Arroz Chaufa (Peruvian Fried Rice)
Arroz chaufa is a Peruvian style fried rice that is one of my favorite meals to make. The first time I had arroz chaufa was in Puerto Rico at my favorite restaurant in Isla Verde. When I looked into it, I found that Peru has a very large Chinese population and due to the influx of immigrants, this beauty of a dish was created by blending Peruvian and Chinese cuisine. Up until that point, I had never heard of or tried Peruvian fried rice before and soon realized that this particular version of fried rice is insanely delicious.
This dish is an easy way to use leftovers and scraps of vegetables in the fridge bin to make a delicious meal. I went ahead and adapted what I remember and made this fried rice my favorite way. This recipe comes together very quickly, so you're going to make sure you have your mise en place while cooking. This means having everything ready to go so the dish comes together smoothly! Let's get going!
Cook time: 30 minutes
1 slice of thick-cut smoked ham steak, diced
4 boneless, skinless chicken thighs, cut into small chunks
2 tbsp ground cumin
1 tbsp Goya Adobo All-Purpose Seasoning
1 large yellow onion, diced
4 small carrots, small dice
4 small celery stalks, thinly sliced
1 small red bell pepper, diced
1/4 cup low-sodium soy sauce
3 cups cooked white rice
2 large eggs, scrambled
Green onions, thinly sliced for garnish
Lime slices, for garnish
In a large frying pan or skillet, add enough vegetable oil to coat the bottom of the pan. Over medium heat, cook down the cubed ham until crisp, for about 8 minutes. Then, add the chicken thighs and liberally season with kosher salt and black pepper. Stir around and then season with the ground cumin and Goya Adobo. Cook the chicken and ham for about 10 minutes or until the chicken is no longer pink and cooked through.
Next, add the diced onion, carrots, and celery and cook until the onions are translucent, about 5-6 minutes. Stir well. Then, add the diced red pepper. I prefer that my vegetables stay crunchy with my fried rice so I don't cook them for too long so they still have some bite. After stirring up the vegetable and meat mixture, add the soy sauce and stir well. Let the sauce heat through a bit for about 2 minutes and then add the white rice.
Break up and rice and stir, stir, stir. You want to make sure that the rice soaks up every single bit of soy sauce and vegetable goodness. If you're using leftover rice that's cold (which is preferred for fried rice because it holds up better), cook the rice until it's heated through. Next, create a small well in the center of the pan by spreading out the rice mixture. Here is where you're going to pour in the scrambled eggs. Stir them in the well until they start to set and then stir them into the rice.
Serve immediately and garnish with sliced green onions and a good squeeze of lime juice.