Go meatless with easy vegan arroz ala cubana recipe, be sure to cook rice when making this recipe. Use firm tofu as your base and add vegetables like peas, carrots and corn mixing raisins and top with fried banana.

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Arroz ala Cubana recipe has been around in the Philippines since the Spanish colonization. While the usual recipe in the Philippines uses meat and egg the unique part is adding fried bananas particularly Saba in the recipe.

The origin of the recipe is not quite defined but this is common in Spanish-speaking countries. While in Spain, it consists of rice, tomato sauce, and fried egg as Arroz means rice.

It’s one of the many recipes I miss a lot since becoming plant-based so I have to look for alternatives to recreate the recipe.

What Other Main Ingredient To Use

Firm or extra firm tofu is ideal to use in the vegan version of arroz ala cubana recipe. But you can also use mushrooms cut into small bits or use TVP (texturized vegetable protein), jackfruit as plant-based pulled pork, or plant-based meatless crumbles.

What to substitute with Saba

Saba is a native of the Philippines and we have our own Saba Banana trees. Once ripe, we fry it in the morning or boil it with skin and serve it as breakfast. It can also be used to make other Filipino snacks which I will share soon.

In Singapore it’s hard to find Saba especially in the grocery stores, sometimes I get lucky to find them in some market areas specifically in the morning. Saba reminds me so much of home and I consider it as comfort food.

To replace saba you can also use plantains but saba when ripe are sweeter than plantains which really compliments this recipe on every bite.

Benefits of Banana/Plantains

Banana and Plantains are good sources of fiber, vitamins, and minerals. It is high in Potassium and known to give you energy as well that’s why it is always present during marathons or running events.

What vegetables to use

This recipe doesn’t require lots of vegetables as it is very simple. You can use peas but feel free to use mixed veggies like what I added. It has corn, carrots, beans, and peas and also added raisins.

Others also add tomatoes aside from using tomato sauce or paste.

How To Press Tofu?

I wrote some pointers on how to press tofu and remove the excess water in it. See it here:

Pressing Tofu

Recipe Notes

For this vegan arroz ala cubana I like my tofu to be crispier so I fried it a little longer. Do not overcrowd the pan to have even cooking especially if you are using two packs of tofu.

I didn’t marinate it since the tomato paste will give the flavor. When adding the tomato paste use half first and adjust the taste according to your preference.

You can opt for just peas instead of mixed vegetables.

You can add sugar if you find it a bit sour because of the tomato and that is optional, start with 1 tsp to 1 tablespoon first. I didn’t add any sugar I can taste the tomatoes very well but the next day it got even better and more delicious.

I diced my tofu into small pieces and eventually broke them in the pan and made ground tofu.

This recipe goes well with a hot cup of rice.

If using fresh tomatoes fry them together with the garlic and onion.

You can reduce raisins to 1/4 but I don’t suggest not adding them because it adds flavor to every bite.

vegan arroz ala cubana
Vegan Arroz ala Cubana

Vegan Arroz ala Cubana

Ingredients

  • 2 blocks firm tofu or 200g
  • 1/2 cup mixed vegetables (thawed)
  • 1 medium yellow onion (chopped)
  • 4 cloves garlic (chopped)
  • 1/2 cup raisins
  • 8 oz tomato paste
  • 1 tbsp light soy sauce (option: gluten-free soy sauce)
  • Salt & pepper to taste
  • Few drops tabasco (optional)
  • Pinch Dry Chili flakes
  • Fried Saba Banana (plantains optional) (2 pcs)
  • 2-3 tbsp cooking oil

Instructions

  1. Prepare all ingredients. Dice tofu, peel and chop onion and garlic.
  2. Heat Pan. Add oil. Peel the skin of Banana and cut it in the middle or lengthwise and fry until golden brown under low medium heat.
  3. Remove the bananas once cooked and set aside.
  4. Add onion and garlic. Saute until golden brown.
  5. Add tofu and cook until golden brown or according to your preference. Avoid overcrowding for even cooking.
  6. Add raisins and mix, cook again for another 2 mins.
  7. Add mixed vegetables and cook again for another 2-3 minutes.
  8. Add tomato paste and soy sauce. Mix well to ensure tofu is well coated with tomato paste.
  9. Add salt and pepper to taste and mix well. Add a few drops of tabasco sauce and chili flakes for some spice.
  10. Adjust the taste according to your preference.
  11. Let the tomato paste evaporate and be absorbed by the tofu and it’s ready to serve.
  12. Top with fried bananas for presentation.
  13. Serve with a cup of rice and enjoy.
  14. Leftovers can be transferred in an airtight container. Keep in the fridge when it’s not hot anymore.
  15. This recipe can last for up to 5 days if kept in the fridge.

