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Arroz Caldo literally means warm rice. This congee that closely resembles risotto has been a favorite Filipino snack. What goes with arroz caldo? I enjoy pairing it with tokwat baboy, which is a combination of boiled pork slices and fried tofu soaked in a vinegar mixture.
Although arroz caldo is of Chinese origin, the name was actually given by the Spaniards because of pronunciation issues.
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.
What Makes Arroz Caldo Yellow
You have the option to make your arroz caldo yellowish if preferred. It may or may not have an effect on the flavor of the dish. It depends on the ingredient that you will use.
An ingredient known as safflower is traditionally used when cooking this dish. It is locally known in the Philippines as kasubha. The corollas of the safflower plant can be either yellow or red. The red variety is commonly used for arroz caldo. It creates a yellowish color when cooked.
Safflower has no flavor at all. It does not affect the overall taste of the dish. However, there is an ingredient that I sometimes used which makes the dish taste better. It is called saffron.
How to Cook Arroz Caldo
Start by sauteeing the garlic and onions. Ground black pepper and a piece of chicken cube are added during the process. Next goes the chicken pieces. Make sure to cook the chicken until the outer parts turn light brown in color.
I like to infuse the dish with flavors at the start. This is the reason why I also add a bit of fish sauce into it in the early stages. Add the rice afterwards and pour-in water. The amount of water will depend on the consistency of the dish. Make sure to stir every few minutes while cooking until the desired consistency is achieved.
Boiled eggs are regular components. I add these during the last steps of the cooking process. You can also add it later when you are about to serve the dish.
Add the safflower and adjust the flavor by adding more seasonings if needed. Top with toasted garlic and chopped scallions. It is best to squeeze some lemon or calamansi on top before eating.
Arroz Caldo and Lugaw
You might be familiar with lugaw and goto. These types of congee closely resembles each other. The distinguishing ingredient of arroz caldo is the use of chicken.
Lugaw can be as plain as it can get. It can be cooked using only three ingredients. The simplest lugaw is composed of rice, water, and salt. My grandma always makes this for me when I am not feeling well. She adds an ingredient called rousong to make it taste better.
Goto is another type of congee. This is usually composed of beef tripe. Beef and pork innards are sometimes added into it.
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.
How to Make Toasted Garlic
Topping some toasted garlic on your arroz caldo is highly recommended before serving. You will need the following: 1/2 cup garlic, minced and 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
Use when needed
Try this Arroz Caldo Recipe. Let me know what you think.
- 1 ½ lbs chicken cut into serving pieces
- 1 ½ cups rice uncooked
- 34 ounces water about 1 liter
- 2 Tablespoons fish sauce
- 1 teaspoon garlic
- 1/4 teaspoon ground black pepper
- 1 cup onion minced
- 4 eggs hard boiled
- 1 cup scallions green onions, minced
- 2 knobs ginger julienned
- 3 tbsp safflower kasubha
- 1 chicken cube bouillon
- 1 lemon or 4 pieces calamansi
- 2 Tablespoon 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!