Peruvian cuisine has been strongly influenced by Asian culture. This seafood chaufa is our take on Chinese fried rice!
Arroz Chaufa, or chaufa rice, is a very popular Peruvian dish that we owe to Chinese immigrants who came to Peru in the mid-nineteenth century. These immigrants arrived mainly from the provinces of Macao and Canton, and they came to Lima to work the land. With the abolition of slavery, there was a tremendous increase in the demand for labor.
In the afternoons, after a hard day’s work, the Chinese laborers created numerous dishes that blended their culinary heritage with local ingredients. This fusion of Chinese and creole food came to be known as “Chifa.” This chaufa recipe is one of its most iconic and creations. In fact, the word "chaufan" means "fried rice" in Chinese.
You can make chaufa with beef, chicken or pork, but seafood chaufa is my favorite. Fresh seafood (a mix of calamari, octopus, mussels, and shrimp) can get expensive, but I find that the frozen bag of mixed seafood that I buy at my supermarket produces a delicious plate of chaufa. Enjoy!
Preheat canola oil in a deep saucepan over high heat. Add the mixed seafood and sauté until golden brown. Be careful not to overcook, as the seafood hardens if cooked too long.
Add salt and pepper to taste, the minced garlic and chopped ginger. Stir to incorporate and add the cooked white rice.
For the eggs, lightly grease a saucepan with cooking spray or oil over medium heat. Beat the eggs and add salt and pepper to taste. Pour into to the hot pan, swirling to coat the bottom. Cook until the eggs solidify, flipping once, and then roughly chop the omelette.
Add the chopped egg omelette to the chaufa. Let rest for a few seconds and then combine it with the mixed seafood.
Add the soy sauce and oyster sauce and stir to combine.
Add the chopped Chinese onions and stir to combine. Reduce heat to low and cook for 3 minutes, adding the sesame oil toward the end.
Plate and garnish with finely chopped Chinese onions or chives.