Qué significa la palabra arroz con tunco

What does the word arroz con tunco mean?

Arroz con tunco is a traditional dish from El Salvador, consisting of rice and fried green bananas. This delectable meal is a beloved staple in Salvadoran cuisine, enjoyed by both locals and visitors. In this article, we will delve into the origins of arroz con tunco, the ingredients utilized in its preparation, and the step-by-step process of creating this flavorful dish.

Origins of Arroz con Tunco

The roots of arroz con tunco can be traced back to the indigenous communities of El Salvador. The term tunco is derived from the Nahuatl language, spoken by the Pipil people who once inhabited the region before the Spanish colonization. In Nahuatl, tunco translates to ripe banana, highlighting the significance of this key ingredient in the dish.

  • The Pipil people were known for their agricultural practices, cultivating an array of crops including bananas, which were a vital component of their diet.
  • The incorporation of indigenous language and ingredients in arroz con tunco reflects the rich cultural heritage of El Salvador and pays homage to its ancestral roots.
  • Over the years, arroz con tunco has evolved to encompass a blend of traditional and contemporary influences, showcasing the dynamic nature of Salvadoran cuisine.


The primary components utilized in the preparation of arroz con tunco include:

  • Rice: Long-grain white rice is the foundation of this dish, providing a fluffy and aromatic base for the flavors to meld.

  • Green Bananas: Ripe green bananas are peeled, sliced, and fried to a crisp golden brown, adding a unique sweetness and texture to the dish.

  • Protein: Variations of arroz con tunco may incorporate chicken or pork as a protein source, infusing the dish with additional depth and heartiness.

  • Vegetables: Bell peppers, onions, and tomatoes are commonly included to enhance the flavor profile and add vibrancy to the dish.

  • Spices: Cumin, oregano, and garlic are essential seasonings that contribute to the robust and savory taste of arroz con tunco.

  • The combination of these ingredients creates a harmonious blend of flavors and textures, making arroz con tunco a truly satisfying and wholesome meal.

  • The versatility of the dish allows for customization based on personal preferences, with the option to adjust the protein choice or spice levels to suit individual tastes.

  • The use of fresh, locally sourced ingredients is key to capturing the authentic essence of Salvadoran cuisine and elevating the overall dining experience.


To prepare arroz con tunco, follow these steps:

  1. **Heat oil in a large skillet over medium heat to create a flavorful base for the dish.
  2. **Fry the sliced green bananas until they are crispy and golden brown, then set them aside to add later.
  3. **Sauté onions, bell peppers, and garlic in the same skillet until fragrant, infusing the oil with aromatic flavors.
  4. **Add the rice to the skillet and coat it with the oil and vegetables, allowing the grains to toast slightly for added depth of flavor.
  5. **Pour in water or chicken broth to create a savory broth that will infuse the rice with rich flavors as it simmers.
  6. **Cover the skillet and simmer the rice until it is cooked through, absorbing the liquid and becoming tender.
  7. **Incorporate the fried green bananas and cooked chicken or pork into the rice mixture, combining all the elements to create a cohesive and satisfying dish.
  8. **Season the arroz con tunco with cumin, oregano, salt, and pepper to taste, adjusting the seasoning as needed to achieve the desired flavor profile.
  9. **Serve the dish hot, allowing the flavors to meld together and delight your taste buds with each savory bite.
  • The methodical preparation process ensures that each component of the dish is cooked to perfection, resulting in a harmonious blend of flavors and textures.
  • The combination of frying, sautéing, and simmering allows for the ingredients to marry together, creating a cohesive and flavorful dish that is both comforting and satisfying.
  • The careful selection and balance of ingredients play a crucial role in the success of arroz con tunco, showcasing the artistry and skill involved in traditional Salvadoran cooking techniques.


Arroz con tunco stands as a testament to the vibrant and diverse culinary landscape of El Salvador, embodying the rich history and cultural heritage of the region. With its roots deeply embedded in indigenous traditions and local ingredients, this iconic dish offers a glimpse into the authentic flavors of Salvadoran cuisine. Whether enjoyed at home or savored at a local Salvadoran restaurant, arroz con tunco promises a memorable dining experience that celebrates the essence of traditional cooking. Next time you crave a taste of El Salvador, consider preparing this classic dish to savor the unique flavors and aromas that define arroz con tunco.


  1. What is the origin of arroz con tunco?

Arroz con tunco has its roots in the indigenous communities of El Salvador, with the word tunco derived from the Nahuatl language meaning ripe banana.

  1. What are the main ingredients used to make arroz con tunco?

The main ingredients used to make arroz con tunco are rice, green bananas, chicken or pork, vegetables (bell peppers, onions, tomatoes), and spices (cumin, oregano, garlic).

  1. How is arroz con tunco prepared?

To prepare arroz con tunco, you need to fry sliced green bananas until golden brown, sauté onions, bell peppers, and garlic, cook rice with water or chicken broth, and then mix in the fried bananas and cooked protein along with seasonings.

  1. Why is arroz con tunco considered a must-try dish in Salvadoran cuisine?

Arroz con tunco is a flavorful and traditional dish that represents the authentic flavors of El Salvador, making it a must-try for anyone looking to experience the rich history and ingredients of Salvadoran cuisine.

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