Recipe: Arroz Caldo (Filipino rice dish) or Lugaw in tagalog
Arroz caldo or also know as Congee and Lugaw (pronounced luɡaw) is the Tagalog name for congee. Otherwise similar to Cantonese-style congee, lúgaw is typically thicker, retaining the shape of the rice, but with a similar texture. It is boiled with strips of fresh ginger. Other flavors may be added according to taste. Most often it is topped with scallions and served with crispy fried garlic.
Dried red safflower (kasubha) may also be used as a topping, mainly as a visual garnish and to impart a more appealing yellow tinge to the dish. As with Japanese okayu, fish or chicken stock may be used to flavor the broth. Lúgaw can also be served with tokwa’t baboy (diced tofu and pork), goto (beef tripe), utak (brain of pig), dilà (tongue of pig), litid (beef ligaments), and with calamansi, patís, and soy sauce. It is often served to the ill and the elderly, and is favored among Filipinos living in colder climates because it is warm, soft, and easy to digest.
Prepare the ff: ingredients.
- 2 1/8 cups canola oil
- 1 pound boneless, skinless chicken thighs, cut into bite-size pieces
- 12 medium cloves garlic, 6 of them finely minced
- 1 tablespoon finely minced ginger root
- 1 small onion, thinly sliced
- 1 cup uncooked jasmine rice or medium-grain rice
- 4 cups low-sodium chicken broth
- 1 tablespoon fish sauce, or to taste
- Freshly ground black pepper
- 1 cup whole or low-fat milk
- Cayenne pepper
- Sea salt
- 3 tablespoons finely sliced scallions, white and light green parts
- 6 small calamansi or key limes, juiced
- Scallion oil, for garnish (optional)
- In a large saucepan over medium-high to high heat, heat 1 to 2 tablespoons of the oil until
- Add the chicken and cook, stirring, for about 7 minutes or until the chicken
is lightly browned.
- Reduce the heat to medium and add the 6 cloves of minced garlic, the
ginger and the onion.
- Cook, stirring, for about 5 to 8 minutes, until the mixture is fragrant
and the onion becomes translucent.
- Add the rice and stir until well coated, then add the
chicken broth and mix well. Cook, covered, for about 15 minutes or until the rice is
- Add the fish sauce; season with salt and pepper to taste. Reduce heat to low.
- Cut the remaining cloves of garlic into paper-thin slices and place in a small bowl.
- Add the milk and soak for 10 minutes, then transfer to a small saucepan and cook over
medium heat for 3 minutes. Drain, discarding the milk, and pat the garlic dry with paper towels.
- Line a plate with paper towels. Heat the remaining 2 cups of oil in a medium pot to 350
degrees. Carefully add the garlic slices and cook for 1 minute, until crisp.
- Transfer to the paper towel-lined plate and dust with cayenne pepper and sea salt to taste.
- To serve, ladle portions of the soup into individual bowls and garnish with the crisped
garlic, scallions and calamansi or lime juice.
- Drizzle with scallion oil, if desired. (optional)
Adapted from White House executive chef Cristeta Comerford
CTTO for the pictures used.