The first Chinese immigrants arrived in Cuba as coolies (indentured servants), imported by Spanish settlers in the mid-1800s to work in the sugarcane fields. Most were men from the Chinese province of Guangdong. After their eight-year contracts were fulfilled, most stayed on, and settled in what was to become El Bario Chino de la Habana (Havana’s Chinatown). As in the United States, many Chinese immigrants opened restaurants and made a definite impact on Cuban cooking. Today, fried rice is a dish that is routinely prepared by Cubans from all ethnic backgrounds.
Cook the rice a day in advance, or use leftover cooked rice.
Place the rice in a saucepan and add
In a small mixing bowl, beat the eggs together with
Place a wok or large skillet over medium heat. Add the remaining oil and the garlic cloves. Cook, stirring, pressing down on the garlic to flavor the oil. When the garlic begins to brown, remove and discard it. Add the ginger and the cooked rice to the wok. Stir briefly, just so that the rice doesn’t stick. Add the egg strips, diced meat, and shrimp and stir to combine them with the rice. Gradually stir in the chile-garlic sauce, if using, and the soy sauce. Add the green onions, stir once or twice, and sprinkle with the cilantro. Serve immediately.
© 2006 All rights reserved. Published by Abrams Books.