The end. And thanks for coming mmkkay baiyyyy!
Kidding. I should – WILL – stop obsessively eating this beautiful bowl of fried plantains, black beans, seasoned rice, and garlic cilantro lime slaw for at least two seconds so I can share the spicy, creamy, burrito bowl wealth with you in its internet form.
I’m not even trying to say that you should fall in love with it as hard and fast as I did, or that every person who reads this blog will like to smother their food in a garlic cilantro lime slaw and that leftover creamy sauce – I’m just letting you know that, for me, this combination is EVERYTHING.
These Spicy Brazilian Burrito Bowls are comfortably sitting in the Top Recipe of the Year place in my food blogger mind. I make a lot of recipes every year – some really super good, some bad, some legitimately frighteningly bad. But all that sort of fades away when I have this bowl in front of my face. Seriously, it’s the best thing I’ve eaten all year. Don’t give me a lot of time to think about that because I might be visited by a Ghost of Recipes Past and be forced to withdraw that bold statement. No, just let me have a strong, unshakeable statement for once in my Minnesota life.
Alright. I’m going to come clean about the story behind this recipe in list format ready go.
- Part 1: Bjork and I went to California not too long ago. Okay ummmm it was a while ago. Maybe I’m slow. I ate delicious food and, in an effort to collect food-inspiring memorabilia, I snagged a menu from a vegan restaurant called Sage (♡) knowing that its fantastic recipe descriptions would inspire me to near-vegan greatness. There were strong feelings involved because I am a wannabe vegan. And SAGE.
- Part 2: I found the Sage menu when cleaning out my desk, like, ten years later. But inspiring food is still inspiring food, so I opened up the menu and circled 90% of the dishes that sounded re-create-able. Starting recipe: Brazilian Burritos. The Brazilian Burritos involved mole sauce. Do you guys know/make/eat mole sauce? I thought I did, but then I made it and poured it all over my burritos, and found out that, in fact, I do NOT like mole sauce. Either that, or I got a little heavy handed with the chocolate. <– 99% likely. I rarely have a fail so bad that it finds its way into the garbage, but alas. You can’t win them all. So long, mo-lay.
- Part 3: I just couldn’t leave the Brazilian Burrito theme alone, so once the house stopped smelling like an overly chocolatey mole sauce fail zone, I decided to try again. This time with a **tried and true** sauce that you may remember from these shrimp tacos. Also: arranged in an actual container from Chipotle because it’s not ever going to be a REAL burrito bowl without one.
- Part 4: A few hundred fried plantains and a gallon of sauce later, I found myself swooning over this bowl-o-love that features them golden crispy plan-taters, black beans, crispy-creamy cilantro lime slaw, and seasoned rice. And just like that, Spicy Brazilian Burrito Bowls were born.
*casually flips hair over shoulder*
In full disclosure, I’m talking to you about Brazilian Burrito Bowls today from the steamy locale of New Orleans, Louisiana!
I am sort of loving the humidity, which is exactly the sort of naive we-don’t-live-here statement I used to hate coming from people when we lived in the Philippines, but here I am, being that girl, pretending like I love humidity for a hot second. I don’t know – it gives me bad hair excuses. It requires the wearing of a cute summer dress. It just feels good.
Also feeling good to me are the oysters and fried shrimp that are resting nicely in my belly. Except not the oysters – I chickened out last minute. 🙈 And then my food snob spirit was crushed by my real self.
Besides oysters (unless you are the person who can convince me that putting a weird, slimy, grey-ish, goobly-goop shellfish alien creature in my mouth is going to be a likable experience), what else do we need to be eating in NOLA?
Hurry up plz – we have, like, two minutes before we go home.
Now. SPICY BRAZILIAN BURRITO BOWLS FOR EVERYONE!
- 1½ cups white long grain rice, uncooked
- 2½ cups water
- 1½ cups salsa (mild, medium, or hot! you decide)
- 3 tablespoons tomato paste
- 2 tablespoons oil or butter
- 2 14 ounce can black beans, rinsed and drained
- 2 teaspoons EACH chili powder and cumin
- ¼ cup EACH oil and water
- ½ cup chopped green onions
- ½ cup cilantro leaves
- 2-3 cloves garlic (less if you're sensitive to garlicky things)
- ½ teaspoon salt
- juice of 2 limes
- ½ cup light sour cream or plain Greek yogurt
- 4 cups shredded cabbage (I just used a bagged slaw mix)
- vegetable oil for frying
- 4 green plantains
- Rice: Place the ingredients in a rice cooker and cook until done.
- Black Beans: Heat the black beans with the spices in a small saucepan until warmed through, adding a little water or oil as necessary. Keep heat on low to keep warm.
- Slaw: Pulse the oil, water, green onions, cilantro, garlic, salt, lime juice, and Greek yogurt in a food processor until mostly smooth. Toss the cabbage with enough sauce to coat - reserve the remaining sauce.
- Plantains: Peel the plantains and chop them into chunks about 1 inch wide. Pour enough oil into a heavy skillet so the plantains will be partially covered in oil. Preheat over medium high heat. Add the plantains, fry for a few minutes (you should see bubbles - if not, turn up the heat), flip and fry for a few more minutes, and transfer to a paper towel lined plate. Smash them with the back of a wooden spoon until they break open slightly. Put back in the oil and fry for another 2-3 minutes until golden brown. Transfer to a paper towel lined plate; sprinkle with salt. They should be crispy on the outside and soft on the inside, like French fries. 😀
- Assembly: Serve a scoop of rice, beans, and slaw into the bowls. Add the plantains on top with a few cilantro leaves. Drizzle with extra sauce. DEVOUR.
The slaw is the one element that should not be tossed together until you're ready to serve. If making ahead, just save everything separately in the fridge and toss the slaw together just before serving.
To make this vegan, sub the Greek yogurt in the sauce with a vegan alternative or just use a little more oil to make it more like a dressing.
Update 7/27: Just in case there was any confusion, there are no claims of authenticity for this recipe. It’s a fun, creative food combination inspired in both ingredients and name by a dish I saw on a restaurant menu. Dat’s all.