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
- 400 g skinless chicken breast fillet
- 4 tsp tamari
- 5 tbsp coconut oil divided
- 4 eggs
- 1/4 tsp salt
- 5-6 cups cooked rice preferably from the day before
- 2 cm piece ginger minced or grated
- 2 green onions finely chopped
- 1 tbsp tamari
- 1/2 tsp sesame oil
- Steamed vegetables
- Cube chicken and marinate with tamari while you prepare the rest of ingredients.
- 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.
- Add 1 tbsp coconut oil to the pan and fry chicken until cooked through.
- Add 1 tbsp coconut oil to the pan, add rice, ginger, green onion and tamari, stir well.
- Add omelette and mix well.
- Drizzle with sesame oil and serve with steamed vegetables.
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