Although debatable whether arroz a la cubana did originate from Cuba as its name implies, the dish does exist as a household favorite in many Spanish-speaking countries. Versions range from something as simple as boiled rice, fried eggs and plaintains to the more ample Filipino interpretation which is ground beef cooked in tomato sauce along with the rice, eggs and bananas.
Most Filipino arroz ala cubana recipes are prepared much like giniling na baboy with potatoes, carrots, raisins and bell peppers added to the minced meat. I like mine short and simple as I find the combination of savory meat, sweet bananas and runny yolks more than enough to satisfy. Try it tonight and let me know what you think. Your comments and feedback are greatly appreciated.
Arroz ala Cubana
- 1/4 cup oil
- 1 small onion peeled and minced
- 4 cloves garlic peeled and minced
- 2 pounds ground beef
- 1 cup tomato sauce
- 2 tablespoons soy sauce
- 1/2 cup water
- 1/2 teaspoon sugar
- 1 cup frozen sweet peas thawed
- salt and pepper to taste
- 1 tablespoon oil
For the Sides
- 8 saba bananas ripe but firm
- 8 eggs
- 8 cups steamed white rice
- In a pan over medium heat, heat about 1 tablespoon of the oil. Add onions and garlic and cook until limp. Add ground beef and cook, breaking apart with back of spoon, for about 10 to 15 minutes until lightly browned. Drain excess fat.
- Add tomato sauce, soy sauce, water and sugar. Bring to a boil for about 1 to 2 minutes, stirring until sugar is dissolved. Lower heat, cover and simmer until meat is cooked through and liquid is mostly reduced.
- Add green peas and cook for about 3 to 5 minutes. Season with salt and pepper to taste.
- Serve hot with steamed rice, fried eggs and fried bananas.
For the Sides
- Peel bananas and slice lengthwise. In a pan over medium heat, remaining heat oil. Add bananas and cook, turning once or twice, until golden and lightly crisp. Remove from pan and drain on paper towels.
- In the pan, add eggs and cook sunny side up, with the white part set and the yolks runny.