Jorge Castillo: There are many Chinese people in Cuba.
Raúl Musibay: In fact, at one time Havana boasted the largest Chinatown in Latin America.
Glenn Lindgren: The Chinese had an influence on Cuban cooking. In fact, in Cuba they call soy sauce "salsa china." Arroz Frito is probably one of the best examples of Chinese-Cuban cross culture.
Jorge Castillo: After a pig roast or when we make a large lechón, we frequently use the leftover pork meat to make this delicious version of fried rice.
Raúl Musibay: This recipe is the standard -- with a few variations -- for the arroz frito sold in Cuban restaurants all over Miami.
Cuban fried rice as prepared in Havana's famous Chinatown.
INGREDIENTS:2 pounds large shrimp, peeled, deveined, and butterflied (save shells)
OptionsShrimp, Lobster, Crabmeat
Scramble the eggs with a whisk, adding soy sauce and chicken broth.
Heat a tablespoon or two of oil in a large 5-quart or larger sauté pan or wok, rolling the oil around to coat the bottom and sides.
When the oil is very hot, pour half of the egg mixture in so that it coats the bottom. It should look like you're making a giant pancake.
Lower heat to medium-low and cook thoroughly, flipping once. Remove from pan and cut the egg into long thin strips.
In the same pan, add a little more oil and sauté onion and green pepper over medium-low heat until the onion is soft and translucent.
Lower the heat to low and add the minced garlic and the carrots. Continue to cook for about 1 to 2 minutes more. Don't let the garlic get brown.
Add the rice and a little more oil and fry for about 5 minutes, stirring frequently. Add some chicken broth or stock, enough to flavor the rice, but not enough to make it soupy.
Add the rest of the scrambled eggs and a dash or two of "salsa china" (soy sauce). Add the diced lechón and stir sparingly. Continue cooking for 5 minutes.
Gently fold in the green onions, green peas, and egg strips. Remove from heat, cover, and let stand for a minute or two. Serve hot.
If you want a seafood twist, omit the lechón or ham and sauté some small shrimp, lobster tail meat, or crabmeat in a little bacon fat. Add to the rice just before serving.
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