Arroz Caldo: A Filipino Comfort Food

Two days ago, I’ve decided to take a break from the kitchen because I have something else to do. Sadly, I have not accomplished what I needed to do. My stomach is giving me a hard time since yesterday. So today is my rest day… how depressing is that?! It really makes me sick without doing anything productive. But I have to cooperate with my stomach today or else… this pain will stay with me for a few more days. 😦

Given that today is my rest day, I am posting one of my favorite comfort foods – Arroz Caldo.

Arroz Caldo is a Filipino rice and chicken porridge or congee. The chicken and rice are cooked together for about 30-45 minutes in a pot and served with hard-boiled eggs, topped with spring onions and toasted garlic. The addition of the juice of Calamansi or lemon makes it more delish!

My mom used to cook Arroz Caldo as it is our favorite at home. We usually eat this for breakfast and especially when it is raining… It’s really a Filipino comfort food.

I usually cook the chicken with the rice but sometimes I’d love to take the easy way out – to cook the rice in a separate pot while preparing the other ingredients. From the time my rice is done, the other ingredients are ready and I am ready to put the cooked rice with the sautéed veggies and chicken.

Arroz Caldo Recipe

Ingredients:

  • ¾ cup rice
  • 7 cups of water (or more)
  • 2 boneless chicken breast, cut into strips
  • 1 head of garlic, chopped
  • 1 medium onion, chopped
  • 1 tbsp ginger, grated
  • Spring onion, sliced, separate the white and green part
  • Chicken bouillon cube
  • Salt and pepper, to taste
  • Cooking oil
  • 4 hard boiled eggs

Instructions:

1) In a large pot or a wok with a medium heat, put little oil and when the oil is hot enough, add in chopped garlic and toast until brown. (Just be careful not to burn it; you don’t want to start all over again.)

2) Remove the toasted garlic from the pan or wok and put in a paper towel to remove excess oil.

3) In the same pot or wok, add more oil, about 2 tbsp, and add in ginger when oil is hot enough. Cook for a minute. Next, add ¼ of the garlic you toasted earlier. Add in chopped onion and the white part of the spring onion.

4) When veggies are done, add the chicken and chicken bouillon cube. Add about 1 tsb of salt, mix and cover for two minutes.

5) Add the uncooked rice and add 5 cups of water and let it simmer until rice are very soft, checking it from time to time to prevent the dish from drying. It will take about 30-45 minutes. You can add the remaining 2 cups of water or more if you prefer to.

6) You can now do a taste test and add in you pepper and more salt.

7) When ready, you can ladle them in a bowl, garnish with some toasted garlic, spring onions and squeeze in some Calamansi (or lemon). Now, you’re ready to dig in with the hard-boiled eggs.

blog_arroz

You can replace the water with chicken stock and omit the chicken cubes. I am sure it will be tastier. I haven’t tried but I can imagine it. 😀

As I’ve mentioned earlier, there’s another way to do it. Before #1, have your pot ready with rice and water, heat it up with a high heat and boil until rice are soft, 30-45 minutes. While your rice is cooking, you can do the slicing stuff and do the sautéing after. So, let’s do #1 to #4. By the time you’re doing the #4, your rice may be ready by now. Add in the cooked rice (of course, you don’t have to wait for another 30-45 minutes because your rice are already cooked) and proceed to #5 to #7.

So, we have the “time-consuming way” and the “easy way out”. If I am in a hurry, I always take the latter.

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