Gallo Pinto - Ticos' Rice & Beans

11:30 am on 2 November 2015
Ticos rice and beans

Photo: La Latina

Many Hispanic countries in Latin America have a rice and bean dish they adore and call their own. Cubans have congri or Moros y Cristianos, Venezuelans have their national dish pabellón of rice, beans, shredded beef and plantains, Brazil worships the feijoada and Dominicans love pinto beans as part of the dish la bandera Dominicana (meaning the Dominican flag), which is their traditional lunch available in every café or made in most homes. For Costa Rica, gallo pinto is the national dish. The capsicums and onions are gently fried before the rice and beans get mixed together, they add extra flavour and some crunch. ‘Ticos’, as Costa Ricans are called, eat it morning, noon or night — my favourite is at breakfast, with eggs, sweet plantains, crema agria and tortillas. This is a fast, yet super-tasty version. Get ready to eat it straight from the bowl!

Preparation: 10 minutes / Cooking: 15 minutes

Serves: 4–6


  • 1 tbsp rice bran oil
  • 1 small onion, diced
  • 1⁄4 cup diced de-seeded red capsicum
  • 1⁄4 cup diced de-seeded yellow capsicum
  • 2 cups cooked perfect white rice
  • 2 tsp Worcestershire sauce
  • 2 tsp soy sauce
  • 425 g can black beans, liquid retained
  • 1⁄2 cup chopped coriander


In a large frying pan, heat oil over a medium heat, then add onion and capsicums. Gently fry for about 5 minutes, until lightly seared. Add rice, Worcestershire sauce and soy sauce. Continue to cook for 2–3 minutes to warm the rice. Lower the heat to medium-low, and add beans with some of their liquid. Mix together until combined evenly. Season to taste with salt and freshly ground black pepper and add the coriander at the end. Serve straightaway.

Reproduced with permission from La Latina by Grace Ramirez

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