Arroz Caldo (Lugaw or Chinese Congee) Recipe

Arroz Caldo is Spanish term means "rice soup"  or Lugaw in Tagalog  or congee for Chinese. Arroz Caldo was adapted to the tastes of the Spanish colonial settlers who patronised Chinese restaurants in the Philippines. This dish is usually spiced with safflower and black pepper in place of or in addition to the more traditional ginger and scallion.

Arroz Caldo is similar to Cantonese-style congee, lúgaw is typically thicker, retaining the shape of the rice, but with a similar texture. Most often it is topped with hard boiled egg, scallions and served with crispy fried garlic.  And can also be served with tokwa't baboy (diced tofu and pork), goto (beef tripe), utak (brain of pig), and with kalamansi, patís, and soy sauce. It is often served to the ill and the elderly, and is favoured among Filipinos living abroad in colder climates because it is warm, soft, and easily digestible.

Good for serving: 5-6 persons

  • 3/4 kilo chicken, cut into serving pieces 
  • 1 ½ cups uncooked sticky rice (malagkit na bigas) if available 
  • 1.5 liter chicken stock or water
  • 2 tablespoon garlic minced 
  • 2 knobs ginger, julienned 
  • 1 piece chicken broth cube (optional)    
  • 3 tablespoons safflower(kasubha)
  • 2 tablespoons cooking oil  
  • 2 tablespoons fish sauce 
  • salt and ground black pepper to taste 
  • 1 cup onion, minced 
  • 5 pieces hard boiled eggs 
  • 1 cup scallions (green onions), minced 
  • 1 piece lemon or 4 pieces calamansi 
  • 4 tablespoon toasted garlic
Cooking Instruction:
  1. In a pot, heat the cooking oil then saute the ginger, onion and garlic then add  chicken broth cube.
  2. Add chicken and cook until outer layer color turns golden brown 
  3. Add the fish sauce, and uncooked rice then mix and cook for a few minutes 
  4. Pour-in the chicken stock or water and bring to a boil 
  5. Stir occasionally and simmer until the rice is fully cooked 
  6. Add the safflower for additional color and aroma 
  7. Serve hot with hard boiled egg, toasted garlic, minced scallions, and lemon or kalamansi on top.
  8. Share and Enjoy!

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