jeudi, mars 26, 2009

Recipe: Arroz Chaufa

Well, I’ve been promising a number of people a certain recipe, and it’s time to finally put it up here. I still intend on photoblogging this the same way I did my aji de gallina a couple of years ago, but that’s not happening right now, that’s for sure. Anyway, before starting the recipe a quick aside: in contrast to yesterday and the day before, I actually had good luck with fish, resulting in delicious roasted pink trout.

Arroz Chaufa (Peruvian-Cantonese Fried Rice)

Note: I’ve translated a few terms into French for my Francophone friends.

Also, you should start marinating the pork the night before if you can, as the pork takes on more flavor and becomes more tender if it has many hours to soak.

And also, chaufa (like other kinds of fried rice) reheats very well and is often believed to be even better the day afterwards, so this is a convenient recipe for potluck dinners and other events when you want to prepare the dish in advance.


  • 1kg or so of pork shoulder roast (or some other lean boneless roast); you can also replace this with chicken, tofu, or seitan (gluten).
  • Brown sugar (cassonade) to taste (at least a 250g/ 1 cup)
  • Soy sauce to taste (I use 2 parts light soy to 1 part dark soy)
  • 1 tablespoon of ginger, freshly grated
  • 2-3 cloves of garlic, crushed
  • 3 cups of rice, white and long-grain
  • 2 bunches of green onions (also called spring onions)
  • 6 eggs


  1. Trim off any excess fat or skin (which you can later fry in a pan to extract the lard and use in frijoles refritos) and cut the meat into strips about the length and width of two fingers. Try to cut across the grain of the meat for more tender pieces.
  2. Place the in a large freezer bag (sac congélation) and add the ginger, garlic and sugar. Add the soy sauce(s) until the sugar has just barely dissolved. The marinade should be very sweet. If you’re wary of tasting a marinade with raw pork in it, you can prepare the marinade in another bowl and then add it to the pork afterwards.
  3. Push out as much air as possible and seal the bag and place in the fridge. This must sit for at least two hours, but ideally you should start the marinade the night before preparing the dish.
  4. On the day that you’re going to make the chaufa, begin by preparing the rice. Put 3 cups of dry rice into a large saucepan with 4.5 cups of water and a bit of salt, and bring to a boil. Reduce heat and simmer partially-covered until all the water has disappeared.
  5. When the rice is ready, transfer it to a wide casserole or tray, separate the kernels with a fork, and leave it to cool and dry out a bit (this makes for better texture; if you like, you can make the rice the day before as well).
  6. In a hot frying pan with a thin layer of oil, lay down the pieces of marinated pork in one layer until the pan is full, leaving some space between the pieces. After 3 or 4 minutes, turn over and continue cooking. After 4 minutes, pick the largest piece out of the pan and cut in the middle. The center should be white or light pink and firm.
  7. Remove pieces from the pan and place any remaining uncooked pieces into the pan and fry in a similar manner.
  8. Once all of the pieces have been cooked, pour the marinade into the pan and boil over high heat until it thickens into a light syrup (when the bubbles begin to pile up into a mousse). Remove from heat.
  9. With a fork and a sharp knife, cut the pieces into small cubes and place into a large bowl. Pour the thickened marinade over the pork cubes and mix to coat.
  10. Clean and trim the green onions, remove any wilted layers, and then slice thinly.
  11. Finally, it is time to assemble the fried rice. Have a clean non-stick pan (a well-seasoned wok also works) and a heat-resistant spatula or wooden spoon. Around the stove, arrange the rice, meat, and green onions near you, with the necessary serving utensils. Place the eggs nearby, with a clean bowl and a fork for whipping the eggs as you work. Also, have the bottle of light soy sauce and frying oil open and within easy reach. And finally, have a large clean bowl ready for the finished rice.
  12. The rice is prepared in batches, so you will repeat the next steps 6 times.
  13. Heat the pan until it is very hot. Spray or pour just enough oil to cover the bottom of the pan lightly, and then add 1/6 of the meat to the pan.
  14. Reheat the meat, stirring constantly, for about 30 seconds and then add 1/6 of rice into the pan. Break up any clumps of rice and mix well.
  15. As the rice cooks, crack one egg into the bowl and beat lightly with a fork.
  16. Add 1/6 of green onions to the pan, 2 dashes of soy sauce, and mix quickly.
  17. Create an empty space in the center of the pan, add a bit more oil, and pour the egg into the middle. Tilt the pan until the egg covers the center of the pan and runs into the rice at the edges.
  18. When the egg begins to turn opaque and coagulate on top, push the rice back on top of the eggs and wait for 30 seconds. Then, break up the egg with the edge of your utensil and mix it into the rice.
  19. Transfer to your serving bowl and repeat the previous 6 steps.
  20. Serve and enjoy!

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