Peruvian Arroz Chaufa (Fried Rice)
Arroz chaufa is a Peruvian style fried rice with chicken, eggs, and ham. This is a Chinese inspired recipe that was created in Peru— thanks to Chinese immigration. So, it has the best of two worlds.
You can serve it as a side dish but I love it so much that I can eat it by itself.
Arroz chaufa has a similar history and purpose than the minestrone. It was created out of the necessity of reusing leftovers. It was a staple dish among low-income families. With time, it became a symbol of the Asian influence in Perú. Nowadays, it is one of the most popular dishes in Peruvian gastronomy.
What can you add to this fried rice?
Almost anything you can think of. As I’ve mentioned before, this is a leftover recipe. The purpose is to reuse food deliciously and easily.
Some ingredients ideas for arroz chaufa:
- Green peas
- Bell pepper
- Spring onions
For this post, I decided to stick to the basics of egg and chicken as the main source of protein.
How to make authentic Peruvian arroz chaufa?
As I’ve told you, this is an extremely easy recipe.
The first step is to cook the rice. The rice must be “al dente” — 2 cups of water for 1 cup of rice. I prefer to cook the rice a bit bland because further down I will add soya sauce — which has a lot of sodium.
Then, I chop the onion and bell pepper into small cubes. Also, the chicken breast must be cut into 1-inch cubes (bite-size).
Now, I cook all the ingredients without the rice. First the onion, bell pepper and minced garlic with a bit of oil. Then the protein: chicken, scrambled eggs, and ham cubes.
When the chicken is fully cooked, I season with soy sauce, chives, spring onions, and salt to taste.
After cooking for a few minutes, it is time to add the cooked rice.
The most important thing at the moment of assembling the fried rice is the temperature. Traditionally, for this recipe, it’s used big woks that withstand high heat. Woks allow moving the food from high heat spot at the center to medium heat at the edges.
But at home, most of us don’t owe a big wok—sadly. My method is to divide the food into two batches and cook in high heat using the largest pan I have. This way, I have plenty of room to move the rice without burning it. Stirring constantly ensures that the rice is evenly fried and that all the ingredients are blended.
What you can serve with arroz chaufa?
- 2 cups of rice
- 1 chicken breast around 200 gr
- 2 eggs
- 150 gr ham cubes
- 1 onion
- ½ bell pepper
- 1 garlic clove minced
- 2 tbsp chives
- 2 tbsp spring onion finely chopped
- 1 tbsp vegetable oil preferably sunflower oil
- ¼ cup of soy sauce
- Salt and pepper to taste
Cook the rice with little to no salt. Use 2 cups of water per cup of rice.
Chop the bell pepper and onion into tiny cubes.
In a big pan, add the oil, bell pepper, onion, and garlic. Cook for one minute until the onion is soft.
Cut the chicken into 1-inch cubes and season with salt and pepper. Toss it to the pan along with the ham cubes. Cook the chicken.
In a small pan, cook the scrambled eggs. Toss it to the big pan.
Season with soy sauce, chives and spring onion. Cook for a couple of minutes.
Add the cooked rice and turn up the heat. Stir constantly to blend all the ingredients into the rice. If needed, you can divide the recipe and cook in two batches. You need enough room to stir the rice constantly to avoid burning the bottom. Serve.