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Mar 25, 2008

Category:Rice Dishes
Prep Time:Less than 30 min

The origin of this recipe is from Hong Kong and is better known to the English speaking community as Fried Rice or Chow Fan. Now how in the world did an Asian recipe incorporate itself into Puerto Rican cooking??? I smell a history lesson.......

In the 1500s, Asians participated in the Manila Galleon trade with Spain and Portugal. Over the next several centuries, thousands of Chinese, Japanese, East Indians, and other peoples from across Asia would leave their ancestral homes and make their way to Latin America and the Caribbean. 

While known for their entrepreneurial skills as merchants, Asian immigrants also constituted an important part of the labor force. Their labor was essential to the development of the region's economy.

The Chinese were the first people to arrive in Puerto Rico by large numbers during the 19th century after The United States Congress passed the 1882 Chinese Exclusion Act. This act had forbid the immigration of Chinese to the mainland United States for a period of 10 years. Many of them went to Puerto Rico to work on the island's rail systems, just like many other Chinese who emigrated to other parts of Latin America. Many of the Asian railroad workers in Puerto Rico decided to settle permanently in the island and founded "El Barrio Chino" (Chinatown) in San Juan. Their children were among the first Chinese-Puerto Ricans.

Although Chinese-Puerto Ricans are small in numbers compared to Puerto Ricans of Spanish, Amerindian, or African descent, nevertheless, they form an identifiable structure of Puerto Rican society.

Many are involved in operating Chinese restaurants, and others work in other sectors. Many members of Puerto Rico's Chinese minority have integrated both Puerto Rican and Chinese cultures into their daily lives.

Some Chinese have intermarried with Puerto Ricans from the time that they first settled in the island and many of today's Chinese-Puerto Ricans actually have Hispanic surnames and are of mixed Chinese and Puerto Rican descent, e.g., Wu-Trujillo.

Most Puerto Ricans of other races refer to all East Asians as Chinese (as is the case in other Spanish-speaking societies). Because of this, it must be clarified that in Puerto Rico, many Asians from other different countries also live there. Many Chinese not only came from mainland China, but also Hong Kong, Macau, and Taiwan, while other Asian groups came from Japan, Korea, other Latin American countries — especially from Cuba and nearby Dominican Republic — and even mainland United States. Some of the Chinese-Puerto Ricans moved to the mainland United States for a better way of life during the early part of the 20th Century, however many Chinese-Puerto Ricans who immigrated to the mainland United States are migrating back to Puerto Rico, most of whom have set up Chinese food restaurants.

This dish is popular throughout Latin America although known under many different names, all of which are usually a distortion of the original name due to Spanish speaking accents.
This recipe is a great way to use up leftovers.You pretty much just add whatever you are in the mood for. Just remember that all of the ingredients can be adjusted to your taste. This can be served as a main dish or as a side dish.


3 tablespoons sesame oil or peanut oil
1 pound smoked ham or spam, cut in small pieces
1 cup roasted chicken, deboned, deskinned, cut in small pieces
1 pound shrimp, shelled, deveined, rinsed (or any seafood you prefer) 
5 tablespoons soy sauce
1/4 inch piece fresh ginger, peeled, minced or 1 teaspoon ginger powder
2 garlic cloves, minced
1/4 cup bean sprouts
1/4 cup fresh or frozen petit pois (small green peas)
1/4 cup carrot, diced
1/4 cup cabbage, shredded
1/4 cup sweet corn kernels
1/4 taza scallions, sliced
Salt, to taste (about 1/2 teaspoon)
Pepper, to taste (about 1/2 teaspoon)
4 cups white rice, cooked (prefarably one day old and not fresh cooked)
1/4 cup cilantro, minced
2 eggs, fried hard, chopped


  • Heat oil in deep and wide pan or pot.
  • Sautee together all except last three ingredients (rice, egg, and cilantro) until heated through.
  • Taste and reseason if necessary.
  • Toss rice into mixture, thoroughly.
  • Toss eggs into mixture, thoroughly.
  • Toss cilantro into mixture, thoroughly.
  • Fluff rice and serve hot.


Visibility: Everyone
Posted: Tuesday March 25, 2008, 4:19 am
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Ds R.
female , single
New York, NY, USA
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