Arroz Caldo Recipe

Getting into the colder season means many families are turning to warm, comforting foods such as soup. However, chances are you may have tried a wide variety of different soups, and you want to try something new. Something healthy yet nutritious and packed with flavor. Try Arroz Caldo!

This Filipino meal is a dish you can get creative with by adding any vegetables or spices you want. Make it your own depends on your taste buds! It’s the perfect dinner to comfort the whole family during Thanksgiving or Christmas.

classic arroz caldo
Classic Arroz Caldo @honolulumag

What Is Arroz Caldo?

Arroz Caldo is a Filipino cuisine dish. More specifically, it is a type of Lugaw. A lugaw is porridge, and for those who may not know, porridge is just a thicker soup variation. It is essentially a cross between Filipino and Spanish heritage. Arroz Caldo is made up of fish sauce, onions, chicken (or any meat preferred), rice, ginger, and various spices. When served, it’s usually topped with additional ingredients such as green onions, hardboiled eggs, garlic, etc.

Is Arroz Caldo the same as Lugaw?

The short answer is no. They are indeed both popular Filipino-based cuisines, and Arroz Caldo is a type of Lugaw and Congee. However, although they are very similar, they are not the same. Lugaw is the classic, subtle version of Arroz Caldo. It is fundamentally just the base of Arroz Caldo, as it is made up of rice soaked in chicken broth to give it a more soup-like appearance, whereas Arroz Caldo is thicker. Lugaw doesn’t have as much flavor unless you choose to add some of your favorites to spice it up. As well as this, this dish is not usually served with toppings like the Arroz Caldo dish is, but of course, adding in some toppings is optional.

lugaw with cup of coffee
Lugaw @riekolab

History of Arroz Caldo

Thousands of years ago, Arroz Caldo became a widely popular dish that many enjoyed in Luzon, located in the Philippines. This meal converted into a Philippine favorite after Chinese traders established and introduced it to their region. Its name is quite fitting due to “Arroz,” meaning rice, and “ Caldo,” meaning broth. And as mentioned before, this is a porridge dish. Stews and porridges have been a long-lasting tradition in the Philippines, as many families make it each year. These recipes vary depending on the region in which these families are located.  

Benefits of Arroz Caldo

This Filipino meal is known as a Chinese comfort food due to being widely popular as a Chinese congee dish. Congee is another porridge, and Arroz Caldo is commonly eaten for breakfast or while one is sick. As mentioned earlier, it’s the perfect dish during the wintertime as well. The plate is simple to make and beneficial towards one’s health. And if you don’t finish it in one meal, it can be reheated by adding just a little bit of water and microwaving!

Each ingredient in this dish helps your immune system and overall health in its way. For example:

Ginger helps support digestion

Chicken nourishes the body

Rice reduces swelling

Onions are great for helping towards fighting colds, sinus infections, and allergies.

Stove-Top Arroz Caldo

Ingredients

  • 3 pounds desired meat
  • 1 tablespoon oil (any kind)
  • 2 bouillon cubes (beef or chicken)
  • 6 cups water
  • 2 tablespoons fish sauce
  • 4 tablespoons fresh ginger
  • 1 onion, diced
  • 1 cup rice, raw
  • Minced garlic
  • Salt and pepper to taste

Additional Topping Tips

  • Salmon
  • Hardboiled eggs
  • Lemon/Lime
  • Minced garlic
  • Your favorite spices

Directions

  1. In a medium-sized pot, heat oil at a medium temperature and sauté onions, garlic, and ginger. It would help if you stirred it slowly.
  2. Add desired meat to the pot and cook until it starts browning. Then add your fish sauce with the raw rice. Let it cook for a few minutes, then continue to stir occasionally.
  3. Add the water to the pot and let it come to a boiling point. Add the bouillon cubes, unless you prefer to pour broth right in.
  4. Lower the heat, cover with a lid and let the pot simmer until rice is fluffy and fully cooked.
  5. Add desired spices and mix
  6. Finally, add some additional toppings if you so choose. Some ideas have been provided above. Serve and enjoy!

Read more:

arroz caldo
Arroz Caldo @roseaustincooks

Slow Cooker Arroz Caldo

Ingredients

  • 3 pounds desired meat
  • 2 tablespoons oil (any kind)
  • 6 cups water
  • 2 tablespoons fish sauce
  • 4 tablespoons fresh ginger
  • 1 cup onion, chopped
  • 1 cup rice, raw
  • Minced garlic
  • Salt and pepper to taste

Directions

  1. Although this is a slow cooker recipe, we’re going to start by heating the oil in a large skillet on the stove. Add the ginger, onion, and garlic to the skillet and sauté. You can add some butter or do it with the oil.
  2. Add the salt and pepper to your desired taste. Stir a little bit.
  3. Add the meat you’ve chosen to include and cook until it’s slightly browning.
  4. Then, Add the fish sauce to the skillet. Add the raw rice and stir it. Leave it for a few minutes at a medium temperature.
  5. Now transfer the mixture into your slow cooker (you can also use an instant pot or crockpot).
  6. Add water and set at medium heat to cook for 6 hours.
  7. Add any additional toppings, serve, and enjoy!

Jillian Noon

Hi, I am Jillian Noon, the owner of this beautiful cooking blog. I create this blog to share my passion for cooking and other kitchen & food tips. I hope you will enjoy it!

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