Chaufa Huánuco

Chaufa Huánuco

David Loftus

Chifa-style Tempeh & Quinoa. Chinese migrants arrived in Peru in the 19th century and, among other businesses, they established restaurants called Chifas that used Chinese cooking techniques with native Peruvian ingredients. Huánuco has its fair share of Chifas and this dish is my way to honour that fusion and Chinese-Peruvian tradition.


Quantity Ingredient
500g tempeh, cut into 2cm cubes
2 tablespoons vegetable oil, plus extra for deep frying
30g cornflour
1 large onion, finely chopped
1/2 red pepper, finely chopped
100g sweetcorn kernels, blanched
2 tablespoons dry sherry or pisco
2 medium-heat red chillies, finely chopped
100g peas, blanched
90g black quinoa, cooked
1 tablespoon light gluten-free soy sauce
1 teaspoons sesame oil
2 beaten eggs
4 spring onions, finely chopped
a small bunch coriander, leaves and stalks finely chopped
a few tarragon sprigs, leaves and stalks finely chopped
1 tablespoon yacon or maple syrup

For the marinade

Quantity Ingredient
2 tablespoons Picante de Huevos, panca chilli paste
3 tablespoons light gluten-free soy sauce
3 garlic cloves, crushed
2cm piece of ginger, peeled and finely chopped


  1. First, make the marinade. In a large bowl, whisk together the chilli paste and soy sauce, then stir in the garlic and ginger.
  2. Add the tempeh to the bowl with the marinade and stir to coat. Cover and marinate in the fridge for at least 5 hours, or overnight if possible.
  3. When you’re ready to cook, drain the tempeh, reserving the marinade. To deep fry the tempeh, pour vegetable oil into a deep saucepan, or deep-fat fryer, so that it comes about halfway up the sides and heat to about 180°C. Pat the tempeh dry with kitchen paper, then dust with the cornflour. Fry, in batches if necessary, for about 2–3 minutes until crisp and golden brown. Remove from the oil with a slotted spoon and set aside to drain on kitchen paper.
  4. Heat the vegetable oil in a large frying pan or wok over a high heat. Add the onion, red pepper and sweetcorn. Add the sherry or pisco and set alight quickly to flambée the ingredients. When the flames have subsided, add the red chilli, peas and quinoa to the pan and sauté for 2–3 minutes, stirring continuously, until everything is well combined. Add the soy sauce and sesame oil, along with a dash of the reserved marinade, and stir through to combine. Tip the contents of the pan into a bowl. Heat a touch of oil in the pan and add the beaten eggs, spring onion and all the herbs. Stir until the eggs have cooked and everything is fully combined. Roughly chop them up with a wooden spoon, then reintroduce the stir-fried ingredients and mix everything together. Take the pan off the heat.
  5. Heat the remaining marinade in a small saucepan over a low heat with the yacon or maple syrup. To serve, divide the quinoa mixture between 4 shallow bowls and arrange the deep-fried tempeh on top. Drizzle over the warm marinade and serve immediately.
Martin Morales
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