In this recipe for Portuguese Fried Rice, chouriço is fried until crispy. Then vegetables and rice are tossed in the oil extracted from the chouriço. It is finished with the green of a spring onion and parsley.
There are a lot of ways reasons why this is not fried rice: there is no soy sauce, there is no wok, and I’ve added chouriço, but throughout history, people and cuisines have flowed together, influencing each other, using new techniques and different ingredients. Where would Italian food today be without the new world tomato? This recipe has rice that is fried with an egg added so I’m calling it fried rice. It’s a hodgepodge making its own thing.
I have not been able to find green onions in Portugal so far (maybe because it’s been cold) so I used a spring onion, slicing the white for the fry and the green bits to toss in at the end. You could do the same with green onions.
I am currently tasting all the chouriço of Portugal I can manage, but as there are so many, I don’t think I’ll get through them anytime soon. For this recipe I used mouro choriço, which is made with fats and pig guts, and bloody meat trimmings, giving it a darker color, along with salt, dried garlic, paprika, cumin, and white wine; it’s cured by smoking. Mouro choriço is from the Portalegre district in the Alentjano region, which is in the southeast corner of Portugal at the Spanish border.
As you will see in the photos, I did not have a large enough pan to cook all the rice at once so I did it in two batches. The amounts given in the ingredients are for two servings.
Another note, this is salty the way I like my rice, so adjust to your own tastes.
I always like to add something hot to serve with my fried rice. Right now I am adding piri piri, hot pepper sauce, to everything.
Makes 2 servings
5 tablespoons olive oil
5oz/ 140g chouriço, thinly sliced
1 spring onion, white and green sliced and separated
1 garlic clove, sliced
½ jarred roasted bell pepper, pat dried with paper towel, finely chopped
½ tomato, chopped and deseeded
sprinkle of cayenne
1 teaspoon salt
32oz/ 900g day old cooked rice
2 eggs, beaten
4 sprigs parsley, finely chopped
piri piri for serving, optional
Have vegetables cut and ready to go before starting so you can work quickly.
Over medium high heat put enough olive oil to cover the bottom of the pan. Add chouriça and fry until crispy. Remove sausage from pan.
Leaving oil in pan, turn up heat to high. Working quickly while constantly stirring, add white of onion and fry until it just softened. Add garlic and cook 30 seconds. Add bell pepper and tomato. Cook another 30 seconds.
Add chouriço to pan and quickly add rice, salt, and cayenne. Stir vigorously and cook until rice is almost jumping from the pan.
Push rice to one side of pan and add egg. Slightly scramble, then mix into rice. Off heat, add green onions and parsley.
Serve piping hot with piri piri sauce on the side.
For more Portuguese inspired dishes try our White Beans and Chouriço Soup with Garlic Bread.