Chicken and Rice Porridge with Ginger
A comforting dish that will hug you from the inside! Perfect for those gloomy days to feed your soul. Yes, it sounds Spanish but don’t be fooled, this dish is influenced by our Chinese neighbours and closely resembles Congee (a Chinese rice porridge dish).
What is Arroz Caldo?
Arrozcaldo literally means hot rice. When Chinese business men stayed in the Philippines to start a business in the country or marry a Filiipna. They also brought with them Chinese recipes, they replicated their home dishes but using local ingredients. These recipes are passed down to their wives or children and this is how Filipino-Chinese dishes were born. Arroz caldo is one of many dishes and I’m happy because I love Arroz caldo! I think it’s the ultimate comfort food and it’s so easy to make too.
What’s the difference with Arroz Caldo, Lugaw and Goto?
There are only a few differences between these dishes. They are all rice porridge and the method of cooking them are very similar. I think the difference between the three dishes are: Arrol caldo is cooked with rice & ginger. Lugaw is mainly rice, water and salt. Goto is cooked with animal innards. I must say that they are all delicious and I love them all.
Let’s Talk Ingredients
All of arroz caldo ingredients are readily avialable in your local supermarket. I used Jasmine rice because it’s what I have in my cupboard. You can use any rice but be mindful that some rice cooks longer, so the cooking time can vary, just keep an eye on it when cooking. You can add any topping syou want, sometimes people add pork crackling to their arroz caldo and sometimes people add chillies too! It’s really more of a preference.
With regards to adding water it also really depends on the rice, I find that jasmine rice doesn’t much water but if you use basmasti or long grain rice you might need more water as they cook longer.
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In a large cooking pot heat some oil, saute ginger for 2 minutes, followed by some onions and cook for another 2 minutes. Add chicken, cook until the meat turns white then add rice. Mix all the ingredients while cooking it for another 1-2 minutes. Add 1 litre of water and bring it to boil on high heat.
Turn the heat down, add salt, ground pepper and simmer the porridge for 30-40 minutes or until the starch from the rice starts to come out, rice grain is open and soft. Continue to add water and stir when the porridge becomes too thick. You don’t have to stir the whole time but make sure the porridge doesn’t dry out and stick at the bottom of the pan.
Prepare your condiments and toppings while waiting the porridge is simmering. You can add as many or as little toppings as you want!
Check the porridge and taste it, you can add more salt at this stage if you want. I like my Arroz Caldo not too thick, I approximately add about 2 litres of water throughout cooking it. You will know that the porridge is ready when the individual rice opens and the porridge is thick and starchy.
When you are happy with your porridge you can turn the heat off. Arroz caldo is best serve hot. Be careful not to burn your tongue! HAHA! I pour some Arroz caldo in a bowl, add my toppings and finished with some lemon or kalamansi.
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