The Spanish nobility of the Viceroyalty of Peru had an immense variety of both Spanish and Peruvian indigenous ingredients to work with, and the money and leisure time to experiment with them.
These wealthy Spaniards brought African slaves, who in turn brought their own foods and cooking techniques. As they worked in the Viceroyalty kitchens, African cooks blended their own food culture with the Creole cuisine of the European Spaniards, as well as the indigenous Peruvians’ cuisine (which varied, depending on the region). Many of the recipes that comprise Peruvian cuisine today were created through this cultural fusion. Further, the African cooks found clever ways to use leftovers and less desirable cuts of meat. Tacu tacu is a perfect example of the ingenuity and creativity that Africans brought to Peruvian food culture. Their influence on the evolution of Peruvian cuisine cannot be overstated.
Peruvians generally still eat their main meal at midday, and have a very light meal for nighttime supper. Tacu tacu is a tasty way to use up leftovers: leftover rice and bean purée are combined, fried, and topped with an egg (which is soft, so that the runny yolk can break over the tacu tacu, and act as a rich sauce). Occasionally it is eaten as a fuller meal, with a breaded beef cutlet (see the full recipe for tacu tacu con apanado here); but usually, it is simply topped with a fried egg. It is sometimes eaten this way for breakfast as well.
- 1cup white rice,long grain
- 2cups chicken or vegetable stock
- 1Tbsp. butterunsalted
- 1Tbsp. olive oilextra virgin
- 15oz. canary / mayacoba / peruano beans,pre-cooked (see below)
- 4oz. pork belly,small dice
- 1/4cup ají amarillo paste
- 1/2cup onion,minced
- 3cloves garlicminced
- 4large eggs
Follow your favorite recipe for cooking dry beans. You can also substitute 1 15-oz. can of cannellini or white northern beans, drained and rinsed, for the canary beans.
For a vegetarian version of tacu tacu, omit the pork belly and use vegetable stock for the rice.
For a vegan version, use vegan stock, and omit the pork belly, butter, and egg. Add olive oil to the rice, and fry with vegetable oil. Top with your favorite salsa, avocado slices, and / or a dash of ají amarillo paste.
This is the scratch version, but it is intended for leftover rice and beans of any kind. Just mash the beans, combine with rice, and follow the instructions above for frying. Feel free to experiment!
Copyright © 2011 la vida comida.
Recipe by Jennifer Ramos Lorson.