May 11, 2012

Arroz a la Cubana (Cuban Style Rice)

Arroz a la Cubana is a dish that you're always sure to find in any mall in the Philippines with a cafeteria. It's a classic comfort food which came by way of Spain (who colonized the Philippines for almost 400 years!). The Philippine version typically consists of rice, ground beef sauteed with onions, garlic, tomatoes, diced potatoes and diced carrots, a fried egg and plantains cut lengthwise and fried.

For this version, I replaced the potatoes with bell peppers (to add more color) and used a combo of ground pork and beef (for more flavor).

Since even my British husband loves this dish, and he doesn't mind eating this with rice for breakfast either (that's how much he likes this!) it has become a household staple. 
A simple but flavorful recipe that's perfect for breakfast, lunch or dinner.


oil (about 2 tablespoons)
3 garlic cloves, chopped 
1 medium onion, chopped
2 plum tomatoes, diced   
1/2 lb ground beef 
1/2 lb ground pork  
4 tbsp light soy sauce
ground black pepper, to taste
1/2 a piece of a large red bell pepper, diced 
1  small carrot, diced
1/2 cup raisins
1/2 cup peas


Heat the oil in a large frying pan or skillet. Sauté the garlic and onion for about a minute. Add the diced tomatoes and cook until the onions and tomatoes have softened about 5 minutes. Stir in the ground beef and pork. Crumble with a fork to prevent clumping. Season with soy sauce and black pepper and cook until the meat has turned brown. Add the red bell pepper and carrots and then simmer covered for about 5-8 minutes or until the veggies have softened.

Uncover then stir in the raisins, raise the heat and cook for a further 3-5 minutes or until most of the liquid has evaporated. Add the peas and cook for another couple of minutes.
If desired, season with a little Worcestershire sauce or to be truly pinoy ----- fish sauce for more flavor. Yum! 

Serve hot accompanied with fried rice, fried eggs and if available – fried plantains!
If you wish to print the recipe, there's a print-friendly icon at the end of the post. Click on the "remove images box" for easy printing.

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  1. That looks wonferful! I am hungry just looking at the pictures. Thank you for sharing. Giangi

    1. Thanks for stopping by Giangi! It's like a fall back dish when we have ground beef or pork and don't know what else to do but it's truly delicious and have been shared many times with friends.

  2. I used to live in Miami and grew to love cuban food. I am sharing this on my facebook page and pinning it also. Can't wait to try it!
    Cynthia at

    1. Thanks, Cynthia! This is truly a wonderful dish so I hope you enjoy this as much as we do!

  3. I make this about once a month and we all love it! Thanks :)

    1. Thanks, Ben and Andrea! So glad you like this, we love this dish too and make it often. Glad you stopped by!

  4. I fix my arroz a la cubana with fried "saba" banana in addition to your recipe..that's how I learned it from my mother back home.

    1. Yup, we do exactly the same as I have mentioned in the post - if fried plantains are available it should be eaten with it. Thanks for stopping by! :-)

  5. Thanks for the recipe! I recently moved away from my family and had been feeling homesick and craving Filipino food. I made it last night and both me and my husband really liked it (he is non-Filipino as well :). This was very similar to something both my mom and my Nanang would make. I'll be making this several times a year :)

  6. Another great dish for me a white woman living with a Filippino man can make Yay!!

  7. any suggestions how to cook this dish if you don't eat meat?

    1. Just cook it as instructed but leave out the meat - adjust the seasoning as this takes into account the meat so you may have to lessen the soy sauce or just add some potatoes as well to replace the meat or you can use Tofu as meat replacement as well. :)

  8. Just discovered soyrizo and I think it would be wonderful with this dish in place of the meat. Thank you.

  9. Hope to cook this this week. Mommy brought saging na saba from the province and I still have ground beef sa fridge.


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