Spanish Chinese Fried Rice is a nifty little recipe that I found in Buen Provecho, a community cookbook compiled by HISPA, then a professional development group for Hispanic AT&T employees. This cookbook was put together to raise money for the National Hispanic Scholarship Fund as part of HISPA’s larger efforts in the community. Shortly after Buen Provecho was published HISPA was re-chartered as a standalone non-profit, opening membership to the general public. Twenty-five years later, HISPA remains dedicated to advancing educational opportunities for Hispanic high school students.
One of the things I appreciate about Buen Provecho is its lack of pretense. In spite of the heady subtitle – 500 Years of Hispanic Cuisine – this is a book for home cooks that’s not stuffy about tradition or authenticity. This is inclusivity at its finest. Recipes come from every (Spanish-speaking) corner of the globe, influenced by everything from Spanish and Basque cuisine and every country from the US of A to the southern tip of Chile. Some contributors came to New Jersey from Spanish-speaking countries, while for others their Hispanic heritage is a distant cultural memory. Some recipes reflect lovingly preserved traditions or memories. Others, such as Latino Yuppie Baked Green Rice, not so much. Spanish Chinese Fried Rice fits squarely in the “not so much” category. The title kind of says it all – this is traditional Chinese fried rice with some traditional Spanish seasonings. Calling it “fusion” takes the fun out of it. Everyone loves fried rice. Everyone loves adobo. This is a match made in heaven, and easy enough for a weeknight.
I’ve retooled this one a little bit to suit our family, substituting canned chipotles in adobo sauce for the plain old adobo sauce in the original. The chipotles add a nice smoky heat, but it might be too much heat for some families. I still strongly recommend marinating the pork with the chipotles, but you can leave a couple out when you make the final stir fry sauce (if you must). This recipe makes a huge batch, enough to feed eight comfortably as a main course. You can serve it as a standalone meal, with scallions and hot sauce on the side, with some fresh fruit or a simple green salad. If you’re feeding teenagers, top it with a six-minute egg, sliced in half, as shown below. For a side dish, cut the recipe in half and pair with beans, sprinkled with a little bit of cotija cheese. Enjoy!
The night before:
- Chop pork chops into small pieces (about ½ inch cubes). Place into a large Ziploc bag along with the full can of chipotle peppers and marinate at least two hours, preferably overnight.
- Prepare rice the night before (or use leftover rice)
For the final stir-fry:
- Remove the chopped pork from the marinade, reserving the marinade, Mix the reserved marinade with the soy sauce, using a fork to mash the chipotles and incorporate them into the mixture.
- Trim scallions and slice thin, including both green and white parts. Set aside a few tablespoons for garnish.
- Whisk eggs together until mixture is uniform.
- Gather all your ingredients together and have them close at hand. The stir fry will go fast.
- Heat a couple of tablespoons of oil in a large wok until it just starts to smoke. Add the pork and let it cook undisturbed for 2-3 minutes until well browned, then continue to stir fry until pork is browned on all sides.
- Add a smidge more oil, then alternate adding about a cup of rice, a few tablespoons of egg, and scallions - stirring constantly and scraping the bottom of the wok to prevent burning. Continue until all ingredients are consumed, adding oil as needed to prevent sticking.
- Push the fried rice to the edges of the wok. Pour about half of the sauce into the center and let it cook until bubbly, then stir in the rest of the rice. Repeat with remaining sauce a tbsp at a time until it's seasoned to your liking.
- Top with reserved scallions and serve with hot sauce.
A pineapple habañero sauce, such as HAB brand, works especially well with this dish.