Friday, August 27, 2010

Arroz Frito Cubano: Cuban Fried Rice

This is how I learned to make fried rice growing up in a Cuban household.

Measure 2 cups of uncooked long grain white rice and cook using your preferred method (i.e, rice cooker, stove top, etc) making sure it results in fluffy rice, not sticky rice. It's best to make the rice the day before and refrigerate over night.

For the fried rice:
1 lb Ham, diced
1 lb Smoked Pork Chops, diced

1 lb Shrimp, cleaned and deveined
3 Eggs, beaten
14 oz can bean sprouts, drained

soy sauce
1 clove garlic, minced

peanut oil or vegetable oil

There are quite a few step involved in this recipe. I'm going to break it down for you as best I can.

Dice your ham and your smoked pork chops.

The ham and chops usually have water added. We want to extract as much liquid as possible from the meats without drying them out. In a skillet heat a little vegetable oil and drop in your diced meats. Stir, once the liquid starts to separate strain your meats to eliminate the liquid. Set aside.

In the same skillet now heat a little more oil and drop in your garlic, do not let it brown, add your shrimp, stir until cooked and most of the liquid is absorbed. Strain. (If you are using pre-cooked shrimp follow the same steps and we need to reduce the liquid from these shrimp as well.) Set aside.

The bean sprout have a lot of liquid as well. For these we will heat oil in the same skillet and basically fry the sprouts until they start to turn golden. The liquid should be evaporated by this point. Set aside.

Scramble your eggs. Heat oil in the same skillet you've been using and pour your eggs in letting them lie flat like a pancake. Flipping once (I made a mess of this). Remove from pan and cut into long slices.

Now to fry the rice: coat the bottom of a wok or a very large pan with vegetable oil and bring to a high heat. You're going to need a strong wrist for this – drop your rice in little by little stirring rapidly to coat it with the oil. Drizzle in some soy sauce as you stir, add more rice, more soy suace, etc. Watch the heat as your rice may start to stick or burn, adjust accordingly and keep stirring. Once the grains of rice are no longer sticking to each other and are evenly coated with oil and soy sauce stir in your ham and pork chops, next the bean sprouts and shrimp and lastly the eggs.

Leave the soy sauce bottle on the dinner table for those who always want more. Enjoy.


  1. Yup yup fried rice in Cuban cooking is common :D here's my grandmas version it's very simple, but then again I grew up eating a lot of Chinese food too (from friends, parents co- workers, etc.) :

  2. Your grandma's looks good! I left a comment.

  3. Looks wonderful. We do love fried rice, and I think one good reason I like it is you can put most anything in it. Yours is stuffed to the gills! Yum!

  4. It was yummy Lyndsey. I hadn't made it years, there were 7 of us last night and we devoured it.

  5. You should make it Sharline, you don't have to use that many ingredients, just what you have at hand.