food for thought

by michelle

quinoa chaufa

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In the late 19th and early 20th centuries Chinese immigrants in Peru substituted local ingredients in their cooking which gave rise to one of the most popular foods in Peru today, colloquially known as chaufa, possibly from ‘chao fan’ (Mandarin for fried rice). This recipe is an adaptation of one by Gastón Acurio printed in TIME Magazine.


First cook 1½ cups of quinoa for 10 minutes or so, just until it’s not too crunchy. Drain and set it aside. Next blanch a large handful of snow peas and a cup of bean sprouts. Run under cold water to stop them cooking and set aside. Slice ½ a large red pepper into strips, slice 4 large or 6 small fresh shitake mushrooms, finely slice 3 spring onions and finely mince 3 cloves of garlic and an equal amount of fresh ginger. In a small bowl, lightly whisk 3 eggs with a drizzle of sesame oil, a little salt and some white pepper. Now you’re ready to cook. In a wok, heat some vegetable oil until very hot and add the eggs, swirling the wok around until they are just cooked. Remove to a plate and chop into pieces. Heat some more oil in the wok and fry 200g (7 oz) each of firm white fish, fresh scallops and prawns (shrimp), seasoning them with a little salt. When they are barely cooked, set them aside on a plate and reheat the wok, this time with 1-2 tablespoons of sesame oil. When it’s hot, stir-fry the garlic and ginger for 30 seconds, then the red pepper and mushrooms for 1-2 minutes and finally the quinoa. You might need to add a little more oil if it sticks to the wok too much. Cook the quinoa for a few minutes then add the vegetables and allow them to heat through. Next, return the seafood to the wok along with the spring onions, 100g (3½ oz) of fried noodles (you can buy these ready to use), the cooked eggs, 2 tablespoons each of soy sauce and oyster sauce and 1 teaspoon of sugar. Mix well and serve.


Written by michelle picker

December 18, 2013 at 5:53 am

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