In Perú we eat fried rice all the time, although in a different style than the original Chinese recipe; we call it “arroz chaufa.” Chinese immigrants made their grand arrival to Perú in the 19th Century, and they would work in coastal cotton farms mostly. Now they are a main contributor to Perú’s economy and certainly to our gastronomy. Here I give you my version of “arroz chaufa” with courgettes, bell peppers and mushrooms. It’s not difficult at all to make, it’s just that you need to prepare certain ingredients before actually adding them to the fried rice, but other than that it’s pretty straight forward. Hope you enjoy it!
– 1 tsp minced ginger
– 1 1/2 cup long grain rice
– 1 cup courgettes or zucchini
– 3/4 cup red bell pepper, cut into strips
– 1 cup diced chestnut mushrooms or portobello
– 2 eggs
– 1 1/3 cup chicken breast, cut into large dice
– 1/4 cup soy sauce
– vegetable oil as much as needed
– salt & pepper to taste
1. Cook the rice! Just do a plain preparation following the instructions on the bag: fry it a bit first until the grains turn white (careful not to burn it) and then add water, turn down the heat and put a lid on it until water evaporates. If needed, add more boiled water until it is perfectly cooked.
2. Make an omelette! This recipe has an omelette cut into squares, so we will beat the eggs with some salt and pepper
3. and then with enough oil on a pan, put the eggs in to cook in a slow heat so it has time to cook a bit on top as well so you can flip it. I used a small pot just because all my pans are large and I wanted the omelette to have some height.
Make sure to put a lid on it so the vapor will start cooking the egg on top, and then flip it
4. Cut your beautiful omelette into squares, and do not abandon the rest of the recipe and just eat the eggs on toast!
5. OK now we go to the wok. If you don’t have a wok, a regular pan will do, so don’t worry. You need to add enough oil to cover all of it. I added it with a pastry brush but you can pour some in and spread it using a piece of kitchen paper held by tongs (it will be hot). My wok was new so it looks bright and shiny :D!
6. Add the chicken with salt and pepper to taste, and cook until golden. Then take it out.
7. Add more oil to the wok in the same way you did before and put the ginger in just so it lets go of its aroma.
8. After about 10 seconds add the courgettes or zucchinis, because they are the hardest to cook.
9. Once they are golden (and reduced in size notoriously), add the bell pepper and the mushrooms, until golden once more. Add pepper, no salt yet.
10. Finally, add the rice, chicken and omelette, and pour the soy sauce over it. Keep mixing it on the wok/pan for about 2-5 minutes until the soy sauce reduces and is no longer pouring off the rice. Taste the salt since soy sauce is pretty salty, and if needed add some, I didn’t add any salt to mine.
There you are!! Serve pretty with a lemon slice and chili powder if you like it, and enjoy!