The last time I visited my brother in San Salvador we shared a delicious stir-fried rice made with fish, that he prepares at his Peruvian restaurant. It was so good and so easy to make that I want to share the recipe with all of you. As you may know by now, Peruvians love the ubiquitous Arroz Chaufa, the famous stir-fried rice from Chinese descent which we adopted as ours many years ago. Addicted to its scrumptious simplicity –or complexity, depending on the mood- we make it at home with leftover rice, some cold meats, and any vegetable there is lingering in the fridge. Any cook can transform these simple ingredients into a tasty and colorful dish.
At home there were always two versions of chaufa. One with meat, and another made with vegetables only for my vegetarian daughter. There are versions made with pork, with chicken, with seafood, with veggies, and others that only have rice, eggs, garlic, ginger, and soy sauce. The latter is pretty simple but equally flavorful, while the others offer an ample range of flavors to choose from, taking advantage of whatever you have in hand.
Here you have the basic recipe for fish chaufa. In some restaurants the fish is cut in strips, covered in tempura batter, deep fried, and then added to the rice. This gives the fish a wonderful crispy outer layer. You can also chose to keep it simple, using pieces of fried fish, and the result will be just as delicious. Provecho!
- 1 lb fish fillets, diced
- 4 tablespoons soy sauce, divided
- 4 tablespoons vegetable oil, divided
- 2 eggs, lightly beaten
- 2 garlic cloves, chopped
- 2 teaspoons ginger, grated
- ½ cup snow peas, sliced
- 2 cups cold cooked white rice, without salt
- ½ cup green peas, cooked
- ½ cup soy sprouts
- 1 teaspoon sesame oil
- 2 scallions, white and green parts, sliced
- 2 tablespoons toasted sesame seeds (optional)
- Cut the fish fillet in bite size pieces and season with 1 tablespoon soy sauce. Heat a wok or pan over medium heat, and add 1 tablespoon oil and the eggs, to make a thin omelette. After a couple of minutes, turn the omelette and cook just a few seconds on the other side. Transfer to a cutting board and cut in small squares.
- In the same wok, heat the remaining oil and stir-fry the fish, stirring carefully until well cooked. Make a well in the center and add garlic, ginger and snow peas; incorporate the cold rice, and stir-fry until hot. Stir for a few minutes and add green peas and soy sprouts.
- Season with the remaining soy sauce and 1 teaspoon sesame oil. Turn off the heat and sprinkle with chopped scallions and sesame seeds. Serve immediately.