This Peruvian fried rice with chicken (Arroz Chaufa) is quick and easy to make, full of flavor, and very versatile. You can omit the chicken for a vegetarian option, or even replace it with diced beef or pork for a delicious variation.
2tablespoonsvegetable oil (or other neutral flavored oil)for frying
1red bell pepper,finely diced
½cupfinely diced onion
4clovesgarlic,minced or crushed into a paste
1tablespoonminced fresh ginger
1large boneless skinless chicken breast (about 8 ounces)diced into ½ inch cubes
4cupsplain cooked rice(at least 1 day old)
1cupthinly sliced scallions or green (spring) onions (white and green parts)(reserve 2 tablespoons of this for garnish)
4large eggs,scrambled or cooked into an omelet and roughly chopped
Combine the soy sauce, toasted sesame oil, cumin and sugar in a small bowl and set aside.
Heat oil in a large skillet or wok over medium-high heat. Add the bell pepper and onion and cook, stirring regularly, until softened, about 3 to 5 minutes. Next, add the garlic and ginger and cook for another 30 seconds until fragrant.
Add the diced chicken and continue to cook until the chicken is fully cooked and no longer pink, another 3 to 5 minutes or so.
Add the cooked rice, give it a good stir, and then add the soy sauce mixture and stir again until evenly mixed. Stir-fry for a few more minutes, allowing the soy sauce to absorb, then finally add the eggs and all but 2 tablespoons of the scallions and stir once more to completely combine and heat through.
Taste and adjust seasoning if needed (add salt or more soy sauce if it needs it). Serve immediately topped with the reserved 2 tablespoons of sliced scallions for garnish.
I prefer using jasmine rice (either white or brown) for all my fried rice dishes. You must cook the rice in advance, at least a day ahead of time. Once the rice is cooked, I like to spread it out on a sheet tray to cool and dry out. The key to good fried rice is to have relatively dry cooked rice.
You can replace the soy sauce with Tamari if you'd like to make this dish gluten-free. Note that Tamari is usually a bit less salty than traditional soy sauce, so you may need to add a little extra or a pinch of salt to get the seasoning just right.
Variation: Consider replacing the diced chicken with beef, pork tenderloin, shrimp, or even leftover cooked rotisserie chicken.
Variation: You could also add a handful or two of beansprouts or choclo corn kernels to this Peruvian fried rice, if you can get your hands on them.