Think of those lazy nights when you are starving but don’t want to cook. What is the emblematic food of that particular mood? Can we agree that it is Chinese? Oriental gastronomy has become a worldwide tradition, probably the most universal of ambassadors for this mythical culture, and if we have to talk about the most emblematic (and delicious) of its dishes, we surely concur that it is Chinese fried rice. Who doesn’t love it?
In this article we want to talk about this well-known recipe, its origin, its elements, how it has conquered the world and how to make Chinese fried rice. Is your mouth watering? Then let’s get started!
Traditional Chinese fried rice: a not-so-Chinese story
It is true that, for the vast majority of people in the West, China and its culture are a great mystery. Its fascinating history, dragons, language, traditions, landscapes and places are seen by many people as a whole universe to be discovered. But at the same time, the country has a star product that is almost daily in every household in the world: Chinese fried rice.
Let us remember that China is the world’s largest rice producer and, naturally, its consumption in that country is massive, both in its simplest form (white rice without any seasoning or additives) and in more elaborate preparations.
Now, let’s get down to business. Did you know that Chinese fried rice is not as Chinese as its name suggests?
In China, the majority of the population prefers white rice, with virtually no flavor. The traditional Chinese fried rice recipe we know in the West is a version of fried rice from the Canton region. In this part of China, it has long been customary to mix the cereal with eggs and leftovers to give it more substance and at the same time avoid waste. However, this version, the “chaw-fan”, is not exactly popular in the rest of the country.
A workers’ meal that conquered the world
With the arrival of the first Chinese migrants to America in the 19th century, they, who worked as laborers in rural areas and large cities, did not want to give up their custom of consuming rice, and at the same time they realized that, just as they did in their homeland, by mixing it with leftovers, they could obtain a complete and nutritious meal with which they could sustain themselves during the long working days.
Thus, different versions of the traditional Cantonese Chinese fried rice were born, with ingredients that varied depending on the country to which these migrants had arrived. Two elements remained intact on the journey from China and gave the recipe its characteristic flavor: soy sauce and the wok stir-frying method. In this way began the history of a universal dish.
And as it happens with all great stories, the irony of fate came into play. This workers’ food began to win over palates and little by little became a recipe of the highest caliber. By the middle of the 20th century, there was no place in the world left unconquered. Today it is served in small family dining rooms as well as in high-class restaurants, and, of course, on your couch, on your non-cooking nights.
In Peru we make our own Chinese fried rice: the arroz chaufa
As is well known throughout the world, Peru is a gastronomic destination par excellence. In our country we take the preparation of food very seriously, we are perfectionists with our cuisine and we are always looking for new flavors, so the creation of Peruvian-style Chinese fried rice was a process that we could almost call a natural evolution.
Our arroz chaufa recipe (that’s what we call it) includes such traditional Peruvian elements as aji panca bell pepper and pisco. In fact, it is not a dish that can be understood alone, but is part of a whole national gastronomic culture: the chifa.
Chifa is the food that was born from the fusion of Chinese culinary art with the native Peruvian cuisine, and includes more dishes of great rootedness in the country such as lomo saltado, chijaukay chicken, Kam Lu Wantan, and others.
What you can’t miss for a good chaufa rice dish
In Peru, chaufa rice is eaten at least three times a week, either bought in a restaurant or prepared at home. If you dare to cook it, we can give you the recipe, but first we share with you some guidelines. We already know that the base of our chifa dish is fried rice, but what else? Read carefully:
- Vegetables: garlic, ajinomoto green onion, ginger, bell pepper.
- Proteins: although we can have a delicious vegetarian dish, it grows in flavor with eggs, chicken, meats, shrimp and sausages.
- And, of course, the magic of soy and oyster sauces, sautéing oils, not forgetting salt and pepper. What a provocation!
- Applying the technique of sautéing over high heat and very fast in a deep frying pan or a wok is a must…
Now, the recipe
Ingredients for 4 plates. Peruvian- Chinese fried rice recipe:
- 250 g. of rice
- 1 chicken breast
- 1 fresh sausage
- 4 eggs
- 1 tsp. grated ginger
- ½ red bell pepper
- 4 green onions
- Sunflower oil
- 1 tbsp. olive oil
- 125 ml. soy sauce
- Clean the chicken well and cut it into squares.
- Peel and grate the ginger, set aside. Wash and chop the red bell pepper and the green onion.
- Beat the eggs in a bowl or directly in a frying pan. Heat two tablespoons of sunflower oil and cook the eggs. Cut into pieces and set aside.
- In two more tablespoons of hot sunflower oil, add the grated ginger and the chopped chicken. You can add chopped fresh sausage and it also works very well.
- Fry the meat until it begins to brown. Set aside.
- Add 2 tablespoons of olive oil, add the bell bell pepper and green onion.
- Fry over high heat, stirring constantly, until the vegetables are toasted. Add the cooked rice (it is always better if it is rice from the previous day) together with the soy sauce. Cook in the hot wok; stirring constantly until the flavors are integrated.
- Check for salt and add the eggs and integrate with the rest of the ingredients. Serve the chaufa rice hot and ready to serve. Enjoy your meal!
Peruvian Chinese fried rice in Miami? Come to Chifa Dukang!
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If you are in Miami and looking to try new Chinese fried rice recipes, come to Chifa Du Kang. Our menu features six versions of chaufa rice: with shrimp, vegetables, chicken, beef, pork and special, which is explosive!
We are located at Kendall and Bird Road. You can come with your friends, family or by yourself for a casual lunch or dinner. Are you a true foodie? We have a special table waiting for you!