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Quick and Easy Filipino Arroz Caldo

As a child, Edwin's mom told him, "If you want to eat, you should cook it yourself." And that's exactly what he's been doing ever since.

Arroz Caldo (Filipino-Style Congee)

Arroz Caldo (Filipino-Style Congee)

Filipino-Style Arroz Caldo

A common breakfast in Chinese cuisine is congee, or jook, which is a thick rice soup or porridge. Because of the Chinese influence on Filipino cooking, we also enjoy congee, though in Tagalog we call it lugaw.

However, we've also developed a variation that we call arroz caldo (Spanish for hot rice). Arroz caldo is fancier than a simple rice porridge; it also contains meat and other seasonings. This dish is typically eaten as a light afternoon or late-night snack. It can also be eaten as a main dish.

Normally, this dish takes at least an hour to make. But if you happen to have leftover rice, this recipe comes together much more quickly.

Cook Time

Prep timeCook timeReady inYields

10 min

20 min

30 min

6 servings


For the arroz caldo:

  • 1 pinch Mexican saffron, available at Mexican stores
  • 3 cups cooked or leftover white rice
  • 1 pound chicken thighs, cut into bite-sized pieces
  • 1 (32-ounce) carton chicken broth
  • 2 cloves garlic, minced
  • 1 onion, chopped
  • 1 tablespoon ginger, minced
  • 1 tablespoon vegetable oil
  • Salt and pepper to taste

For the toppings:

  • 3 hard-boiled eggs, sliced
  • 1 tablespoon fish sauce, available at Asian stores
  • 1/4 cup green onions, sliced
  • 6 lemon wedges
  • 1/2 cup ground chicharrones or pork rinds, available at Asian and Mexican stores


  1. Boil the cooked rice in a pot of chicken broth over medium heat until the soup becomes thick, stirring often, for at least 15 minutes.
  2. Saute the garlic, onion, and ginger, and chicken in oil until the chicken is brown. Then add to the pot of rice.
  3. Add more water if needed. Add the saffron and season with salt and pepper to taste.
  4. Continue to cook until the desired thickness/consistency is achieved.
  5. Ladle into bowls. Garnish with the toppings and drizzle with fish sauce.


  • Chicken broth: If you don't have chicken broth, you can make it with chicken bullion cubes dissolved in water.
  • Fish sauce: You can serve the fish sauce on the side instead of drizzling it on top of the arroz caldo.
  • How to grind pork rinds: Use a food processor or just pound it in a Ziploc bag.
  • Optional garlic garnish: You can also top with toasted chopped garlic by sauteing the garlic in a pan until brown.

Filipino Pork Rinds


Edwin Alcantara (author) from California on June 02, 2020:

This dish is a blend of Spanish and Asian cuisine, due to the influence of both Spain and China on Philippine culture and cuisine, similar to Peruvian cuisine. Fish sauce is a salty condiment made from anchovies soaked in salted water. This is commonly used in Asian dishes in place of salt, such as in Filipino, Thai, and Vietnamese food. So it looks like a Spanish dish but has Asian ingredients.

Wesman Todd Shaw from Kaufman, Texas on June 01, 2020:

My person, I have never seen or heard of this dish, but the photo you have here drew me in like a cat to a mouse.

Just looks friggin fantastic, and I am a Texan, and so I thought it looked like a very Mexican sort of dish. I couldn't possibly love Mexican food any more than I already do.

Incorporating pork rinds into something like this is very interesting,

What I am not especially clear about is what exactly you mean when you talk about fish sauce.

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