ARROZ ALA CUBANA

Filipino-style Arroz Ala Cubana is a hefty dish consisting of ground meat, sunny-side-up egg, fried cooking bananas, and fluffy rice. It’s a great morning or lunch all-in-one dish that delivers big not only in serving size but also in flavors!

Arroz Ala Cubana or Arroz Cubano means Cuban Rice. Despite the name, the origin of this dish is still not confirmed, but it is very popular in Spanish countries. Here in the Philippines, it is a colonial dish that we can trace back from our history books. The original Spanish version is much simpler with just rice, eggs, and tomato sauce. However, with the passing of time, and true to it being a heritage dish, versions have sprung here and there. The most popular one being rice, with ground meat cooked in tomatoes or tomato sauce, fried saba, and fried eggs.

Ground meat. I made mine using my Picadillo recipe, though I know some who use Pork Giniling too. The ground meat can either be beef or pork, or a combination of both. It is usually cooked with tomatoes, peas, raisins, and olives. In other countries like Peru, they use hotdogs or sausages instead.
Banana. Since Saba banana is in ample supply here, it is the most common type of banana used for this recipe. They have firmer flesh which makes them great for frying. Plantain or cooking bananas may also be used.
Eggs. A golden, runny sunny side up is the most preferred for this dish. Though, do not get discouraged if you are a scramble egg lover! You can cook it any way you like it.

Rice. I used steamed rice, but fried rice works too!
I recommend selecting Saba Bananas that are ripe yet still firm to the touch. This ensures that they don’t turn mushy while frying.

If you like soft, plumer and less sweet raisins, soak them in warm water about 1 hour before cooking.
For perfectly cooked, runny eggs, warm oil over medium heat first. Once hot, place the egg on the pan then switch to low heat. Season and allow the egg white to completely set. Carefully remove from the pan once your yolk has the right consistency.
You can omit or add some of the veggies when cooking the ground beef. It’s up to you!

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