Typical Dominican Food and It’s Secret Ingredient

How to make typical Dominican Food

Typical Dominican Food uses fresh oregano, cilantro, and other spices that grow wild around the country. These ingredients contribute to the yummy aromas and delicious flavors you’ll encounter.  Ask any Dominican what the number one ingredient is and they’ll say  it is amor (pronounce ah-more). Do you know what amor means? It means LOVE! You can easily make a typical Dominican dish as long as you don’t forget the number one ingredient, amor.

Keep in mind that every single one of our condos has a fully equipped kitchen, so you will be able to make all of these meals (if you want) while you are here.

If you do decide to cook any of these recipes at home, use our Grocery Shopping in Cabarete Guide to pick up the goods!

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Typical Dominican Breakfast

typical dominican breakfast
Typical Dominican Breakfast

Let’s start with the most important meal of the day, breakfast. A bowl of cereal, or some yogurt with fresh fruits are possible to find here but most Dominicans would prefer a hot and hearty breakfast like mangu. Mangu,  not to be confused with mango, is quite simple. Green plantains are peeled and boiled until soft and then mashed with butter until completely smooth.  Typically, mangu is accompanied by fried eggs and cheese, sausage and topped with sautéed onions.

Typical Dominican Lunch

Typical Dominican Lunch
Typical Dominican Lunch

Lunch is the heaviest meal of the day almost always including rice, beans, meat, and salad or avocado. Since almost no day goes by without rice, here’s a simple recipe for white rice and beans. Beans come soupy with fresh cilantro, and local squash. (West Indies Pumpkin to be exact).

Braised beef or carne guisada (or chicken like in this recipe) is a indispensable part of Dominican culture, it includes oregano, garlic, onions, bell peppers, tomato paste, olives, and is slowly cooked. For more information on how to make braised beef,  follow this recipe.

Tostones are fried and flattened green plantains. They are fried first to heat them up to flatten them and then fried once more for the crispy, crunchy, salty last touch. Here’s a step-by-step on how to make the perfect tostone.

Typical Dominican Dinner

Dinner is more on the light side, most Dominicans will boil some tuberous roots that are commonly found here. Since a lot of food is made in the afternoon, left overs are not to go to waste!

Typical Dominican Sweets

Caramelized Plantains
Caramelized Plantains

If you didn’t use your plantains while they were still green and good for mangu, you can let them ripe to caramelize them. Here’s how to caramelize them, it includes rum, butter, and sugar.

These Dominican recipes are just the tip of the iceberg but they are also on the easier side for most people trying them out for the first time. However, don’t be shy to ask for help, make friends with the locals and learn how to cook like one, too. Before you know it, savory aromas of delicious local food will be filling your condo as long as you don’t forget that extra special, most important ingredient… AMOR, so you can always say, “hecho con amor” or “made with love.”

If all fails or you need to try some of the local food before cooking it yourself, here are some local restaurants you should try.

Tell us about your favorite typical Dominican food in the comments.

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