So, I’m way into Caribbean and Cuban food, lately.
A few weeks ago, a super well-known Seattle sandwich shop closed down completely unexpectedly. This place had a total cult following, and every day you could see hour-long lines trailing down the road around lunchtime (umm FYI, you people could have just called ahead and skipped the line!). Earlier this year, it was rated as #2 of Yelp’s 100 Places to Eat in the US.
Basically, countless hearts were shattered when a piece of paper appeared on the doors of their locations stating they were closing for good…including mine. I quickly began googling for a similar Caribbean/Cuban fix, and guess what? I found something EVEN BETTER than Paseo. AND it’s not cash-only, AND it’s right by my house, AND I ate there two nights in a row… You may have seen this glorious sandwich I posted on Insta. It’s from my new fave place, ever—Bongos.
I think they have Paseo beat on sandwiches and sides (and they serve beer!), but unfortunately, their black beans and rice left A LOT to be desired.
Good news though! I’m sharing with you the easiest recipe in the word for black beans and rice, and it’s crazy tasty.
Seriously, the beans will take you maybe 15 minutes to cook, and if you’re cooking your rice in a rice cooker like me, there’s barely any effort there on your part. You could even go for that 1 minute microwave rice and have this done in the blink of an eye!
This recipe uses canned beans, but it truly does not taste like it—promise! Oh, and did I mention that this is completely vegan without even trying? Even Mikey-the-carnivore devoured it!
Just so you know, you totally can’t skip the raw red onion on top. It’s bite pairs perfectly with the rich beans, and adds texture more than anything else. Mikey always says he hates red onions, but even he admitted it was necessary here 🙂
Now if you’ll excuse me, I’m going to go get my fourth Desi sandwich in 2 weeks, and pair it with these awesome beans and rice!
Yield: 4 servings
- 1 cup long-grain, white basmati rice
- 1 tbsp butter or oil
- salt and pepper
- 1 tbsp olive oil
- 1/2 red onion, chopped
- 2 fresh bay leaves (you can totally sub dried)
- 2 garlic cloves, minced
- 1 tsp dried oregano
- 1 tsp ground cumin
- 15 oz. can black beans, NOT drained
- 1/4 cup water
- 1 tsp hot sauce (I like Cholula)
- 3 tsp red wine vinegar
- 1/4 cup cilantro, roughly chopped + more to garnish
- 1/2 red onion, diced
- lime wedges
- Cook your rice with the butter (or oil) and a pinch of salt according to the directions for your rice cooker, or on the package.
- In a large saute pan, heat the olive oil over medium-high heat. Add in the onion and a pinch of salt, and sauté for about 5 minutes, until tender. Add in the bay leaves, garlic, oregano, and cumin, and cook for 1-2 minutes, until fragrant. Pour in the entire can of black beans (including the liquid), the water, the hot sauce, and another pinch of salt, and simmer on low heat for 5-10 minutes. Stir in the vinegar and cilantro. Season to taste with salt and pepper.
- Serve over prepared rice, and top with extra cilantro, the raw red onion, and lime wedges.