I hold take-out chicken fried rice responsible for the freshman 10 I gained in college (except it was closer to 15 and I was a senior). While others may dabble, I know I can’t stop at a pint and have largely avoided it for years. However, since I’m preparing to run a half-marathon this Saturday and need to eat carbohydrates covered in soy sauce, this kind of indulgence is not only permitted, it’s encouraged. Plus, I’m stronger now. The stars seemed to align for making my own when I found a recipe on Laylita’s recipes, one of my favorite sites, for chaulafan de pollo, a popular Latin American version of fried rice popular in Ecuador and Peru. This is the first time I made fried rice at home and at first glance it seemed like standard take-out – chicken, peas, scallions, carrots, eggs. It was the seasonings like achiote, chili, cilantro, and more cilantro that really set it apart. My favorite addition though were the raisins. Not sure how they would blend, they were like tiny, interspersed packets of plum sauce. Served with sliced avocado as suggested, it’s the perfect light meal to enjoy in moderation. Starting tomorrow that is, right now I just want more.
Click here for the complete recipe.
Fried rice with cilantro? OMG. It just so happens that I’m in the middle of a cilantro obsession. Why is it that some people love cilantro and some people absolutely hate it?
Maybe because it looks so much like parsley but doesn’t disappear in the same way. I love it because it’s sunny as opposed to other herbs that are earthy. Not very scientific I know but I love the way it brightens something heavy like fried rice.
I’m with you Lydia Martin. I LOVE ME SOME CILANTRO LONG TIME!
First, the cilantro. I am allergic. It has gotten more and more difficult to eat out in Miami where even cuisines where the evil weed is unknown are putting it into their food. Perricone’s! Italian! I always ask and for the skeptical I remind them that having el rescue at their place of business and a lawsuit alleging attempted manslaughter by herb is something they would want to avoid.
I have had chaufa/chaufalan in Guayaquil and Lima in several variations all yummy and only one with any cilantro at all. Of course I asked first.
In Lima, Xavier and I decided to go to a museum dedicated to pornographic ceramics – dirty huacos. I saw some stuff depicted I wish I had thought of first. After we detumesced (is that a verb?), we walked up the street to a Chifa restaurant. We went up the stairs and got a table on a big terrace. We ordered chaufa, mariposas (forgot what they called them) and cold beers. The savory rice, the brilliant colors of the ingredients, the spiciness made fizzy on our tongues by the cold beer and our conversation about the naughty things made it a special day in Lima.
Well, some good and bad news about cilantro, according to some cursory Googling: It seems it’s an aphrodisiac. (Who knew?) But it’s also an appetite stimulant. (Que pena.) And supposedly “people of European descent” are turned off by the taste and smell.
Seems it possesses strong love/hate qualities.
I could juice it and sit in a bath of it.