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Tacu Tacu (Peruvian Beans and Rice)

Tacu Tacu (Peruvian Beans and Rice) 2.000

(Aubrie Pick/Ten Speed Press)

Eat Voraciously Newsletter Weeknight Vegetarian Apr 5, 2020

In Peru, this pancake of leftover rice and beans traditionally uses creamy canary (a.k.a. mayocoba or Peruano) beans and aji amarillo paste (made from Peru’s favorite chile). But you can also use pinto or another favorite bean, and Tabasco or another vinegary pepper sauce makes a fine substitute for the amarillo. This often comes topped with steak and/or a fried egg, but it’s delicious and hearty on its own, especially with a crunchy onion salsa. Some cooks fry individual portions in the oblong shape of an omelet, but I prefer one large cake, which you can divide and serve as you please.

Total time: 35 mins.

2 - 4

When you scale a recipe, keep in mind that cooking times and temperatures, pan sizes and seasonings may be affected, so adjust accordingly. Also, amounts listed in the directions will not reflect the changes made to ingredient amounts.

Tested size: 2-4 servings

  • For the salsa criolla
  • 1/2 small red onion, thinly sliced
  • 2 tablespoons chopped fresh cilantro leaves
  • 2 tablespoons fresh lime juice
  • 1/4 teaspoon aji amarillo paste (may substitute 1 teaspoon Tabasco or other pepper sauce)
  • 1/4 teaspoon kosher salt
  • For the tacu tacu
  • 3 tablespoons grapeseed, safflower or other neutral vegetable oil
  • 1/2 small red onion, chopped
  • 2 garlic cloves, chopped
  • 1/2 teaspoon kosher salt, plus more to taste
  • 1 teaspoon aji amarillo paste (may substitute 2 teaspoons Tabasco or other pepper sauce)
  • 2 cups cooked or canned canary beans, drained and rinsed (may substitute pinto beans, from two 15-ounce cans)
  • 1 cup cold (preferably day-old) cooked white rice
  • 1 tablespoon chopped fresh flat-leaf parsley leaves
  • 1 tablespoon chopped fresh oregano or 1 1/2 teaspoons dried
  • 1 lime, cut into wedges

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Make the salsa: In a medium bowl, combine the onion with enough cold water to cover, and let sit for at least 10 minutes, then drain. Toss with the cilantro, lime juice, aji amarillo and salt.

Make the tacu tacu: In a 10-inch nonstick skillet over medium-high heat, heat 1 tablespoon of the oil until shimmering. Stir in the onion and garlic and cook, stirring, until lightly browned, 5 to 6 minutes. Stir in the salt and aji amarillo, and scrape the mixture into the bowl of a food processor. Wipe out the skillet. 

Add 1 cup of the beans to the food processor and puree briefly until mostly smooth but still chunky. Scrape the mixture into a large bowl. Add the remaining 1 cup beans (left whole), the rice, parsley and oregano to the bowl and stir to thoroughly combine. Taste, and add more salt if needed. 

Return the skillet to medium heat and pour in another 1 tablespoon oil. Add the rice-and-bean mixture and use a spatula to spread it around evenly and lightly pack it down. Cook until deeply browned on the bottom, about 7 minutes. Remove from the heat, invert a plate (preferably with no rim) on top of the skillet, and carefully flip both over to land the bean-and-rice cake bottom-side up onto the plate. Return the skillet to medium heat, pour in the remaining 1 tablespoon oil, and slide the cake back into the skillet. Cook for another 7 minutes, or until deeply browned on the other side, then invert the plate and flip the skillet over again to land the cake onto the plate. If the cake cracks or breaks apart, just pat it back together. 

Top with the salsa and serve hot with lime wedges. 

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Recipe Source

Adapted from “Cool Beans” by Joe Yonan (Ten Speed Press, 2020).

Tested by Joe Yonan.

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Nutritional Facts

Calories per serving (based on 3): 262

% Daily Values*

Total Fat: 11g 17%

Saturated Fat: 1g 5%

Cholesterol: 0mg 0%

Sodium: 644mg 27%

Total Carbohydrates: 33g 11%

Dietary Fiber: 6g 24%

Sugar: 2g

Protein: 7g

*Percent Daily Value based on a 2,000 calorie diet. Your daily values may be higher or lower depending on your calorie needs.

Total Fat: Less than 65g

Saturated Fat: Less than 20g

Cholesterol: Less than 300mg

Sodium: Less than 2,400mg

Total Carbohydrates: 300g

Dietary Fiber: 25g

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