Filipino Arroz Caldo

Filipino Arroz Caldo

Jen Phanomrat

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One bowl of this hearty Filipino rice and chicken soup feels like a hug from the inside.

Filipino Arroz Caldo

Ingredients

  • 4 chicken pieces (legs and thighs)

  • 1 medium onion, chopped

  • 1 knob of ginger, peeled and sliced

  • 1 head of garlic, minced

  • 2 scallion stalks, chopped

  • 1 cup uncooked rice (glutinous is best)

  • 5-6 cups water

  • 4 eggs, soft boiled

  • Fish sauce to taste

  • Lemon wedges to serve

  • Fresh cilantro to serve

  • Salt and pepper, to taste

  • A drizzle of oil

Instructions

  1. Heat a generous drizzle of oil in a large pot. Saute onion, half of the garlic, and some scallions until fragrant and translucent. Add chicken to brown for a few minutes, and then remove from the pot and set aside. Add uncooked rice and toss well. Toast for a few minutes.

  2. Pour water and add the chicken back into the pot, along with ginger slices. Cover slightly and boil for 1 hour. Occasionally scrape the bottom of the pot to prevent the rice from sticking.

  3. Meanwhile, heat some oil in a pan on medium heat. Add the rest of the garlic and fry until golden brown and crispy.

  4. Once the soup has thickened, remove chicken meat from the bones and shred into small pieces. Stir meat back into the pot. Season with salt and pepper.

  5. Serve with soft boiled egg, lemon wedges, scallions, cilantro, and fish sauce to taste.

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Transcript

- People like to seek comfort in other people, but no, no, no, that's just gonna lead you to more sadness, so what's my suggestion? You comfort yourself, I highly recommend making comfort food. So, today I'm gonna show you how to make my favorite Filipino comfort food, arroz caldo. It's basically a rice soup or rice porridge, however you wanna call it and there are different versions of this all over the world. Filipinos were influenced by the Chinese and Spanish, so this is a Chinese-inspired recipe, but it's named with a Spanish name, arroz caldo. I've got a whole onion here, this is gonna start the base of the soup. I'm starting to cry. I need comfort, why you no give me comfort? Now for some ginger, you could do slices like this and then cut them into match sticks, but I'm just gonna leave it whole. Now for a ton of garlic. Now, half of this is gonna be thrown into the soup at the start, and the other half, you're gonna set aside for later. I'll show you why. One more thing to chop, some scallions. That's the flavor base right here. The ginger, put it to the side, we're gonna add that a little later. I have a pot here heating up, I'm just gonna add some oil. It's nice and hot, drop everything in. Smells amazing, whenever you have these flavors hit a pan, it's like life. It's like life. I've got chicken thighs and legs. You can leave the skin on, you could take it off, it's up to you. Just make sure it's got the bone in, that is flavor. Looking good, it's time to flip. Look at that. Now, they don't need to cook all the way, we just wanted to give it a little toast because I'm gonna drop them back a little later, but now we've got all of this nice, delicious bits inside. It's time for the rice. I'm using glutenous rice, sometimes it's labeled as sweet rice. Now, this is gonna make the texture of the soup really thick. Gonna add that directly to the pot and let it toast for a bit, you know, mix it up, get all the flavors, put it in each and every single grain. My dad, he had a way of comparing one type of food to another, so he used to call this Asian risotto. So, he would say to his friends, "Oh, you want some? "Asian risotto, it's good." It's time for water, then back goes the chicken and the slices of ginger. You may have never had arroz caldo before, but I'm pretty sure you've had something similar. You may be looking at the flavors or the textures of the soup and going, yeah, it's just chicken soup, which it basically is. That is one of the best foods of all time, from all parts of the world. Once it's brought to a boil, cover it up, and just occasionally stir the bottom so that nothing sticks. It's been about an hour, you ready for this? That is that thickness that I'm talking about. Thick, thick, thick, double-C thick. Alright, now you're gonna take out the chicken and remove the meat from the bones. This goes back into the pot. I know, it doesn't look very attractive, but it is delicious. Stir it in really well and if you noticed, I haven't seasoned with salt or pepper yet. That's because you want to season at the end, that way you're not over-salting or under-seasoning. I was gonna sneeze, close call. Don't you hate when that happens? I'm gonna move this to the side because now, we're gonna fry up that garlic we saved. Add a bunch of oil, keep the oil nice and low and fry the garlic until golden brown. That's ready, don't let it get any darker than that and then transfer it to some paper towel. The best part is serving the food. Whenever I was sick, I would ask my mom to make this, although, she'd do the quick version. We also call that lugaw, where you just use leftover rice. If you don't wanna wait an hour, boom, boom, boom, it's done in 10 minutes. We're not done yet, we've got the toppings. Some cilantro, this is to your liking. That crispy garlic. Oh, yeah, that's texture. A soft boiled egg or half boiled egg, however you call it, just right down the center like this. Oh, yeah. A little bit of fish sauce, don't be scared of it. It does wonders. A little bit of brightness, lemon. Ah, yeah. You know when you eat something and it just like covers your entire body in a blanket, inside and outside and goes, I love you? I hope you guys give this a try. I'll see you next time. Remember to just eat life.

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