7 Reviews

This has to be my favorite way of making rice with beans, but I, too, can't imagine Gallo Pinto without Salsa Lizano. Last time I looked, it wasn't being imported to the States. But Half Moon Bay Trading Company makes an even better Lizano style salsa (they start with fresh veggies, not dried, and use a higher quality vinegar). Check out Pirates Blend Caribbean Condiment at http://www.halfmoonbaytrading.com. I've heard there are as many recipes for Gallo Pinto as there are Costa Ricans. To try a spicier version, substitute 1 tsp ground cumin, 1 tsp ground coriander, and 1/2 tsp ground ginger for the fresh coriander in Alijen's recipe.

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taokeema October 27, 2007

I made this for my boyfriend who spent 4 months in Costa Rica as a surprise. He loved it, and so did I! I nixed the heavy cream and substituted the Lizano salsa for a few splashes of Worcestershire sauce. (I heard that they're similar). Totally pleased and I can't wait to make it again!!

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GFCB May 27, 2009

This is a great recipe! As a Costa Rican (aka tico), I love indulging in a healthy and tasty plate of pinto for breakfast. One vital thing you missed,however, for the wonderful flavor unique to a Tico's pinto, was Salsa Lizano. It's a completely veggie-based sauce (worchestershire is very similar) we use down in ticolandia. Just add a dash and stir it in while cooking the dish up on the stove. Try serving your pinto with fried or scrambled eggs ("Pinto con huevo") and a couple of tomato slices on the side. I also always top it off with a dollop of sour cream for "Pinto con natilla" to add some extra moisture. MMmmmmmm.....delicioso! Buen provecho.

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isthisit October 08, 2004

I lived in Costa Rica for ten years and traveled extensively. I have eaten many versions of Gallo Pinto.

A few myths need to be addressed. First, Gallo Pinto is not exclusively Costa Rican. Nicaragua also claims Gallo Pinto as a national dish, but uses red beans instead. It is found in many forms in many places around the Caribbean. In the USA, we call it Hoppin' John. Second, Salsa Lizano is not essential to make Gallo Pinto (more on this later).

I was introduced to Gallo Pinto by a Cuban-American ex-pat who ran a B&B, and served the most delicious Gallo Pinto. Jose Peyella stand up and take a bow. Our taste for a particular food is often set by our first few exposures. Like Mom's cooking or the pancakes at a favorite cafe. My point is that I would compare others offerings to Jose's. I watch and learned how he prepared the beans and rice in the afternoon or evening for the next morning's breakfast.

I am convinced, after eating numerous versions of Gallo Pinto, that the SECRET to great Gallo Pinto is in the beans and gravy.

Most Ticos make their beans simply in salted water, which leaves them lacking in flavor. Hence, the need for Salsa Lizano or Chilera (Tabasco like) to add a little more flavor or kick. I found that I had to ask for Lizano in many places outside the central valley and away from the tourist sites. The Nicas throw a couple garlic cloves in with their red beans, but the product still lacks real flavor. Some places added too much cilantro in an attempt to create flavor, but ended up overwhelming the dish with this herb.

I still eat Gallo Pinto con huevo frito y tocineta (with egg and bacon) most mornings. I make my own Cuban style black beans (like Jose's) most of the time, but use S&W Cuban Recipe Beans if I'm lazy or forgot to make a pot when they ran out. Now, I use Worcestershire Sauce with a squirt of mustard instead of paying the outrageous price for Salsa Lizano here in the US.

Gallo Pinto makes a healthy breakfast that sticks with you a lot longer than cereals or sweets. Try it and have it your way.

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spin August 24, 2012

My wife just visited Costa Rica and raved about the black beansvand rice she had. We looked this up and enjoyed it tremendously!

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t2flyer68 May 16, 2010

I ate this with eggs for breakfast every morning while in Costa Rica. I am so glad I decided to make this. I will to to find the Salsa Lizano mentioned above for the next batch. Thanks for posting this!

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Renea' May 21, 2006

This is one of my favourite lunches when I'm craving black beans! As a matter of fact, I had this just last afternoon{yesterday} for lunch and it was oh so marvellous!! I don't have the cream on top because of the additional calories. But, just plain and simple as it is, IT IS GREAT!

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Charishma_Ramchandani July 23, 2004
El Gallo Pinto (From Costa Rica- Beans and Rice)