Historically, rice has been a staple of Latin American gastronomy since its arrival to our continent, with endless recipes that vary depending on the country and culture. Whether served as a main or side dish, rice is a must have ingredient at our table. Take a look at some of the most delicious rice dishes from Latin America.
Arroz con Pollo
Latinos can’t resist the mouth-watering smell of a good arroz con pollo. Rumored to have originated in Spain, arroz con pollo is a dish with many interpretations depending on the region. Its varieties are endless, but the base always starts with a mix of rice, chicken, vegetables and a seasoning made with herbs. Want to know the secret of Dominican arroz con pollo? Add a splash of beer to the rice while it cooks!
Arroz Chaufa or Chao Fan
A classic! Whether prepared with pork, beef or seafood, arroz chaufa or chao fan is the perfect fusion of Peruvian and Chinese cuisine. Both countries are big rice lovers, and in this dish they bring together their unique regional flavors in a fried rice with protein, veggies and egg tortilla, cooked in a wok at a very high temperature. Travel to the heart of Latin America and Asia by tasting this tasty dish.
A traditional dish from southeast Venezuela inherited from Caribbean immigrants, pelao guyanés is a recipe whose star ingredient is a delicious cage-free hen. In this yummy dish, the rice is cooked in a stew of hen, veggies and spices. The result is al dente rice bathed in an exquisite hen stew. Perfect for a rainy day at home! Would you make it?
Cuban Style Beans and Rice (Moro)
This version of rice and beans is from Cuban origin, but it’s cooked in many other Caribbean islands. Instead of serving the rice and beans separately, this recipe mixes white rice and black beans to make moro con cristianos or just moro. Starting with sautéed garlic, onion, oregano, cumin, bay leaves and other spices, the rice and beans are added until cooked. Some countries add pork to give it a special flavor. Anyone else hungry?
This delicacy is a traditional dish from the northern Caribbean part of Colombia, Venezuela and some Caribbean islands. Because of its sweet and salty taste, it is the perfect complement for meats and fried fish. The key to preparing coconut rice is the perfect balance of rice and coconut milk. Taste this flavorful dish and get transported to the Caribbean!
Another delicacy of Latin American gastronomy is shrimp rice, a very popular dish in the Caribbean, and in countries like Colombia, Peru, Venezuela and Ecuador. This delicious dish which star ingredients are rice and fresh shrimp, is cooked in the shrimp’s broth with sautéed tomatoes, onion, peppers and spices. Want to take your shrimp rice to another level? Serve it with fried plantains, also called patacones!
by Alex Tabar & Jose V. Arcieri