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Tacu Tacu (Peruvian Rice and Bean Cake) Recipe

Why It Works

  • A taste base of (optionally available) bacon, achiote and ají amarillo pepper pastes, onion, and oregano add complexity and depth to the beans.
  • Cooking the rice with garlic additional deepens the flavour of every element, for tacu tacu that is scrumptious all through.

Writing a recipe for tacu tacu would possibly strike many a Peruvian as a considerably pointless act: Tacu tacu is normally whipped up as a method to make use of leftover rice and beans, and is not typically one thing one units out to make from scratch. Context is all the things, although, and for these of us who do not have Peruvian leftovers in our fridge with frequency, there’s extra of a rationale to outlining all the course of. When you get the final thought, although, be at liberty to ditch the recipe and simply combine your rice and beans collectively in a pan with seasonings and fry it right into a hearty meal, as that is the true spirit of tacu tacu.

Given its position as a way of utilizing up leftovers, there are many prospects for variation with tacu tacu. One of the crucial widespread beans used is the mayocoba, a creamy beige bean that additionally goes by the names “canary” and “peruano” and is, because the final of those names suggests, very talked-about in Peru. However tacu tacu will also be made with lentils and lima beans, and, whereas much less conventional, black beans, which is how my pal Raquel (who taught me to make tacu tacu) prefers it—and provided that she’s an exceptional prepare dinner who grew up within the Peruvian metropolis of Trujillo, extensively thought of one of many nation’s gastronomic facilities, I absolutely belief her opinion.

Tacu tacu might be served any variety of methods—with a fried egg for breakfast, alongside a chunk of pan-seared or fried meat, or with leftover braises, stews, and different saucy dishes. For those who’re utilizing a leftover stew, you’ll be able to even combine a little bit of the stew’s juices into the tacu tacu, simply to amp up the flavour. Often served atop or alongside the tacu tacu is zarza (a.ok.a. salsa criolla), a easy salad of sliced crimson onion with cilantro, lime juice, and a few thinly sliced chile pepper (ideally ají amarillo, which you should purchase frozen in markets with a Peruvian meals part). It provides a welcome vivid and punchy notice to the in any other case earthy rice-and-bean cake.

Frankly, the essential thought of tacu tacu might be utilized to rice and bean leftovers even outdoors the Peruvian custom with nice outcomes. The dish is only one instance of the various rice-and-bean dishes of the African diaspora, from Puerto rican arroz con gandules to Jamaican peas and rice and Southern American hoppin’ John. Regardless of the supply of your rice and beans dinner, there’s all the time potential for a rice-and-bean pancake breakfast the following day.

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