Arroz Cubano (Arroz a la Cubana) is a dish from Spain consisting of rice, tomato sauce, and a fried egg. It may also include fried bananas. While it has Cuba in the name, it is not Cuban in origin. Chad wasn’t too sure about the combination. It took a few bites for him to warm up to it. I had mine without the bananas. Evan loved everything and tried stealing additional bites from our plates.
There are also variations popular in the Philippines and Peru. In the Philippines, meat (ground beef), vegetables, and fried Saba bananas are included. Fried hot dogs are added in Peru.
Arroz Cubano (Spanish Cuban-Style Rice)
Adapted from The Spanish Cuisine
6 cups water
4 tablespoons olive oil, divided
4 cloves garlic, thinly sliced
3 cups uncooked short grain Spanish rice
1 medium onion, chopped
1/2 teaspoon salt
4 Roma tomatoes
1 tablespoon granulated sugar
1/4 teaspoon dried basil or oregano (optional)
1/2 cup olive oil
Bring a large pot of 6 cups salted water to a boil.
In a large pot, drizzle 1 tablespoon of the olive oil over low heat. Once thoroughly heated, add the sliced garlic and cook until fragrant, 3-4 minutes. Stir in the rice and cook, stirring often, until coated in oil and lightly toasted, 2-3 minutes. Pour in the 6 cups boiling water. Cover and cook over medium low heat undisturbed until water is absorbed and rice is fluffy, 18-20 minutes. Remove cover and fluff with a fork.
In a medium saucepan, drizzle remaining 3 tablespoons olive oil over medium low heat. Add the chopped onion and sprinkle with 1/2 teaspoon salt. Cook, stirring occasionally, until softened and beginning to turn golden, 8-10 minutes.
Peel the tomatoes and grate or finely chop them. Add to the onions with the sugar and basil or oregano. Cook over low heat until the tomatoes begin to break down and are heated through, another 8-10 minutes. Use a blender, immersion or stand, to puree the sauce.
In a non-stick skillet, add 1/2 cup olive oil over medium low heat. Fry each egg over easy or sunny side up, just until the whites are cooked, but inside of the yolk is still runny. Cut each banana in half lengthwise and fry until golden.
Serve immediately by dividing rice among four plates. Make a hollow in the center of each and pour in the sauce. Top with eggs and fried bananas if using.