Arroz Caldo Recipe

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Arroz Caldo Recipe



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Arroz Caldo, a heartwarming and nourishing Filipino dish, is a perfect blend of simplicity and flavor. Derived from the Spanish word for rice (‘arroz’) and the Tagalog term for broth (‘caldo’), this dish is a testament to the cultural amalgamation that characterizes Filipino cuisine.


2 tablespoons cooking oil
1 onion, finely chopped
4 cloves garlic, minced
1-inch ginger, thinly sliced
2 chicken thighs, bone-in, skin-on
1 cup uncooked rice (preferably short grain)
6 cups chicken broth
Fish sauce, to taste
Salt and pepper, to taste
Hard-boiled eggs, sliced (for serving)
Green onions, chopped (for garnish)
Fried garlic (for garnish)
Calamansi or lemon wedges (for serving)


Preparation: Start by preparing all your ingredients. Chop the onions, mince the garlic, slice the ginger, and have the chicken ready.

Sauté the Aromatics: Heat oil in a large pot over medium heat. Add onions, garlic, and ginger. Sauté until the onions are translucent and the mixture is aromatic.

Brown the Chicken: Increase the heat to medium-high and add the chicken thighs. Brown them on both sides, which will take about 3-4 minutes per side.

Add Rice: Stir in the uncooked rice, ensuring it is well coated with the oil and aromatics.

Pour in Broth: Add the chicken broth gradually, stirring constantly to prevent the rice from sticking to the bottom of the pot.

Simmer: Bring the mixture to a boil, then reduce heat to a simmer. Cover and let it cook until the rice is completely tender and the broth has thickened, usually about 30-40 minutes. Stir occasionally to prevent sticking.

Season: Add fish sauce, salt, and pepper to taste. Remember, fish sauce is potent, so start with a little and adjust as needed.

Serve: Once the Arroz Caldo is ready, remove the chicken, debone, shred it, and return it to the pot. Serve hot, garnished with sliced hard-boiled eggs, chopped green onions, fried garlic, and a wedge of calamansi or lemon.

Serving Suggestions and Variations:

Arroz Caldo can be customized in many ways. Vegetarians can swap chicken for tofu and use vegetable broth. The addition of saffron or turmeric can impart a beautiful yellow hue and an exotic flavor to the dish. For a richer broth, coconut milk can be added.

This dish is often served as a comforting meal during cold weather or as a nourishing remedy when someone is under the weather. The heartiness of the rice, combined with the soothing chicken broth and the aromatics, makes Arroz Caldo a beloved dish in Filipino households.

Arroz Caldo embodies the Filipino spirit of hospitality and comfort. It’s a dish that brings people together, offering warmth, nourishment, and a taste of Filipino tradition. Whether you’re looking for a cozy meal on a chilly evening or a comforting dish to lift your spirits, Arroz Caldo is a delightful choice that’s sure to satisfy.

Nutritional Benefits:

Arroz Caldo is not just delicious; it’s also packed with nutritional value. Chicken is a great source of lean protein, essential for muscle repair and growth. The ginger used in the dish is known for its anti-inflammatory properties and can aid in digestion and soothe an upset stomach. Additionally, garlic and onions are excellent for boosting the immune system.

Cultural Significance:

In the Philippines, Arroz Caldo is more than just a dish; it’s a part of the cultural fabric. Often served during family gatherings, this comforting meal is a symbol of love and care. It’s also a popular choice during festivities and is commonly found in street food stalls, showcasing the versatility and widespread appeal of this humble dish.

Storing and Reheating Tips:

Arroz Caldo is best enjoyed fresh, but if you have leftovers, it can be stored in the refrigerator for up to 3 days. When reheating, you may need to add a bit of water or broth, as the rice tends to absorb liquid over time. Reheat it over a low flame, stirring occasionally until it’s hot all the way through.

Pairing with Other Dishes:

While Arroz Caldo is a complete meal on its own, it can be paired with other dishes for a more extensive feast. Try serving it with Lumpiang Shanghai (Filipino spring rolls) for a delightful crunch, or with a refreshing cucumber salad to add a fresh element to your meal.

Adaptability for Special Diets:

For those with dietary restrictions, Arroz Caldo is highly adaptable. Gluten-free eaters can ensure that all ingredients, especially the fish sauce, are gluten-free. For a low-carb version, cauliflower rice can replace traditional rice, offering the same comforting texture and flavor without the carbs.

Arroz Caldo is a versatile, nutritious, and comforting dish that holds a special place in the hearts of Filipinos. Its simplicity, coupled with its rich flavors, makes it a popular choice for various occasions. Whether you’re cooking for a family dinner, a festive celebration, or simply need a comforting meal, Arroz Caldo is a perfect choice that promises to delight the palate and warm the heart.

FAQs About Arroz Caldo

What is the difference between Arroz Caldo and Congee?

While both Arroz Caldo and Congee are rice porridge dishes, Arroz Caldo is a Filipino version that typically includes chicken, ginger, garlic, and sometimes saffron, giving it a distinct flavor profile. Congee, on the other hand, is of Chinese origin and often has a plainer base, which can be flavored with a variety of toppings.

Can Arroz Caldo be made vegetarian or vegan?

Yes, you can easily adapt Arroz Caldo for a vegetarian or vegan diet. Substitute the chicken with tofu or mushrooms and use vegetable broth instead of chicken broth.

How can I prevent my Arroz Caldo from getting too thick?

Arroz Caldo thickens as it cooks and even more when it cools. To prevent it from getting too thick, you can add more broth or water during the cooking process. If it’s already thick, simply add a little liquid while reheating.

Is Arroz Caldo gluten-free?

Arroz Caldo can be gluten-free, but you need to ensure that all the ingredients, especially the fish sauce, are gluten-free. Some fish sauces contain wheat, so it’s important to read labels.

Can Arroz Caldo be frozen for later use?

Yes, Arroz Caldo can be frozen. However, the texture of the rice may change slightly upon thawing and reheating. It’s best to consume it within a month of freezing. When reheating, you might need to add additional broth or water.

What type of rice is best for Arroz Caldo?

Short-grain rice is preferred for Arroz Caldo because of its starchy quality that helps thicken the porridge. However, you can use other types of rice; just be aware that the texture might differ slightly.

Is Arroz Caldo suitable for children?

Yes, Arroz Caldo is a great dish for children. Its mild flavors and soft texture are generally well-received by kids. For very young children, ensure the chicken is shredded finely and watch the spice levels.

How can I make my Arroz Caldo more flavorful?

To enhance the flavor of your Arroz Caldo, consider using homemade chicken broth, adding a bit more ginger, or using a combination of fish sauce and soy sauce for depth. Garnishing with fried garlic, green onions, and a squeeze of calamansi or lemon can also boost the flavor.

What health benefits does Arroz Caldo provide?

Arroz Caldo is nourishing and easy to digest, making it great for convalescence. Chicken is a good source of protein, while ginger has anti-inflammatory properties. It’s also generally gentle on the stomach and can be hydrating due to its high liquid content.

Can I use brown rice for Arroz Caldo?

Yes, you can use brown rice, but keep in mind that it will alter the texture and flavor slightly. Additionally, brown rice takes longer to cook, so adjust your cooking time accordingly.


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