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.


(about 2 tablespoons)

3 garlic cloves, chopped 
1 medium onion, chopped
2 plum tomatoes, diced
1/2 lb ground
1/2 lb ground
4 tbsp light
soy sauce
ground black pepper, to taste

1/2 a piece of a large red bell pepper, diced 

small carrot, diced
1/2 cup raisins

1/2 cup peas


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.

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

desired, season with a little Worcestershire sauce or to be truly pinoy
—– fish sauce for more flavor. Yum! 

hot accompanied with fried rice, fried eggs and if available – fried

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  1. October 17, 2012 / 1:24 pm

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

    • October 17, 2012 / 10:11 pm

      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.

    • February 13, 2017 / 3:35 pm

      I'm from Miami originally. Right now I'm in Las Vegas working as Travel nurse. I am in an extended stay with burners so I can make this dish. This reminds me of Picadillo.

    • November 11, 2012 / 1:00 am

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

  2. February 26, 2013 / 11:10 pm

    I make this about once a month and we all love it! Thanks 🙂

    • February 28, 2013 / 2:54 am

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

  3. Anonymous
    April 10, 2013 / 4:36 pm

    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.

    • April 16, 2013 / 3:20 am

      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! 🙂

  4. Melissa
    October 11, 2013 / 3:41 pm

    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 🙂

  5. Gail Gilmour-Lim
    January 29, 2014 / 2:08 pm

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

  6. Anonymous
    April 24, 2014 / 2:19 pm

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

    • April 26, 2014 / 1:51 am

      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. 🙂

  7. March 17, 2016 / 4:18 am

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

  8. May 28, 2016 / 2:29 pm

    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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