One of the more interesting dimensions of Peru’s gastronomy is some of its fusion food, which infuses traditional Peruvian cuisine with elements of the cuisines of the country’s many diasporas. This arroz chaufa recipe shows you how to cook a staple of chifa, one of the fusion styles most prominently featured in Peru’s diverse national cuisine.
What is chifa?
Chifa is Chinese-Peruvian fusion cuisine. Its origins date back to the 1800s, when the abolition of slavery in Peru resulted in an influx of Chinese immigrants seeking work as manual laborers.
The impoverished Chinese immigrants, unable to afford much food, fed themselves with whatever unused ingredients they could scrounge from local farmers. They would combine these miscellaneous bits of meat with their own native ingredients — soy sauce, ginger, scallions — to make the Peruvian fried rice dish.
This dish was called arroz chaufa, and its name even encapsulates the fusion that created it (arroz being Spanish for rice, chaufa being Chinese for fried rice). It is the most famous chifa plate, though the cuisine includes many other dishes with similar origins.
Chifa proliferated throughout Peru as Chinese immigrants settled into their new country and moved to other cities, opening up their own chifa restaurants (known to Peruvians simply as chifas).
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Arroz Chaufa Recipe (with Chicken)
If just reading about this dish has your mouth watering, we have good news: it’s pretty easy to make! Here’s an arroz chaufa recipe in English so you can try it at home, courtesy of YouTube channel ZolayM (here’s a link to the original video in Spanish).
- 1 lb. chicken breast, chopped into bite-size pieces
- 4 cups pre-cooked rice
- 5 eggs, beaten
- 1 tsp. garlic paste
- 2 tbsp. grated ginger root
- 2 cups green onion (divided into greener and whiter parts)
- 1 small hot pepper, ribbed, seeded, and diced (Peruvian yellow pepper is ideal, but jalapeño or habanero will work)
- 2 tbsp cooking oil
- 1 tbsp sesame oil
- 1/2 cup soy sauce, divided
- 1 tbsp oyster sauce
- 2 tbsp olive oil
- Salt, pepper, and cumin (for seasoning)
- Season chicken with salt, pepper, and cumin. Add garlic paste and toss.
- Add 2 tbsp cooking oil to pan over medium heat. When hot, add eggs to pan and prepare like omelet, shifting eggs to bottom of pan to cook through. When eggs are fully cooked through, transfer to plate and use spatula to break eggs into small, bite-size pieces.
- Heat wok over medium heat. When hot, add 2 tbsp olive oil, then add chicken and ginger, mixing well.
- When chicken is fully cooked, add sesame oil, oyster sauce, and the white parts of the green onion, mixing well. Once combined, add 2 tbsp soy sauce and pre-cooked rice, mixing well.
- Once combined, add remainder of soy sauce, and mix again, then add remainder of green onion and hot pepper. Finally, add egg reserved from Step 1 and mix very well to combine. Serve hot. (Serves 4)
More Peruvian Cuisine
If you liked this arroz chaufa recipe, we encourage you to check out the Peruvian Cuisine section of our website, where you’ll find plenty more recipes for some of Peru’s most famous and delectable plates.