The Filipino cuisine is heavily influenced by the Spanish after centuries of being under their rule and one of my favourite heavily Spanish-influenced Filipino dishes is Arroz a la Cubana, which is usually a meat-and-rice dish with a fried egg and fried saba or cardava bananas. This version is of course a Vegan Arroz a la Cubana made with extra firm tofu or tokwa for the protein! It also has some raisins for that extra bite of sweetness, some olives, and green peas.
Heat your skillet or non-stick pan over medium high heat. Once hot, add in a generous amount of oil. Pan-fry the bananas over medium high heat for 2-3 minutes on each side or until golden brown. Flip over and repeat the other side. Set the bananas aside.
Tofu: Drain any excess liquid from the tofu by wrapping it in paper towels and placing a heavy flat surface on top of the tofu.
In the same pan used for the bananas, heat some oil, Once hot, sauté the onions over medium heat until translucent. Add in the garlic and sauce until lightly brown.
Crumble the tofu into small pieces (I just used my hands for this) and add into the pan. Season the tofu with the tomato paste, sugar, and soy sauces. Mix well and leave the tofu to cook, turning it every 2 to 3 minutes to evenly crisp the sides.The tofu will start to resemble minced pork as it cooks down and the water from the tofu evaporates. This may take around 10-12 minutes in total. Add in the olives, raisins, and green peas. Mix well. Taste the tofu and season with salt and pepper to taste.
Serve with some rice and pan-fried bananas. Enjoy while hot!
If you don’t have access to saba or cardava bananas, feel free to use 2 plantains or other cooking bananas. And since plantains are much longer, you can slice them in half. They will also have a slightly different texture.