Tuesday, October 18, 2011

Arroz Ala Cubana

Quite frankly, it baffles me where the name of this dish comes from.  Arroz A la Cubana, or Cuban-style rice somehow reached the Philippines.  This is a Spanish dish, but our version in the Philippines is composed of white rice served with ground beef sauteed in onions, garlic, potatoes, carrots, raisins, tomato sauce and topped with a fried egg and fried plantain.  My friends at Wikepedia and Google helped me with the English translation of the name and informed me that Peru has a similar dish, also served with a fried banana. (If you have better answers than my Wiki and Google friends, I would love for you to enlighten me).

I learned to love this dish since  this is a simple dish to prepare but it  offers comfort in every bite.  Its flavors reveal themselves in your mouth.  The sweetness coming from the fried plantains and the raisins.  The tangy flavor comes from the tomatoes, and along with the texture of the ground beef, it sings like a symphony in your mouth.  All the flavors are held together by breaking the fried egg and having the yolk coat the ground beef.

Each time I serve this dish brings my family to a chorus of WOW and YUM notes...(in different ranges-- haha!) Little did they know that this is quick and easy to prepare. I am sharing it with you since I am sure you and your family will enjoy it too...and chances are you might hear them sing a sweet melody of WOW! Happy cooking!

Arroz Ala Cubana

2 tbsp olive oil
1 lb ground beef
1 small onions, chopped
1 clove garlic
bay leaf
1 tbsp oyster sauce
1 tbsp soy sauce
1 small can tomato sauce
green peas
1/2 green bell pepper, sliced
1 medium carrots, chopped
1 pc. plantain, sliced and fried
1 small box of raisins

Saute garlic and onions until soft and fragrant.  Add the ground beef.  Give it a quick stir.  Add pepper and bay leaf.   Cook until almost dry.  Add  tomato sauce and continue to cook for about 10 minutes.  Season with oyster sauce and soy sauce. (oyster sauce? how could this be authentic you might ask -- but hey it perks up the flavor and works well). Add carrots, pepper and green peas. Throw in some raisins.  Top it with fried bananas and a sunny side up egg.
Enjoy with some arroz... and oh btw, you could reduce the sauce further til almost dry.  My family just loves it a little saucy.


  1. I will take one of those plates right now for breakfast, please!! That looks amazing, especially with the egg on top. I can see why it's such a comforting meal...

  2. Truly mouthwatering! This was my mom's favorite especially with lots of bananas!

  3. I love this dish. Mama used to cook thiis.

  4. Love this dish! Love anything with fried egg and fried bananas. The giniling looks so good and I like it the way you made it_with some sauce. Yum!

  5. Although the name of this dish is not familiar, the photo of the food just grab my full attention! This looks so good. I noticed I'm very weak when there is egg on top of food. Do I need to get plantation banana or reg banana is okay if I can't find?

  6. This looks so yummy! I have lately come to love the addition of eggs over so many different things. I will have to try this soon!

  7. Hello Karen: great to see you here. Thanks for the RT too.

    Tina: Would love your mom's arroz, but then i ran out of bananas hehe.

    Anonymous: Hi there, glad to know that this dish was served by you Mama too. I bet you praised her with your wow!

    Adora: Yeah i like it with sauce so with my kids, the only problem is that you would need more rice than usual. hehe.

    Nami: Shhh we have a secret, I sometime use regular Dole bananas too hehe. But traditionally it should be plantain. Just be warned though that when you fry regualr banana it tends to be so mushy. So you must use a not so ripe reg banana if you wish. Tell me how that goes ok? thanks!

    Hey Sarah: So thrilled to see you. Yeah please try it, I guarantee you that it's going to be so delish!

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  9. G, we call this picadillo in our region. Oh, so yummy!

    You have been cooking-away, my friend! That is awesome!

  10. I'm not sure how this got to the philippines either but I love the ingredient list! Raisins and plantains? Count me in!

  11. Giniling is a favorite not to mention being so economical.
    The fried egg looks like a smile LOL!

  12. This reminds me of picadillo! Isn't it interesting how food menages to travel across the globe and adapt to its new home?
    I know that I will make this dish as soon as I come back home (should be in a week or two), as I cannot find plantains here in Serbia, and even if I did, I don't think my parents would go for the combination of savory and sweet, which I love!
    I hope you are enjoying STL! Do you miss SoCal weather?

  13. My mom did a variation of this, but I think left out the fried plaintain. Haven't had or even thought about it in ages... what a fantastic flood of memory. I'll have to make this soon.

    By the way, that is a gorgeous fried egg. I mean, the whole dish looks delicious, of course, but that is a perfect egg. The whites look like silk.

  14. A dish is made even more delicious when topped with an egg! This arroz a la cubana is so mouthwatering, I may just have to simmer up some giniling for breakfast tomorrow! 8-)

  15. Hi Malou. Thanks for visiting our site earlier this week. I really like this dish, mainly because the ingredients are so simple and tastes great together. It's a quick and easy meal to prepare. If I cook it right, this might be my go-to meal when I need something quick to prepare and serve. Thanks for the post!!

  16. This looks yummy and I want to make it. The egg certainly helps its appeal. I am a happy egg eater.

  17. This sounds so lovely! I love learning about how dishes are similar, yet so different in each country. Love the addition of the egg on top, makes it perfect! Hugs, Terra


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