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How to Cook Arroz Caldo - Chicken, Rice, and Ginger Philippine Porridge
Arroz caldo is a rice porridge that Filipinos in the Philippines and across the world love to have in ordinary or rainy days.
This congee can be a meal on its own with its filling rice and juicy chicken or a simple soup with its runny concoction.
Arroz Caldo in Philippine Cuisine – A Bit of History
History has it that Spaniards living in the Philippines in the old times became instant patrons of Asian congee, ordering congee again and again in Chinese restaurants in the country.
Apparently, the liquid texture and meaty taste of congee reminded them of their very own caldo de arroz or rice soup in Spain.
Soon enough, they began calling the congee with rice, chicken, and ginger arroz caldo.
Of course, arroz caldo did not come from Spain.
It is actually an influence of the early Chinese settlers in the Philippines who introduced Chinese dishes to the Filipinos.
Arroz caldo, in fact, has a striking resemblance to lugaw, the Filipino name for Chinese congee.
The main difference perhaps between lugaw and arroz caldo is that the latter has chicken meat.
When to Eat Arroz Caldo
Whenever you want, really!
Many of us Filipinos would eat arroz caldo for breakfast because it is warm to the stomach, making us feel all geared up for the day ahead.
We also eat arroz caldo for light and quick dinner. It actually passes for a meal on its own with its protein and carbohydrates and little greens.
Still, many of us Filipinos would like to have arroz caldo for merienda or mid-afternoon snacks. It can be easily served, perfect food for quick mid-day breaks.
Personally, I prefer to eat arroz caldo during rainy and even stormy days, which are plenty by the way in the Philippines! You see, it’s the perfect comfort food for me!
Now, let’s go ahead with the recipe.
Ingredients for Cooking Arroz Caldo
- chicken stock – 6 cups (Make sure that the stock is not too salty. Patis or fish sauce, which we will use in this recipe, is already salty.)
- chicken thigh OR chicken chunks – 4 pieces OR 4 cups; cooked
- cooking oil – 3 tablespoons (I prefer healthy kinds of oil so I always use virgin coconut oil.)
- garlic – 4 cloves; minced
- garlic – fried to golden brown color
- ginger – 2 knobs; cut matchstick style or julienne (I always choose ones that are unblemished. They always have the best texture – crispy!)
- hardboiled eggs
- onion – 1 medium-size; chopped
- patis or fish sauce – 2 tablespoons
- white rice – 2 cups
Steps for Cooking Arroz Caldo
- In a pot set over medium heat, pour in cooking oil. Allow the oil to heat up.
- Add in onion and cook until it becomes clear in color.
- Put in garlic and cook until it is slightly brown.
- Put in ginger, taking time to cook until its flavor has seeped into the cooking oil.
- Place chicken thighs or chicken chunks. Cook lightly.
- Add in rice.
- Mix everything thoroughly.
- Flavor the mix with fish sauce.
- Pour in chicken stock.
- Bring the mix to a boil, making sure to stir constantly. This should take about 10 minutes.
- Once the stock is boiling, lower heat. Allow to the stock to simmer for another five minutes or so.
- Check whether the rice is cooked. You would know that the rice is cooked if it is already soft and bulging. Also, its color should already be clear, not white.
- If the rice is already cooked, check the consistency of the soup. If you want your soup to be really runny, add water as you wish. If you want something gluey, then this soup should be OK.
- Serve arroz caldo in small bowls while it is hot.
- Shortly before serving, garnish with scallions and fried garlic. Also, place one hardboiled egg in each serving bowl.
Ta-da! Your arroz caldo is now ready to serve!
Copyright © 2012 Kerlyn Bautista
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