use sirloin or top round)
- 3 carrots, cut in small cubes
- 3 potatoes, cut in small cubes
- 1/2 cup peas
- 2 small bell peppers, cut in thin strips (red and green bell peppers make the dish look festive)
- 2 tablespoons raisins (optional)
- 1 tablespoon minced garlic
- 1 large onion, chopped
- 2 tomatoes, chopped
- 1 cup tomato sauce
- finely chopped fresh parsley, to taste
- 1 pinch basil
- 1 bay leaf
- 3 tablespoons olive oil
- 2 tablespoons light soy sauce
- 1/4 cup vegetable oil
- salt and pepper
- 6 eggs, fried sunny-side-up
- 4 large plantains, each sliced diagonally into 3, fried
- Heat a heavy skillet. Add 1/4 cup of cooking oil. Heat to smoking point. Add the cubed potatoes and carrots. Stir-fry until the edges turn light brown. Remove with a slotted spoon and drain on paper towels.
- Pour off the oil from the skillet. Add ground beef, breaking it up. Lightly season with salt and pepper, add soy sauce. Cook over high heat until the meat is no longer pink.
- Add the garlic, chopped onions, bell peppers and raisins, if using. Cook, stirring, just until the vegetables start to soften. Add bay leaf.
- Add the tomato sauce. Stir to blend well. Add peas. Stir and cook then add in the stir-fried carrots and potatoes. Simmer to absorb the sauce. Add the basil and parsley. Give it one last stir then turn off the heat. Remove bay leaf.
- Serve with rice, an egg and fried bananas on the side.
Add Your Own Notes
Recommended Recipes Just For You
Dora is a chef well-versed in Brazilian and American cuisine. After a hard day's work in the kitchen of her restaurant, she finds the time to jot down recipes for her food blog. Her recipes are sure to delight foodies everywhere, as she strives to make each one unique and enjoyable to read.