Arroz Chaufa (Stir-Fried Rice)
Recipe and photo contributed by Morena Escardó
Prep Time: 20 minutes Cook Time: 5 minutes
Chifa, the Peruvian term for Chinese food, comes from the Cantonese expression chi fan (to eat rice) and this famous dish, chaufa, gets its name from the expression chau fan (fried rice). This entrée is perhaps the only chifa dish that is commonly prepared by Peruvian home cooks, as it is a great way to use leftover rice. I tried many times to make a vegetarian version of arroz chaufa myself, but always felt the taste wasn’t quite right. Despite it being very enjoyable, and in essence like every other vegetarian fried rice in any Chinese restaurant around the world, it didn’t completely recreate the flavor of the Peruvian arroz chaufa. I finally discovered what was missing. When homemade, arroz chaufa is almost always prepared with slices of sausage, on top of any other desired meat. This salty, smoky flavor made all the difference, once I added vegetarian bacon to my recipe.
1 tablespoon plus 1 teaspoon coconut or vegetable oil
4 cloves garlic, finely chopped
1 tablespoon peeled and finely chopped ginger
1 cup diced bell pepper
1 cup diced snow peas
1 cup frozen peas
2 cups cold cooked cold brown rice
½ cup diced scallions
2 to 3 tablespoons organic gluten-free tamari
2 tablespoons sesame seeds
1 tablespoon toasted sesame oil
½ cup diced tempeh bacon
½ teaspoon black pepper
½ teaspoon salt
- Beat the eggs in a bowl. Heat 1 teaspoon of the oil in a non-stick frying pan, and cook the eggs as you would an omelet. Turn once, and cook on the other side. Transfer to a plate, dice, and set aside.
- Heat the remaining 1 tablespoon oil in a wok or large frying pan over high heat. Add the garlic and ginger, and cook, stirring, for 30 seconds.
- Add the bell pepper, snow peas, and frozen peas, and stir-fry for 1 to 2 minutes, or until the peas are cooked but still look bright green and are slightly crunchy.
- Quickly add the rice, scallions, tamari, sesame seeds, sesame oil, tempeh bacon, diced egg, and pepper. Season with a little of the salt; the tamari and tempeh bacon are salty, so start with just a little salt, taste it, and see if it needs more as you cook. Cook until the rice is completely hot, stirring all the time and mixing all the ingredients well. Serve hot.
- If you don’t have leftover rice, cook it fresh following the package instructions, spread it out in a large dish, let it cool a little, and then you can put it in the freezer for 15 minutes.
- This dish is normally made using white rice. You can experiment with different kinds of rice, or even use leftover quinoa to make it.