Arroz Chaufa con Pollo

This Arroz Chaufa con Pollo is my spin on a popular Chifa (Peruvian-Chinese fusion) fried rice dish that combines elements of Chinese stir-fry with Peruvian ingredients and flavors. Chaufa is typically seasoned with soy sauce, ginger, and garlic, and often includes Peruvian ingredients like ají amarillo pepper, ground cumin, and cilantro for added flavor. This hearty Peruvian one-pot wonder requires only 25-30 minutes if you have leftover rice!

Two plates of arroz chaufa con pollo with print napkin, copper flatware, and garnishes.

👩🏻‍🍳 Tamara Talks – What is Arroz Chaufa con Pollo?

Chinese immigrants, primarily from the Guangdong province of southern China, began arriving in Peru in significant numbers in the mid-19th century, initially as laborers to work in plantations, and later in other industries such as mining and railroad construction. As these immigrants settled in Peru, they brought with them their culinary traditions, which blended with local Peruvian ingredients and cooking styles over time.

Arroz Chaufa emerged as a result of this cultural exchange, combining Chinese stir-fry techniques and ingredients with Peruvian ingredients. Chinese immigrants in Peru creatively adapted their cooking to include local ingredients such as ají amarillo, cilantro, and ground cumin.

The term “Chaufa” is believed to be derived from the Cantonese word “chǎofàn” (炒饭), which means fried rice. It’s important to note that the dish itself is an adaptation of traditional Chinese fried rice using the ingredients and flavors of Peru. Chaufa is one of my favorite healthy, weeknight meals, and I’ve done a quinoa chaufa and an arroz chaufa con mariscos.

📋 Ingredients Notes

Here is a quick look at the ingredients in the recipe – it’s handy to use at the grocery store or as a summary of what you need. Skip to the recipe for quantities.

Ingredients for arroz chaufa con pollo: Cooked rice, chicken, peas, red pepper, shallot, soy sauce, ají amarillo paste, sesame oil, garlic, ginger, and egg.
  • rice – Arroz chaufa is a great way to use leftover Peruvian rice or plain white rice. The rice must be completely cooled before using. Warm rice will lead to mushy fried-rice.
  • egg – I use 1 egg per 2 servings. You can use more or less to suit your family’s preferences.
  • chicken – I prefer boneless, skinless thighs, but boneless, skinless chicken breast is fine as well.
  • onion – I keep red, yellow, and sweet onions on hand, as well as shallots. I like either the shallots or red onion for this fried rice. By all means use what you have on hand.
  • veggies – I usually use a bell pepper and English peas – either fresh or frozen. If you use fresh peas, you will need to steam them for about 5 minutes prior to the stir-fry. You can use your favorite vegetables for stir-fry, but keep in mind cooking time. You want crisp-tender vegetables that cook fairly quickly. Sugar snap or snow peas are good too!
  • garlic
  • ginger – I keep a jar of minced ginger in my refrigerator, and it is a great time-saver. Fresh grated ginger is the best. Do not substitute powdered ginger.
  • ají amarillo paste – Many arroz chaufa recipes do not call for ají amarillo paste, but we like a little heat, and we love the flavor!
  • ground cumin
  • soy sauce I use tamari soy sauce. It’s gluten free if gluten is a concern.
  • sesame oil
  • vegetable or canola oil – I try to minimize the amount of oil that I add to the stir-fry. If your skillet is well-seasoned, it’s often sufficient to wipe the skillet with a paper towel dipped in oil. Add as needed between steps.
  • garnishes – Cilantro, scallions, lime wedges, and sesame seeds are all great options!

See recipe card for quantities. 😀

🔪 Step-By-Step Instructions

  • Prepare all ingredients prior to cooking. Coat the skillet with vegetable or canola oil as needed.
Step 1 - Egg omelet is cooking in a cast iron skillet.
  • Step 1 – Make the omelet. Heat the wok or skillet to very hot. Coat with a bit of oil or cooking spray. Pour in the whisked egg(s), and reduce the heat. Flip when the egg starts to set on top. Give it another minute or two, then remove from the wok, and set aside. Chop coarsely. Wipe the wok of any egg residue.
Step 2 - Chicken is browned in a cast iron skillet.
  • Step 2 – If the skillet is dry, add additional vegetable oil and 1 teaspoon of the sesame oil. Sauté the chicken on medium-high heat until edges are caramelized and no pink remains. Remove from the skillet.
Step 4 - Stir-fried rice is cooking in a cast iron skillet.
  • Step 3 – If the skillet is dry, add additional vegetable oil. Stir-fry the rice, onion, ginger, and garlic. The skillet should be hot, but not smoking. NOTE: Don’t crowd the pan. If you have a large quantity of rice, do it in batches.
Step 5 - Aromatics are stir-fried with the rice.
  • Step 4 – Add the rest of the sesame oil, soy sauce, and ají amarillo paste.
Step 6 - Veggies and chicken are added to the stir-fried rice in the cast iron skillet.
  • Step 5 – Add the red pepper, peas, and cooked chicken to the skillet. Stir-fry until the red pepper is crisp-tender.
Step 7 - The egg omelet is gently stirred into the arroz chaufa con pollo.
  • Step 6 – Finish the arroz chaufa with the addition of the chopped omelet. Stir it in gently, and keep warm until ready to serve.
  • Serve – Garnish with cilantro, scallions, lime wedges, and sesame seeds as desired. Enjoy!
A cast iron skillet of the completed arroz chaufa con pollo with garnishes.

