Insider's Kitchen

The Puerto Rican, Filipino Connection

By Miranda Shimizu
Guest Writer

Food from both these country is very similar in most aspects but yet very distinct. This is a great blend of two classic plates within both countries. We'll start with the rice first.

Arroz Con Gandules (Rice with Green Pigeon Peas)

2 cups short grain rice (rinsed thoroughly) -- long grain will work also if necessary
4-5 cups of hot water -- approximately
1/2 cup ready made sofrito (Available at most international markets if not easily found at local grocery store.)
16 ounce can of gandules (these are cooked green pigeon peas)
2 tablespoons of cappers and olives mixed together or otherwise known as alcaparrado
1 packet of Sazon with achiote (Available at most international markets if not easily found at local grocery store.)
1 can tomato sauce
2.5 to 3 tablespoons of oil
(Also have salt and pepper ready for personal flavor tolerance)

1. In a medium size caldero add the oil, tomato sauce, alcaparrado, sofrito and sazon. Cook over medium heat for 4 minutes.
2. Add all other ingredients, and enough water to cover the rice 1" above the rice line.
3. Start with 1 teaspoon of salt stir and keep adding and mixing well until you are satisfied with the taste.
4. Bring to a boil and cook over high heat until most of the water is absorbed.
5. Once the water has been absorbed, stir gently from bottom to top - once or twice only, cover and turn the heat down to low.
6. Cook for 30 minutes or until the rice is tender.

Next we'll make the bistek (beef steak) plate which carries the same name in both countries and is incredibly similiarly cooked.


3/4 kilo tender pork or beef steaks, sliced
1 tablespoon kalamansi or lemon juice
5 tablespoons soy sauce
3 cloves of garlic
1 small piece ginger, crushed
1/2 cup onions, sliced in rings
4 tablespoons cooking oil

1. Marinate the pork or beef steak in kalamansi (lemon) juice, garlic, ginger, soy sauce and pepper for 30 minutes.
2. In a frying, add cooking oil. Add the marinated pork or beef steak and cook slow until done.
3. Increase heat for a minute or two to brown steaks.
4. Add the sliced onions and continue to cook for another minute.
5. Serve on a platter along with the oil and sauce or alongside the rice.

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