Every time I eat arroz caldo, it reminds me of the countless times my dad and I spent on those hole-in-a-wall eateries that are often found on the street or what many Filipinos called “carinderia”. That is why I want to thank Joy of Kulinarya Club for coming up with arroz caldo as our November cooking theme.
The true Filipino name of this dish is “lugaw” or “lugao” and it was adapted from the Chinese congee. Congee and lugaw are very similar except Filipinos added diced scallions, toasted garlic, and some even added boiled eggs. Then came the Castilian or Spanish influence of adding saffron, and other spices that made it arroz caldo. Well, with the price tag of about $70 per ounce, I guess. . . we’re not using saffron today. Instead we will be using the saffron wanna be and that is kasubha (safflower $1.49 per oz). But if you insist on using saffron, be my guest and if you have any leftover, email me and I will let you know where to send it, he he he.
There are arroz caldo (sometimes called “GOTO”) that is prepared with beef tripe, or even pork stomach but the most common type is chicken arroz caldo. You can use boneless and skinless chicken meat or you can use chopped whole chicken. I like using chopped whole chicken because of the flavorful broth that it produces.