❓FAQ

Is arroz chaufa good left over?

Yes. I recommend garnishing individual bowls if you expect leftovers. Store the leftovers in an airtight container in the refrigerator for up to 5 days. You can also freeze for later use for up to 6 months.

Is ají amarillo paste absolutely necessary?

The ají amarillo paste and cumin bring the Peruvian flavor IMHO. You can certainly omit it, and you will still have an excellent dish.

💭 Tips

Use cooled rice! If you try to use hot cooked rice it will end up being mushy and sticky. Arroz chaufa is a great way to use leftover rice.

If you don’t already have leftover rice to use, then try this: Cook rice and pour it out onto a baking sheet when it’s done. Place the baking sheet in the freezer for 15-20 minutes to allow the rice to cool completely.

Weeknight cooking can be a challenge, and I love having a repertoire of flavorful 30 minute meals to change things up a bit. I hope you’ll give this healthy Peruvian stir-fried rice recipe a try!

Signature in red and green with chiles and limes. Healthyish Latin cuisine.
Two blue and white bowls of Peruvian fried rice with chicken, a print napkin, and garnishes.

A cast iron skillet with arroz chaufa con pollo and accompanying garnishes.

Arroz Chaufa con Pollo Recipe

Arroz Chaufa con Pollo is a Peruvian-Chinese fusion dish that combines Peruvian and Chinese ingredients with Chinese stir-fry technique in a healthy, one-skillet main dish…
5 from 2 votes

Click to rate!

Prep Time 10 minutes
Cook Time 15 minutes
Total Time 25 minutes
Course Main Dishes
Cuisine Chifa, Peruvian
Servings 2 servings
Calories 486 kcal

Ingredients
  

  • 1 egg - thoroughly whisked
  • vegetable oil - as needed
  • 12 ounces boneless, skinless chicken thighs - cut in small pieces
  • 2 teaspoons sesame oil - divided use
  • 1 cup cooked and cooled rice - see Notes below for more information
  • 2 teaspoons ginger, minced
  • ½ teaspoon garlic, minced
  • ½ teaspoon ground cumin
  • 2 teaspoons ají amarillo paste - more or less to taste; I use a tablespoon!
  • 1 tablespoon soy sauce - I use tamari soy sauce (gluten free)
  • 1 small sweet bell pepper - chopped
  • ½ cup frozen peas - thawed
  • cilantro, scallions, lime wedges, sesame seeds - to garnish

Instructions

  • Heat the wok or skillet to very hot. Add a bit of the oil or spray with cooking spray. Pour in the whisked egg(s), and reduce the heat. Flip when the egg starts to set on top. Remove from the pan. Chop coarsely. Wipe the wok of any egg residue.
  • If the skillet is dry, add additional vegetable oil and 1 teaspoon of sesame oil. Sauté the chicken on medium-high heat until edges are caramelized and no pink remains. Remove from the skillet.
  • If the skillet is dry, add additional vegetable oil. Stir-fry the rice, onion, ginger, and garlic.
  • Add the remaining sesame oil, soy sauce, and ají amarillo paste. Stir to combine. Add the red pepper, peas, and cooked chicken to the skillet. Stir-fry until the red pepper is crisp-tender (3-4 minutes).
  • Stir in the chopped egg omelet gently. Keep warm until ready to serve. Garnish as desired, and enjoy.

Notes

If you don’t already have leftover rice to use, then try this: Cook rice and pour it out onto a baking sheet when it’s done. Place the baking sheet in the freezer for 15-20 minutes to allow the rice to cool completely.
I used 1 tablespoon of vegetable oil in the macronutrient calculations. You may use more or less. I’m pretty stingy with it.

Nutrition

Calories: 486kcal | Carbohydrates: 22g | Protein: 35g | Fat: 30g

NOTE: Macronutrients are an approximation only using unbranded ingredients and MyFitnessPal.com. Please do your own research with the products you’re using if you have a serious health issue or are following a specific diet.

Did you make this recipe? Please leave a comment and/or star rating! Email us with any questions: tamara@beyondmeresustenance.com

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