Quick and Easy Filipino Arroz Caldo
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.
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
- 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.
- Saute the garlic, onion, and ginger, and chicken in oil until the chicken is brown. Then add to the pot of rice.
- Add more water if needed. Add the saffron and season with salt and pepper to taste.
- Continue to cook until the desired thickness/consistency is achieved.
- 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.