(80) Puerto Rico – Classic Fried Rice & Beans with Plantains

San Juan, the capital of Puerto Rico. Source: Booking.com

Hey guys we have made it to 80 COUNTRIES! Isn’t that wild?! For our 80th we are in the lovely Puerto Rico, a country my good friend is from! Puerto Rico is a U.S. territory situated next to the Dominican Republic and the Virgin Islands in the Caribbean Sea. It is one of the most densely populated islands with a whopping 3.5 million citizens. The name translates to “rich port” and was named Puerto Rico because of the gold that could be found in the fresh water sources on the island. It is considered one of the oldest colonies of the world because it was “discovered” by Christopher Columbus in 1493. Today you can explore their numerous beaches and caves along with immersing yourself in the Spanish-Caribbean culture.

Puerto Rico has African, European (mostly Spanish), and Taínos (natives) influence that makes up their wonderfully unique cuisine. The native Taínos influence brings yucca/cassava, avocado, coriander, annatto, pineapples, peanuts, and various hot peppers to the table. The European flare comes from wheat, cumin, onions, garlic, cilantro, dairy, and various meats such as chicken, beef, and lamb. You can find connection to Africa with the use of coconuts, yams, coffee, and various banana fruits such as the plantain! Today I will be making an original recipe of my friend Zory who is from Puerto Rico. Fried rice and beans is a classic Puerto Rican dish that combines several savory Spanish ingredients and is cooked twice in or to achieve the dry and “fried” consistency. She also educated me on plantains and how they pair well with this meal- she wasn’t kidding! They are now one of my favorite salty treats and taste better than fries (in my opinion). The recipe will be available at the bottom of the post.

This meal does take some time, however if you prep as you go it all works out. We decided to air fry some adobo wings which seemed like an appropriate pairing to us. If you have never fried green plantains before make sure to have plenty of veggie oil to fry them with and keep an eye on them so they don’t over cook. The perfect plantain is a nice golden brown. Be warned the rice/beans and plantain combo is VERY filling!

Obviously we adore this dish and think highly of it. I have made it several times and think of it as one of my favorites. The plantains had a nice crunch and reminded me of fried potato. The rice was well seasoned and tasted great with the addition of black beans. Together it is a killer duo. We love love LOVE this dish and rated it 10/10.

Our next adventure awaits in Italy where we will spend one week trying traditional foods simple and complicated. See you next time!

Yields1 Serving

Rice and Beans
 2 tbsp Cooking oil (olive or veg)
 1 Cilantro bunch
 1 Bell pepper
 ½ Yellow onion
 1 Black beans (15.5 oz can)
 1 cups Water
 3 Garlic cloves
 Sazon Goya seasoning packet
 ½ Large spoon of salt
 1 Tomato paste (6 oz can)
 1 tsp Cumin
 4 cups Jasmine rice
Plantains
 3 Plantains (1/2-1 per person)
 Plenty of veggie/coconut oil for frying plantains
 Ketchup for serving

Rice and Beans
1

First finely dice onions, peppers, and garlic (if using meat cut up and cook first) and sauté on medium-low heat in small stock pot until translucent. While this sautés cut up cilantro

2

Next add stock seasoning, tomato paste, cilantro, beans, and water (using cans). Increase heat to low boil. While heat is increasing measure out salt in large mixing spoon and sprinkle in cumin. The liquid should taste very salty

3

Once low boil is achieved add in rice. The liquid should just be sitting on top of the rice. Cover with lid slightly cracked and turn heat to low for 15-20min. At this point the liquid should be fully absorbed -but you’re not done! Using wooden spoon scrape the bottom of the pot folding the rice on itself. Form a rice “ball” in the center of the pot and cover completely for another 15-20min. At this time prepare the plantains!

4

When time is up and rice looks “dry” but not burned it is done.

Fried Plantains
5

Peeling the plantains is not always an easy task, but it is important to remove all of the peel. Then cut plantains into 1” chunks.

6

Turning on second burner onto medium high heat covering the bottom of the pan in oil. Once pan is hot add in plantains allowing to fry until lightly golden on each side- this takes a few minutes each. When the top and bottom sides are golden remove from pan to cool for a few minutes before continuing to the next step.

7

Using the bottom of a plate (or a plantain press if you have one), gently press into each plantain individually to flatten without squishing. Return plantains to pan and continue to fry until a dark golden brown on both sides- this should take the same amount of time as before. When done, allow to drain excess oil and season before serving. These taste great dipped in ketchup!

Ingredients

Rice and Beans
 2 tbsp Cooking oil (olive or veg)
 1 Cilantro bunch
 1 Bell pepper
 ½ Yellow onion
 1 Black beans (15.5 oz can)
 1 cups Water
 3 Garlic cloves
 Sazon Goya seasoning packet
 ½ Large spoon of salt
 1 Tomato paste (6 oz can)
 1 tsp Cumin
 4 cups Jasmine rice
Plantains
 3 Plantains (1/2-1 per person)
 Plenty of veggie/coconut oil for frying plantains
 Ketchup for serving

Directions

Rice and Beans
1

First finely dice onions, peppers, and garlic (if using meat cut up and cook first) and sauté on medium-low heat in small stock pot until translucent. While this sautés cut up cilantro

2

Next add stock seasoning, tomato paste, cilantro, beans, and water (using cans). Increase heat to low boil. While heat is increasing measure out salt in large mixing spoon and sprinkle in cumin. The liquid should taste very salty

3

Once low boil is achieved add in rice. The liquid should just be sitting on top of the rice. Cover with lid slightly cracked and turn heat to low for 15-20min. At this point the liquid should be fully absorbed -but you’re not done! Using wooden spoon scrape the bottom of the pot folding the rice on itself. Form a rice “ball” in the center of the pot and cover completely for another 15-20min. At this time prepare the plantains!

4

When time is up and rice looks “dry” but not burned it is done.

Fried Plantains
5

Peeling the plantains is not always an easy task, but it is important to remove all of the peel. Then cut plantains into 1” chunks.

6

Turning on second burner onto medium high heat covering the bottom of the pan in oil. Once pan is hot add in plantains allowing to fry until lightly golden on each side- this takes a few minutes each. When the top and bottom sides are golden remove from pan to cool for a few minutes before continuing to the next step.

7

Using the bottom of a plate (or a plantain press if you have one), gently press into each plantain individually to flatten without squishing. Return plantains to pan and continue to fry until a dark golden brown on both sides- this should take the same amount of time as before. When done, allow to drain excess oil and season before serving. These taste great dipped in ketchup!

Zory’s Fried Rice & Beans with Plantains

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