Food
Fact-checked

At DelightedCooking, we're committed to delivering accurate, trustworthy information. Our expert-authored content is rigorously fact-checked and sourced from credible authorities. Discover how we uphold the highest standards in providing you with reliable knowledge.

Learn more...

What Is Arroz a La Cubana?

Arroz a la Cubana is a delightful dish hailing from Spain, with variations across Latin America. It features a savory bed of white rice, topped with a rich tomato sauce, a perfectly fried egg, and ripe plantains. This comfort food melds sweet and savory for a truly satisfying meal. Curious about its origins and variations? Let's explore the journey of this classic dish.
Elle Jay
Elle Jay

Arroz a la Cubana describes a traditional Spanish rice dish, also known as Cuban-style rice or arroz Cubano. The basic ingredients include rice, ground beef or beans, tomato sauce, and fried eggs, but other items are sometimes added. Despite its name, there is no real evidence that this dish came from Cuba, although it is a staple in many Cuban households. Arroz a la Cubana is popular in Spain, Peru, and the Philippines, and it can be cooked in a variety of ways, usually from recipes passed down the family tree.

Some standard Spanish recipes for arroz a la Cubana eliminate the protein and include just plain white rice, tomato sauce, and the eggs. The rice is steamed or boiled, and the sauce can be prepared in several different ways. Sofrito is a Spanish-style tomato sauce prepared with garlic, onions, and green peppers, all finely chopped and cooked with the tomatoes in Spanish olive oil.

Some Cuban-style rice dishes include extras like bell peppers.
Some Cuban-style rice dishes include extras like bell peppers.

When plating meatless arroz a la Cubana, the rice is scooped on to the plate and an indentation is made in the middle. The sofrito or tomato sauce goes into the hollowed-out center and drizzles down the side of the rice. The fried egg is prepared over easy, which means it is cooked on one side, then flipped and lightly cooked on the other side just enough to cover the yolk. The egg sits atop the rice and tomato sauce mixture.

The rice for arroz a la Cubana is either steamed of boiled.
The rice for arroz a la Cubana is either steamed of boiled.

Filipino recipes for arroz a la Cubana add ground beef to the dish and serve it up with cooked Saba bananas. The saba banana is common in the Philippines, and it is usually fried with the skin on, then peeled, sliced, and placed on the side of the plate. In this version of arroz Cubano, the fried eggs are sunny side up, and the bright yellow yolk is left uncovered.

Fresh tomatoes are used to make the sofrito that's called for in some recipes for arroz a la Cubana.
Fresh tomatoes are used to make the sofrito that's called for in some recipes for arroz a la Cubana.

Since this is a traditional dish, arroz a la Cubana ingredients can vary, depending on who is cooking and where they live. Some Cuban-style rice dishes include extras, such as fried potato chunks, bell peppers, raisins, and sweet peas. These additions are usually sautéed with the ground beef and plated on one side of the rice. The bananas go on the other side, and the eggs still go on top.

Few Cubans will stake a claim to Cuban-style rice dishes cooked with ground beef and tomato sauce. Genuine Cuban rice is actually called Moros y Christianos, which translates to Moors and Christians, also known as black beans and rice. Ingredients in this traditional Cuban meal include white rice and black beans, which are prepared with garlic, onions, ham hocks, salt pork, and a variety of herbs and spices. This version eliminates the ground beef, tomato sauce, and egg, and the beans are poured over or mixed with the rice.

You might also Like

Discuss this Article

Post your comments
Login:
Forgot password?
Register:
    • Some Cuban-style rice dishes include extras like bell peppers.
      By: Malyshchyts Viktar
      Some Cuban-style rice dishes include extras like bell peppers.
    • The rice for arroz a la Cubana is either steamed of boiled.
      By: roblan
      The rice for arroz a la Cubana is either steamed of boiled.
    • Fresh tomatoes are used to make the sofrito that's called for in some recipes for arroz a la Cubana.
      By: Profotokris
      Fresh tomatoes are used to make the sofrito that's called for in some recipes for arroz a la Cubana.