Chaufa rice: Chinese rice cooked in Peruvian style
With no doubt, fried rice is one of the stars of Asian cuisine and a favorite of many people around the world. Did you know that there is a South American version? So, today we will teach you the basics of chaufa rice.
Table of Contents
Main ingredients in chaufa rice
Let’s start with a frequent question: what is chaufa rice? It is the typical Peruvian fried rice—arroz chaufa in Spanish— and has many variations. One of them, called aeropuerto rice, even contains noodles. However, they all have these ingredients in common: scallion, bell pepper —or some chilies, called ajíes in much of South America—, soy sauce, scrambled eggs, chunks of meat and, of course, white rice.
As with any other dish, if we want our chaufa rice to be really good, we must use good quality ingredients.
Preparation in three stages
Preparing this typical Peruvian dish is straightforward.
In the first stage, rice is cooked as you already know—in a saucepan with boiling water. However, the grains should not be allowed to soften too much, because they must be firm for the third stage of preparation, in which seasonings are added.
For this reason, it is not recommended to cook rice for arroz chaufa for more than fifteen minutes after the water in the saucepan has begun to boil. Nor is it recommended to add salt to the cooking rice, because soy sauce, which is already quite salty, will be added in the second stage.
In the second stage, seasoning and chunks of meat—usually chicken—are fried in a deep frying pan—for example, in a wok. The mixture should be stirred frequently, and will be ready to move on to the third stage after about four to five minutes.
In the third stage, the rice is fried, which will take between five and eight minutes, depending on the amount of rice, the amount of seasoning and the amount of meat chunks—and depending on whether the meat is already pre-cooked. This is also the time to add scrambled eggs.
Remember to stir the mixture frequently. In the final minutes is when soy sauce is added in order to prevent it from burning. As we have already said, it is not necessary to add salt—regular soy sauce is salty enough.
Tips for cooking chaufa rice
- If you prefer loose rice and do not like it with lumps, it is advisable to wash it before cooking, to remove the excess starch that covers the grains.
- To save time, it is recommended to chop seasonings before starting the rice preparation.
- Likewise, in order to save time and for hygienic reasons, it is advisable to cook the meat before frying it in the second stage of preparation.
- For the same two reasons already mentioned, it is recommended to scramble the eggs prior to the third stage. If you prefer, instead of scrambled eggs, you can make an omelet and cut it into pieces, and then add these pieces to the mixture in the frying pan.
- Remember once again that regular soy sauce is quite salty, so you do not need to add salt to your rice. However, if you like your food a little salty, you can add a little salt to the meat or scrambled eggs—or omelet—before adding them to the frying pan. If you do not want to salt the mixture while cooking, you can add salt with the saltshaker to a served portion of chaufa rice and stir it a little before eating.
If you are vegetarian and your diet allows you to consume egg, then you only need to substitute meat pieces for a little more egg. In this case, it is more advisable to make a large omelet—about five or six eggs—, and, when it is ready, cut it into pieces before adding it to the mixture in the frying pan.
Is chaufa rice Chinese or Peruvian?
Although chaufa rice is the typical Peruvian fried rice, It is said that this dish originated in the fried rice cooked by Chinese immigrants in Peru at the end of the 19th century. However, some say that the recipe, as well as the presence of Chinese people in South America, is older, dating back as early as the 16th century.
The very name chaufa seems to support the Asian origin of the Peruvian dish—chao fan is Chinese, meaning ‘fried rice’. Therefore, this is a good example of cultural adoption and adaptation.
- Fried Forbidden Rice (Easy Chinese Fried Rice Recipe With Black Rice )
- Cooking Rice in Microwave – How To Cook Perfect Rice In Microwave
- Black Rice – Is It Still Forbidden? Enjoy 9 Healthy And Easy Black Rice Recipes