Mauritian cuisine is a vast melting pot influenced by Chinese, Indian, Creole, and French styles of cooking. Fried rice (Riz Frit) in Mauritius is often served with a side of fresh tomato chutney, wonderfully blending its Chinese and Indian background. The chutney can be made a few hours in advance and is served on the side to season the rice. I have tried many types of fried rice and this one definitely stands out as one of the more unique (and very delicious) versions. Evan didn’t really care for the chutney. It may have been a little too spicy for him.
I made the fried rice with chicken, egg, shallots, carrots, and peas. You can easily substitute with your favorite meats and vegetables (though cooking times may vary). Garlic is a must. Shrimp would work well as a substitute for chicken. Corn, tofu, broccoli, or cabbage would also be nice additions.
Make sure the pan is thoroughly heated before cooking to prevent sticking and all the ingredients are prepped. Everything is cooked quickly over a high heat. I used a large wok, but a large pan with high sides will also do.
I like to use rice that has been cooked a day in advance and refrigerated overnight. Fresh rice will be too moist and cause the dish to become soggy. Separate the grains of rice before adding them to the wok to help mix everything together and prevent large clumps.
Riz Frit (Mauritian Fried Rice)
Adapted from The Hakka Cookbook: Chinese Soul Food from around the World
1 cup chopped ripe tomatoes
1/4 cup chopped onion, rinsed and drained
2 tablespoons chopped fresh cilantro or mint
2 tablespoons white wine vinegar
2 teaspoons minced fresh ginger
2-4 teaspoons minced jalapeno
1/4 teaspoon salt
4 cups cooked long grain rice, cold
3 tablespoons vegetable oil, divided
2 large eggs, lightly beaten
1 cup chopped shallots or red onion
1 cup thinly sliced green beans, snow peas, or sugar snap peas
1/2 cup finely chopped carrots
1 tablespoon minced garlic
8 ounces boneless, skinless chicken breasts or thigh, cut into 1/2 inch pieces
2 tablespoons soy sauce
1/2 teaspoon salt
1/4 teaspoon ground black pepper
2-3 tablespoons thinly sliced green onions for garnish
To make the tomato chutney: In a medium bowl, toss together tomatoes, onions, cilantro, mint, vinegar, ginger, chiles, and salt. Cover and refrigerate until ready to serve.
Separate the pieces of cold rice with your hands until loose.
In a large wok or pan, drizzle 2 tablespoons of the oil over high heat. Once heated, Pour in the eggs and swirl to coat the bottom of the wok. Once the bottom has set, gently lift the edges to allow to raw egg on top to pour underneath. Once set, transfer with a large slotted spoon to a plate.
Stir the shallots, beans, carrots, and garlic in the pan until the garlic is fragrant and the shallots are softened, 1-2 minutes. Stir in the chicken and cook until golden. Reduce heat to medium high and drizzle in the remaining 1 tablespoon oil. Toss in the separated rice and cook until heated through.Add the soy sauce, salt, and pepper, tossing to combine. Add the fried egg on top and break apart as it is mixed into the rice.
Sprinkle with green onions and serve immediately with tomato chutney.