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Kriska Cooks: Arroz Caldo

Arroz Caldo which literally means "rice soup" has always been one my family's favorite comfort foods.

"Arroz caldo is actually a Chinese congee that was adapted to the tastes of the Spanish colonial settlers who patronized Chinese restaurants in the Philippines." ~Wikipedia

It is commonly flavored with chicken, garlic, ginger, and safflower (or our local saffron, which gives the arroz caldo a distinct aroma and a bright yellow tinge). But my dad, being adventurous when it comes to cooking, has his own version of the arroz caldo which my family loves. With a squeeze of calamansi juice plus a dash of black pepper, a hot bowl of arroz caldo is a perfect way to warm our tummies especially on a cold weather.

I actually tried to cook arroz caldo using my dad's recipe one rainy afternoon and it turned out to be a hit! Try it! :D

IMG_4145Arroz Caldo


1/2 kg glutinous rice, washed and soaked in water

IMG_46961/2 kg chicken, choppedIMG_47001/2 kg chicken liver, cut into bite-sized chunks

IMG_46971 medium ginger, julienned
2 medium onions, chopped
3 cloves garlic, minced
fried minced garlic and chopped spring onions
IMG_46991 pc Knorr Chicken Cube
4-5 tbsp fish sauce (patis)
4-5 cups water
black ground pepper to taste

Preparation and Cooking Procedures:

Wash the glutinous rice, soak it in water and set aside. You may also combine jasmine rice (1/4 kg) with the glutinous rice (1/4 kg) if you wish. :)

Put the chicken in a caldero, cover, and cook over meduim heat. Yup, you read that right, we'll start with cooking the chicken first. :)

Traditional cooking includes sautéing the garlic, onions (and ginger) first before adding in the meat, but my dad does it differently. He always cooks the meat first without adding anything, not even oil or water; and then he sautés the garlic and onions using the meat's oil. Cooking the meat this way brings out all its flavors and makes the dish more delectable. :) His technique is what I grew up with and this is what I always do whenever I cook dishes with beef, pork, or chicken.

After around 3 minutes, notice that the chicken starts to have it's own oil. We can now add in the chicken liver, placing the chicken on the side of the caldero. You may also choose to remove the chicken from the heat and set it aside while the liver cooks. :)

Cook the liver until the color turns to light brown. Stir the chicken and the liver, cover, and simmer for around 3 minutes.

Water from the liver will start to ooze out so you'll need to take off the cover and let the water evaporate until only the oil remains. Now were ready to sauté.

Again, put the liver and chicken on the side of the caldero and add in the garlic, cooking it until golden brown. I like cooking the garlic well (though not totally burnt) as it adds more flavor to the dish.

Add in the onions and cook until they become translucent.

Add in the ginger and stir well. You'll know that the ginger is cooked when the smell is evident. Stir the chicken and liver together with the garlic, onions, and ginger. Add the fish sauce making sure not to stir it in. Let it simmer for couple of seconds until the fish sauce evaporates. This way we can get rid of the fishy taste and smell and be left with the fish sauce's flavorful taste. :)

Add the Knorr Chicken Cube, mix well until the cube is dissolved, and then add in the rice.

Add water and mix well. Cover and simmer in medium heat while stirring occasionally for 30-45 minutes or until the rice is cooked.

If the soup becomes too thick you can always add a cup or two of water to thin it a bit. The photo below shows that the rice is somewhat translucent indicating that it is already cooked.

I don't like arroz caldo with rice that's still chewable, and I also like my arroz caldo a little thick so I still continue to stir the soup until the rice is somewhat dissolved. :)

Remove from heat once the rice is cooked and/or your desired soup consistency is achieved. Place the soup in a bowl and top with fried garlic and chopped spring onions. Serve hot and enjoy! :)


Sprinkle with calamansi juice and add a dash of black ground pepper for a more delectable treat! Best eaten with tokwa't baboy and fried lumpiang toge, arroz caldo is surely a perfect way to keep you warm on cold rainy days!

More recipes HERE :)
kriskamarie   sweetnothings.kriskamarie
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