Arroz Chaufa

Chifa (Chinese-Peruvian cuisine) is Lima’s comfort food, and there are over 6,000 chifa restaurants in Lima today. Indentured workers from the Canton region of China arrived in Peru over 150 years ago. Over time they settled in Lima and formed the Barrio Chino, the city’s chinatown. Located next to mercado central, Lima’s central market, the cooks of Barrio Chino began using local ingredients to complement those they brought from China. They introduced ingredients like ginger, but in Peru we don’t call ginger by its Spanish name “gengibre,” rather Peruvians call it “kion,” after the phonetic pronunciation in Cantonese. Arroz chaufa is perhaps the most popular of all chifa dishes, and here Just Egg and Tofurky ham make the dish vegan. Pineapples are native to the tropics, including Peru, and add a hint of sweetness. Use day-old and refrigerated steamed white rice, it holds up better to pan-frying.

Arroz Chaufa / Chinese-Peruvian Fried Rice

Serves 2

  • 4 tablespoons slivered almonds, toasted
  • 4 tablespoons chopped Just Egg omelette
  • 2 tablespoons sesame oil
  • 1 tablespoon minced ginger
  • 2 garlic cloves, minced
  • 4 tablespoons sliced scallions, white part
  • 4 tablespoons chopped Tofurky ham
  • 4 tablespoons diced red bell pepper
  • ½ cup halved snow peas
  • 2 cups steamed white rice, day-old and refrigerated
  • ½ cup chunks canned pineapple
  • 2 tablespoons soy sauce
  • 4 tablespoons canned pineapple juice
  • 1/2 cup sliced scallions, green part

In a large non-stick skillet with sesame oil over medium to high heat, sauté the ginger until it begins to sizzle, about 2 minutes. Add the garlic, the white part of the scallions, and the vegan ham. Continue to sauté for 2 more minutes, until the ham begins to brown.

Mix in the bell pepper and snow peas, then sauté for 2 minutes. Stir in the rice, chopped egg, and toasted almonds. Add the soy sauce, pineapple chunks, pineapple juice, and green part of scallion rounds. Mix well for 2 minutes then remove from the heat. Serve warm in bowls.