The strange thing is that “Arròs a la Cubana” is a Spanish culinary invention!
ingredients for 4 servings (cost about 4 € pp)
- 200 g rice
- 8 small bananas
- 8 very fresh organic eggs
- EV Sunflower oil
- 1 can whole tomatoes
- Caribbean style spices
- Coarse Pepper
- Fresh cilantro
The Cuban rice (Αrròs a la cubana) is a special preparation, consisting of rice, fried egg, tomato sauce and banana.
Usually, the “Cuban rice” served in the cheap shops in Barcelona is miserable (the rice is made of bad quality grains, ketchup is often used instead of sauce, the egg yolk is thick and not liquid, as it has to be etc), but if we pay attention, we can have a cheap, easy and exotic dish.
a) First of all the rice. In restaurants they usually use “round rice” or, even better, bomba (as I did at this version), but where to find such things if we are not in Spain? But don’t worry, we can select a good carnaroli.
b) Tomato sauce. I suggest a five-minute tomato sauce, without onion or garlic, but with freshly ground spices already warmed in sunflower oil to intensify their aromas. What spices? Coriander, cumin, paprika, chili peppers, brown sugar and a bay leaf. Once they start to heat up, we add chopped tomatoes and we cook for a few minutes on high heat to remove the tomato juice. The sauce must remain relatively thick.
c) Fried eggs. It is well known that an egg without a liquid yolk is rubbish
d) The bananas have to be caramelized (seasoned with salt and pepper and sautée in sunflower oil and butter on both sides). The banana, if overcooked, will melt and become a mess.
So, when everything ready (rice boiled al dente, tomato sauce dense without liquids, bananas caramelized, eggs fried) we put a portion of rice on a plate and we pour over 1-2 tablespoons of the frying oil to grease it slightly and on top a full spoon of tomato sauce.
Next to the rice we put the eggs and the fried bananas. We garnish with chopped cilantro.