June 20, 2017Read More
As I have mentioned before, Latin American cooking, in many ways,Â is the fusion of other cultures all across the world. On top of traditional Spanish European influences early on with native populations, Latin food has additions from places you may not have realized. One of those is from Asia. In Peru, it is so ingrained it even has a name..Chifa
Chifa: Peruvian Chinese
Chifa is the imprint of the Cantonese people and is an integral part of this country’s spin on Latin cuisine. In fact that is a little bit of an understatement. Looking through different recipes, the mark of Chifa, or Latin Chinese, seems to have found its way into Peruvian dishes through things like:
- Soy sauce
- Ginger root
- Oyster Sauce
- Fried Rice
There are other seasonings,starches, and meats as well but these to me seem to have strong appeal when combined with Peruvian food and the signature Aji pepper. In fact the fried rice, has become a sensation in the Latin American palette of the Peruvian diner.
Chifaâ€™s, or little chinese restaurants serving the fried rice, are very prevalent in many cities. By design substituting the Aji peppers for Chinese peppers takes a dish with a lot of flavor and Peruvanizes it (I think I made the term Peruvanize up, but just go with it). In fact fried rice, called Arroz Chaufa in Spanish, has so many attributes that have allowed it to proliferate.
You can mix any meat or vegetable..
Shrimp,fish, onions, carrots, pork, beef, and chicken, are just of the few things you can add to it. So whatever you serve, you can give it the unique signature of whatever you have.
You can season it scores of different ways
Latin fried rice can be infused with traditional Asian seasonings like soy sauce or ginger root. Or you can Peruvanize the flavor with an Aji Lima pepper to fire up the heat. You can really add in other seasoning elements as well to put a spin on this Cantonese favorite.
Leftovers no more
You can also just stir up a dish of Arroz Chaufa with leftover rice. Then add new or leftover elements and create a delicious dish. You can of course add the rice to any other dish, whether it gets rolled into a shell, or as a garnish for another main course.
And it is part of the local diet
And you will see it at many non Chifa restaurants. It is a popular dish as part of the regular diet. It also seems to have unlimited potential.
Latin Cooking in Williamsburg
At El Sabroson, we offer authentic Latin American cooking including some Peruvian Chifa dishes like Lomo Saltado. Come immerse yourself in the many Latin culinary subcultures at our lunch buffet
See you there