arroz chaufa

Recipe: My mum’s arroz chaufa (Peruvian fried rice)

Chaufa comes from chao fan, which apparently means “fried rice” in Chinese (not sure if in Mandarin, Cantonese or both). So yeah, arroz chaufa = “fried rice rice”. Arroz chaufa in Perú is very popular (as we have a large Cantonese community) and it comes in many varieties: chicken, pork, chicken + pork, chicken + pork + prawns (a.k.a. “special”) and I’m guessing nowadays also vegetarian/vegan.

My mum’s version of arroz chaufa had chicken and egg omelette. Although I didn’t realise this at the time, this was one of my favourite weeknight meals. I would eat an entire serving out of the pot before it even left the kitchen. Mum used to serve it as a side dish for store-bought Chinese food, such as wontons, charsiu pork or chicken drumettes. You could potentially eat this dish as a main, as it already has protein. However, I would encourage you to eat a small portion of the rice with a side of steamed or stir-fried vegetables and more protein if you wish.

Mum mostly made her arroz chaufa with chicken and egg omelette. She used to serve it as a side dish for store-bought Chinese food, such as wontons, charsiu pork or chicken drumettes. You could potentially eat this dish as a main, as it already has protein. However, I would encourage you to eat a small portion of the rice with a side of steamed or stir-fried vegetables and more protein if you wish.

For a change, mum did not give me any quantities. Still, her fried rice tasted the same every single time. I’ve done my best to approximate it, with a couple of differences: I used tamari instead of regular soy sauce and I did not use MSG.

Lastly, you can make a low-carb version by substituting the same amount of cauliflower rice for the cooked rice.

My mum's arroz chaufa

  • Servings: 4
  • Difficulty: medium
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Ingredients

  • 400g skinless chicken breast fillet
  • 4 tsp tamari
  • 5 tbsp coconut oil, divided
  • 4 eggs
  • 1/4 teaspoon salt
  • 5-6 cups cooked rice (preferably from the day before)
  • 2cm piece ginger, minced or grated
  • 2 green onions, finely chopped
  • 1 tbsp tamari
  • 1/2 tsp sesame oil

To serve

  • Steamed vegetables

Directions

  1. Cube chicken and marinate with tamari while you prepare the rest of ingredients.
  2. Whisk eggs with salt. Heat 2 tbsp coconut oil in a large pan or wok. Pour eggs and spread thinly. Flip when the top has set. Cook until golden on both side, take off the pan and on a plate and cut in 1-1.5cm squares.
  3. Add 1 tbsp coconut oil to the pan and fry chicken until cooked through.
  4. Add 1 tbsp coconut oil to the pan, add rice, ginger, green onion and tamari, stir well.
  5. Add omelette and mix well.
  6. Drizzle with sesame oil and serve with steamed vegetables.

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