This Filipino rice porridge is hearty, healthy, and oh-so-comforting! This recipe will make about 4 large bowls in about an hour (or 45 minutes if you use cooked rice!) This recipe's main ingredients are the most soothing in the world: tender chicken, ginger, and rice. It's commonly known as arroz caldo, but my family calls it lugaw (loo-gow).
*This recipe was updated to include step-by-step photos.
Sure, arroz caldo is not the most beautiful dish in the world, but it makes you feel warm and fuzzy inside. And it's a very simple recipe! It's the perfect meal for a chilly evening, if you're feeling under the weather, or if you just need a little comfort.
1 1/2 cups of uncooked rice OR 2 1/2 cups cooked rice (I prefer jasmine rice)
1 lb of boneless skinless chicken thighs, cut into 1 1/2 inch pieces*
6 cups chicken broth**
2 knobs of ginger, sliced thinly (each about the size of your index and middle finger. Keep these pieces long so you can take them out easily in the end.)
1 large onion, sliced
4 cloves of garlic, minced
2 tablespoons of fish sauce (You can substitute soy sauce, but it is NOT as good)
Salt and pepper, to taste
To garnish (optional):
Sliced green onions
Soft-boiled egg (not pictured)
* Nanays, lolas, and titas usually use bone-in, skin-on chicken. But I hate the texture of boiled skin. Chicken thighs are just as tasty and flavorful!
** You can also use 6 cups of water and 2 tablespoons chicken bouillon!
Heat a large pot over medium heat and add a tablespoon of neutral oil (vegetable, canola, etc.) When the oil shimmers, add the onion and ginger. Cook until the onion is softened but not completely translucent, about 2-3 minutes.
Add the chicken and garlic and season lightly with salt and pepper. Cook and stir until the garlic is fragrant, about 1 minute.
Pour in the water and chicken bouillon and bring the soup to a boil. Once the pot is bubbling, turn the heat down to a simmer.
Stir in the rice. It may not seem like a lot now, but the rice will expand and turn the liquid into a thicker, richer soup. If you like pepper, you can add more to the broth now.
Cover pot and allow the soup to simmer for at least 45 minutes on low heat. Stir every 15 minutes or so to make sure nothing is sticking to the bottom.
Taste the broth with each stir; add more bouillon or fish sauce in 1/2 teaspoon increments to taste.
When the soup is done, rice should no longer look like individual grains, and the broth should be thick, but not too thick. If your soup is too thick, add more water.
Garnish with green onion, fried garlic, a squeeze of lemon and a soft-boiled egg!
Remove or avoid the large pieces of ginger when eating. Or don't and live life on the edge.
Arroz caldo will last in the fridge for a few days, but be mindful that it continues to thicken as it stores. Just add more water and a smidge of chicken bouillon when reheating.