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Arroz Tapado (Rice-On-Top)

Rated as 4.5 out of 5 Stars

"A fun Peruvian dish that looks cool and is always a hit with the kids! Seasoned meat is the surprise center to the rice on top. Makes great leftovers!"
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1 h 30 m servings 510
Original recipe yields 6 servings


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  1. Bring the rice and 4 cups of water to a boil in a saucepan over high heat. Reduce heat to medium-low, cover, and simmer until the rice is tender, and the liquid has been absorbed, 20 to 25 minutes.
  2. Place the egg into a saucepan, and cover with water by 1 inch. Cover the saucepan and bring the water to a boil over high heat. Once the water is boiling, remove from the heat and let the egg stand in the hot water for 15 minutes. Pour out the hot water, then cool the egg under cold running water in the sink. Peel once cold. Chop the egg and set aside in a small bowl.
  3. Heat 1 cup of vegetable oil in a deep-fryer or large saucepan to 350 degrees F (175 degrees C). Deep fry the potato cubes until golden brown, about 5 minutes; drain on paper towels, and set aside.
  4. Place tomatoes and 1/2 cup of water in a blender, and puree until tomatoes are liquefied (peel and seed first, if desired).
  5. Heat 1 tablespoon of vegetable oil in a large skillet over medium heat, and cook and stir the onion, garlic, aji chile powder, cumin, black pepper, and oregano until the onion begins to brown, 8 to 10 minutes; pour in the pureed tomatoes, and simmer for 5 more minutes, stirring often. Mix in the ground beef and carrots, and cook until the meat is no longer pink and the carrots are tender, about 10 minutes. Break the meat up into small chunks as it cooks. Mix in the chopped hard-cooked egg, peas, and peanut butter until thoroughly combined. Finally, gently stir in the cubes of fried potato.
  6. To assemble the dish, oil a flexible plastic bowl (at least 1 cup size) and press cooked rice into the bottom to fill 1/3 of the bowl. Layer about 3/4 inch of meat mixture over the rice, and top with more cooked rice to fill the bowl. With an oiled hand, gently press on the rice to compact the mixture; place a serving plate on top of the bowl, flip, and turn out the rice and meat-filled form. Repeat with remaining ingredients. Garnish with sprinkles of cilantro, chopped tomato, and dollops of ketchup on each serving.


  • Cook's Note
  • If you can't find ground aji chile powder, substitute with smoked paprika.
  • Editor's Note
  • We have determined the nutritional value of oil for frying based on a retention value of 10% after cooking. The exact amount will vary depending on cooking time and temperature, ingredient density, and the specific type of oil used.
  • Partner Tip
  • Reynolds® Aluminum foil can be used to keep food moist, cook it evenly, and make clean-up easier.

Nutrition Facts

Per Serving: 510 calories; 18 63.1 22.5 81 116 Full nutrition

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Read all reviews 22
  1. 24 Ratings

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    Rated as 1 out of 5 Stars
Most helpful positive review

Being Peruvian, I make this for my family all the time. I would omit the 1 cup of oil, water, peanut butter and ketchup these ingredients are not necessary. Just use maybe 3 tablespoon of EVOO....

Most helpful critical review

I really like the idea of this recipe, but the meat was really bland. I just happened to be making chicken noodle soup at the same time so I kept adding the broth from my soup to the meat mixtu...

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Most positive
Least positive

Being Peruvian, I make this for my family all the time. I would omit the 1 cup of oil, water, peanut butter and ketchup these ingredients are not necessary. Just use maybe 3 tablespoon of EVOO....

This on is a keeper! Made the recipe exactly as written and my husband LOVED it! Thanks so much, Katie!

This was a hit. I have a very picky husband. I followed the recipe to the tee. However, I was a little aprehensive to adding the peanut butter, I thought it was a little unusaual, and I knew tha...

This is a fun recipe and I love how the flavors compliment each other. The presentation was great and it was filling. I used spinach rather than peas and it was a good substitute.

This is a really nice recipe. My whole family liked it. Just one change that I made (well two actually). I added salt to the cooking water in the rice. This recipe has no salt at all so for ...

This was good but I felt the cumin was too present in the taste. This was really just arroz con picadillo with a pretty presentation. A nice spin on making this look nice though

I loved this recipe, hubby and kids only liked it, so 4/5 from me. It sure is easy, and I think the flavor is excellent! Plus it is a fun presentation and something really different for a weekni...

This is a favorite at our home.

This was an easy weeknight dinner. I had leftover beef to use up (ground it in the food processor), and many of the ingredients here are pantry staples. Having said that I didn't have cumin an...