Arroz Caldo

As the Beijing temperature drops lower (it’s 0C at the moment), warm food becomes more and more appealing. What better way to warm up the stomach by serving arroz caldo, a Spanish-influenced Chinese congee popular in Philippines.

Arroz caldo is (accdg to Wikipedia) served to the ill and elderly. It’s also a nice comfort food during rainy season in the Philippines.

I remember this was the second dish (the first one being Beef Steak Filipino-style) I ever cooked for Royal Chef and he loved it!

1 big ginger
1 onion – chopped
2 tbsp garlic – chopped
1 1/2 cups rice – uncooked
chicken – preferably bone-parts
5 cups water
4 pcs medium/hard boiled eggs
scallions – julienned
ground pepper
fish sauce
chicken cube
lemon/lime or kalamansi
2 tbsp oil

1. In a big pot, fry 1/3 of the garlic, onions and ginger in oil
2. Add the chicken in and fry until the chicken skin turns golden brown (or you may also cook the chicken separately to brown it faster), dash in some fish sauce and ground pepper
3. Add the rice in and cook for several minutes; add the chicken cube and dissolve properly

4. Pour in water and bring to boil
5. Let it simmer and stir occasionally until rice cooks (30-40 minutes)
6. While waiting for the arroz caldo to cook, fry the rest of the garlic until it turns golden brown
6. Serve with fried garlic, scallions and kalamansi (or lemon/lime) on top. Enjoy!

PS. As I like my congee to be really creamy, thick and sticky, I’d boil the rice for a long time. But some people prefer their congee to retain the shape of the rice, so boil less or until rice is just cooked. So it really depends on you if you like your rice to still be intact or disintegrated.


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