Island Bites: Arroz Chino Boricua (Puerto Rican Fried Rice)
Chinese Food in Puerto Rico
Chinese restaurants are very popular in Puerto Rico. Most of them have adapted many Puerto Rican dishes into their menu, creating a unique and exciting fusion cuisine. It's not strange to order some mofongo with pepper steak or some tostones with your noodles.
But the star of Chinese food on the Island is the delicious fried rice. There are lots of different styles and flavor combinations of fried rice. But when a Puerto Rican orders some "arroz chino," he's asking for a specific fried rice and for a specific flavor. Boricua, or Puerto Rican-style, Chinese fried rice must have ham, shrimp, and scrambled eggs. It is salty and nutty with a slightly sweet flavor.
It is usually served alongside pepper steak or pepper chicken, fried chicken, or char siu. It is also accompanied by french fries or tostones with garlic salt.
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Homemade Arroz Chino Boricua
Good to Know!
To cook long grain rice for fried rice: Add 1 1/4 cup of water for every cup of uncooked rice. Do not add salt.
- 8-10 cups long grain white rice, cooked, unsalted
- 4 oz cooked (boiled) ham, cubed
- 2 oz smoked ham, cubed
- 1/2 cup cooked small shrimp, (optional)
- 1 tbs fresh grated ginger, or 1/4 tsp dried ground ginger
- 1 bunch scallions, sliced
- 1 clove grated garlic, or 1/2 tsp garlic powder
- 3 eggs, scrambled
- 1/4 cup canola oil
- 1 tbs smooth peanut butter
- 1/2 small onion, diced
- soy sauce
- broccoli sprouts
- Put both types of cubed ham in a plastic bag. Add 2 tablespoons of honey. Mix and let it marinate for at least 30 minutes.
- Heat 2 tablespoons of oil to a big wok or skillet. Stir-fry ham at medium-high temperature for a couple of minutes.
- Add the rest of the oil. Add the diced onions and stir-fry for 3 to 4 more minutes, stirring occasionally, until softened. Add ginger, garlic and peanut butter. Stir-fry for approx. 1 minute.
- Add the cooked rice. Mix well. Add soy sauce and 1 or 2 tablespoons of honey, (adjust according to your taste). Stir until rice is well coated.
- Turn off the heat. Stir in scallions, shrimps, scrambled eggs, and sprouts.
- Serve, eat, and enjoy!