Nutrition

This vegan arroz ala cubana can yield up to 5 servings with 169 calories per serving. Total Fat 2.5g | Saturated Fat 0.5g | Cholesterol 0mg | Sodium 350mg | Total Carbohydrate 32.5g | Dietary Fiber 5.1g | Total Sugars 19.9g | Protein 8.8g | Vitamin D 0mcg | Calcium 148mg | Iron 3mg | Potassium 877mg

Nutrition calculation is based on using an online calculator (verywellfit) and for reference use only.

vegan arroz ala cubana

Easy vegan arroz ala cubana

Jeannie
Easy arroz ala cubana made vegan and topped with fried banana. Perfect meal anytime of the day.
5 from 63 votes
Prep Time 10 mins
Cook Time 40 mins
Total Time 50 mins
Course Main Course
Cuisine Asian, Filipino
Servings 5
Calories 169 kcal

Equipment

  • skillet pan

Ingredients Needed
  

  • 2 blocks firm tofu or 200g
  • 1/2 cup mixed vegetables (thawed)
  • 1 medium yellow onion (chopped)
  • 4 cloves garlic (chopped)
  • 1/2 cup raisins
  • 8 oz tomato paste
  • 1 tbsp light soy sauce (option: gluten-free tamari/coconut aminos)
  • Salt & pepper to taste
  • Few drops tabasco (optional)
  • Pinch Dry Chili flakes
  • 2 Fried Saba Banana (optional:plantains)
  • 2-3 tbsp cooking oil

Instructions
 

  • Prepare all ingredients. Dice tofu, peel and chop onion and garlic.
  • Heat Pan. Add oil. Peel the skin of Banana and cut it in the middle or lengthwise and fry until golden brown under low medium heat.
    fry saba banana
  • Remove the bananas once cooked and set aside.
  • Add onion and garlic. Saute until golden brown.
  • Add tofu and cook until golden brown or according to your preference. Avoid overcrowding for even cooking.
    stir fry tofu
  • Add raisins and mix, cook again for another 2 mins.
  • Add mixed vegetables and cook again for another 2-3 minutes.
  • Add tomato paste and soy sauce. Mix well to ensure tofu is well coated with tomato paste.
  • Add salt and pepper to taste and mix well. Add a few drops of tabasco sauce and chili flakes for some spice.
  • Adjust the taste according to your preference.
  • Let the tomato paste evaporate and be absorbed by the tofu and it’s ready to serve.
  • Top with fried bananas for presentation.
  • Serve with a cup of rice and enjoy.
    arroz ala cubana meal
  • Leftovers can be transferred in an airtight container. Keep in the fridge when it’s not hot anymore.
  • This recipe can last for up to 5 days if kept in the fridge.

Notes

  1. Do not overcrowd the pan to have even cooking especially if you are using two packs of tofu.
  2. When adding the tomato paste use half first and adjust the taste according to your preference.
  3. You can opt for just peas instead of mixed vegetables.
  4. You can add sugar if you find it a bit sour because of the tomato and that is optional, start with 1 tsp to 1 tablespoon first. I didn’t add any sugar I can taste the tomatoes very well but the next day it got even better and more delicious.
  5. I diced my tofu into small pieces and eventually broke them in the pan and made ground tofu.
  6. If using fresh tomatoes fry them together with the garlic and onion.
 

Nutrition

This vegan arroz ala cubana can yield up to 5 servings with 169 calories per serving. Total Fat 2.5g | Saturated Fat 0.5g | Cholesterol 0mg | Sodium 350mg | Total Carbohydrate 32.5g | Dietary Fiber 5.1g | Total Sugars 19.9g | Protein 8.8g | Vitamin D 0mcg | Calcium 148mg | Iron 3mg | Potassium 877mg
Nutrition calculation is based on using an online calculator (verywellfit) and for reference use only.
 
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100 Comments

  1. 5 stars
    Thanks for the recipe. I was looking for new ideas and found this recipe. Now to gather all the ingredients. I will keep you posted.

  2. 5 stars
    I’ve never cooked with tofu before but this recipe looked so good I just had to try it. Let me tell you that it did not disappoint and will be saving this recipe to make again. So so good. Thank you.

  3. 5 stars
    I recently had oral surgery and was on the lookout for softer foods to eat for dinner while still feeding my family a proper meal. This was an absolute hit!

  4. 5 stars
    This was so tasty and full of flavor! It reminded me of some of the breakfasts we enjoyed while we were in Costa Rica. Happy memories! I’ll be making this again soon!

  5. Yay for meatless meals. I had never tried anything like this before, I love the added fried banana. I plan to make this again soon. Thanks.

  6. I love this recipe because it’s meatless and yet flavorful and tasty.:) I would love to share this with all my family members and can’t wait to dig in with my rice with this.:)YUM! Thanks!

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