Lugaw or plain congee is the most basic congee recipe that only requires rice, water, and salt. This version is somewhat upgraded because I used an ingredient that improves the flavor of the dish – Rousong.
Rousong is made from pork. This is also called pork or meat floss. The texture of rousing is almost as soft as cotton, while its flavor is intense. This can definitely hype-up your plain old lugaw to make it more enjoyable to eat. It is available in Asian supermarkets.
I got the idea from my childhood days. When I am sick, my mom and grandma will prepare some lugaw for me. I must admit that eating plain congee with a bit of salt is not exciting as eating crispy pata, so they always add this soft dry pork flakes on top. This made warm lugaw taste better.
Try this Lugaw Recipe. Let me know what you think.
1 cup long grain white rice
4 to 5 cups water
2 teaspoons salt
1/4 cup rousong (pork floss)
Pour water in a cooking pot. Bring to a boil.
Put-in the rice. Continue cooking for 30 minutes or until the texture becomes thick, while stirring once in a while.
Add the salt, stir and then cook for 2 minutes more.
Transfer to a serving bowl. Top with a tablespoon of rousing.
Chicago winter is one of the coldest in the country. There are weeks wherein the average temperature ranges between 5 to 15 degrees Fahrenheit; there are also days where it falls below zero (not to mention the wind chill factor which makes it colder). During this season, a single cup of hot chocolate or coffee really helps in making oneself warm. Hot soups and porridge are also ideal for dinner.
While I was driving home from work last night, I suddenly thought of having Goto (Filipino porridge) for dinner. My craving was so intense that I immediately checked the freezer after arriving hoping for some extra ox tripe. Wait, we haven’t gone to the grocery yet for the week – I realized. All that’s left are pork bellies and some beef brisket. How about chicken? There has to be at least a leg quarter somewhere; I’m planning to make Arroz Caldo instead. It turned out that I used the last chicken leg quarter for another dish a few days before. I’m pretty sure that I won’t make any pork belly porridge – I’m just not a fan of the combination. How about some Beef Lugaw instead (or whatever they call it)?
I haven’t tried making porridge or congee from beef brisket before: this can be a good experiment. I thawed the last pound of beef brisket that I got from the freezer and cubed it. I grabbed my ever reliable pressure cooker and started sautéing some garlic and chopped onions then added the beef right away. A few cups of water were also added before the pot was sealed. I wanted the meat to be very tender so I let it cook for more than 30 minutes. Times up – now the pressure needs to be released from the pot right away; there’s nothing like the old fashioned method of placing the pot under running cold water. I added some spices and flavorings and some cups of water more and off it goes to the stove top to boil again. Lastly, a few cups of rice were added to complete the process. I really don’t know how to call this dish; beef lugaw sounds nice – you think?
Arroz Caldo literally means warm rice. This Arroz Caldo Recipe is a type of congee that closely resembles risotto. It has been a favorite Filipino snack and is best eaten with tokwat baboy.
Although Arroz Caldo is of Chinese origin, the name was actually given by the Spaniards because of pronunciation issues. You might be familiar with lugaw and goto. These congee closely resembles each other, correct? The distinguishing ingredient of arroz caldo is the use of chicken, while goto usually requires the use of tripe, beef, and innards. Lugaw, on the other hand, is as plain as it can get.
To make your arroz caldo look and taste better, try topping it with some safflower, toasted garlic, and scallions — squeeze half a lemon and you are done. Arroz Caldo is usually served during breakfast because it is filling. It can give you the energy that you will need until lunch time.
I remember seeing several well-lit carts complete with chairs and tables along Edsa (a major road in Manila) serving this arroz caldo with Goto and lugaw. Several tapsilogan and karinderya also carry this in their daily menu.
Try this delicious Arroz Caldo recipe and let me know what you think.
Arroz Caldo Recipe
Author: Vanjo Merano
Serving size: 6
1 ½ lbs chicken, cut into serving pieces
1 ½ cups uncooked rice
34 ounces water (about 1 liter)
2 tbsp fish sauce
1 tsp garlic
1/2 tsp ground black pepper
1 cup onion, minced
4 pieces hard boiled eggs
1 cup scallions (green onions), minced
2 knobs ginger, julienned
3 tbsp safflower(kasubha)
1 piece chicken cube (bouillon)
1 piece lemon or 4 pieces calamansi
2 tbsp cooking oil
In a pot, heat the cooking oil then saute the garlic, onion, and ginger
Dash-in some ground black pepper
Add the chicken cube and cook until the cube melts
Put-in the chicken and cook until outer layer color turns golden brown
Add the fish sauce and uncooked rice then mix and cook for a few minutes
Pour-in the water and bring to a boil
Stir occasionally and simmer until the rice is fully cooked (about 30 to 40 minutes)
Put-in the hard boiled eggs
Add the safflower for additional color and aroma
Serve hot with garlic, minced scallions, and lemon. Share and Enjoy!
Watch the cooking video:
Toasted Garlic Recipe
1/2 cup garlic, minced
1/2 cup cooking oil
Pour the oil in a pan then turn on the stove
Put-in the garlic immediately (make sure that the oil is not hot enough to fry the garlic)
Adjust the heat of the stove to “low” and wait until the garlic turns golden brown (or medium brown if desired)
Drain the oil and place in a bowl with paper towel or tissue