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.
- 1 whole chicken – cut into serving pieces
- 1 medium onion – chopped
- 1 cup uncooked rice
- 2½ Tablespoon finely minced ginger
- 2 Tablespoon finely minced garlic
- 2 Tablespoon vegetable oil
- Salt or Patis(Fish Sauce) to taste
- Gound black pepper to taste
- 6 cups water (add more if it rice becomes too thick)
- 2 Tablespoon vegetable oil (for sauteing and browning garlic)
- 4 Tablespoon finely-minced garlic (set aside to be sauted)
- 1 cup chopped green onions or scallion for flavoring and garnishing (chop but separate the white parts)
- Sesame oil to taste.
- Slices of lemon or calamansi.
- 1 teaspoon kasubha or safflower for coloring. (See picture below).
- Place wok or large casserole over medium-high heat then add oil.
- When the oil is hot,add onions, garlic, and ginger.
- Stir fry until onion is translucent.
- Add chicken then stir fry until chicken is seared to light brown.
- Add water and let it boil.
- Remove all the foam that will float on top of the water.
- Add rice and let it boil.
- Stir occasionally to avoid rice from sticking to the bottom.
- Add the safflower.
- Add the whites parts of the green onion.
- Add salt or fish sauce as needed.
- Add ground pepper.
- Serve hot topped with chopped green onion.
- Toasted garlic, lemon or kalamansi, additional chopped green onions, and sesame oil may be served on the side.
- *Note: This process must be done while chicken is simmering.*
- Place small frying pan on medium-low heat
- Add 2 Tablespoon Vegetable oil.
- Add 4 Tablespoon finely minced garlic.
- Keep stirring until garlic light-golden brown.
- Remove from heat, transfer in a small bowl then set aside. Yes, including the oil. :)