Arroz Caldo has always been a staple food. Not to mention the evidence that already exists that it’s a variation of rice which never misses Filipinos’ three meals a day.
I’ve gone camping recently with my family and being in the woods of California, I realized that it was a perfect decision to cook Arroz Caldo. I guess on the upside I also miss this dish and so before we went camping I went to the Asian grocery store and bought the ingredients so that I can bring this classic Filipino dish in our camping and hopefully my family will enjoy it.
Yes, they did enjoy it!
For those like me, who miss the taste of home every now and then, a trip to the grocery store will not disappoint you because the ingredients are just really easy to find and I think we can all agree that rice, ginger, and chicken are the most important part of it.
So what’s Arroz Caldo?
For those of you don’t know, Arroz Caldo is a Filipino dish that is primarily composed of rice, chicken, ginger, garlic, and pepper. Locally, we call it “lugaw.” Aside from the fact that it’s a favorite afternoon snack- or morning depending on when you like it to eat it, this also undeniably a comfort food for those who have the flu or just not really feeling the day.
Interesting fact, Arroz Caldo is a Spanish name which is derived from the words “Arroz” meaning rice and “Caldo” meaning broth. But you would be surprised that the origin of this could be traced back to Chinese Filipino migrants and it has been passed from one generation to another that diversified the said food.
Why it’s perfect for camping?
1. It is really easy to cook
Of course, there’s a lot of variation, you’ll be surprised how many excellent Filipino cooks and chefs could transform an ordinary Arroz Caldo into gourmet. But for the sake of simplicity, I will take a page from yummy.ph as I take that it’s the simplest yet or probably close to how I like my version of Arroz Caldo. Below is the recipe:
Arroz Caldo Ingredients
1 tablespoon oil
1 small red onion, sliced thinly
3 cloves garlic, minced
4 tablespoons fresh ginger, minced
1 1/4 kilo chicken, use breast part
1 tablespoon fish sauce (patis)
7 cups of water
1 cup rice, uncooked
salt, to taste
4 egg, (hardboiled), peeled and halved
fried garlic bits, (we used 1 head of garlic, peeled and minced)
1/4 cup green onion, chopped
calamansi, cut into wedges
fish sauce (patis)
How to Make Arroz Caldo:
In a pot over medium heat, heat oil then add onions, ginger, and garlic. Saute for 5 minutes or until the onions are translucent.
Add the chicken and cook, stirring constantly, until lightly browned and have rendered juices. Add fish sauce and continue to cook for around 1 to 2 minutes. Remove the chicken and set aside.
Add the 7 cups of water and bring to a boil. Add the rice and let it boil then simmer under medium heat. Season with salt and pepper to taste. Stir occasionally until the rice is softened.
While waiting for the rice to cook and soften, shred the chicken into pieces. Place the shredded chicken back into the pot. Stir and simmer for around 5 minutes.
Ladle into bowls. Add boiled egg and garnish with green onions and toasted garlic. Serve hot with calamansi and additional fish sauce on the side.
2. You can make a lot of it
Filipinos always prefer a balance between quality and quantity. And I guess the perfect answer for that is Arroz Caldo. You will be surprised how much you can actually make in a very modest portion.
So if you’re ever in a Filipino household and there’s a large gathering inside the living room, you can expect that one of the dishes that will feed and satisfy everyone’s stomach is none other than Arroz Caldo.
3. It helps ease your chills
Did I mention that we were on camping? Thank god for Arroz Caldo, the morning is bearable into the woods because of this heavenly rice chicken porridge. I would actually argue that eating this heaven-sent porridge is more effective than coffee when it comes to providing you heat inside the body early in the morning.
If you are acidic then have a bowl of Arroz Caldo and don’t worry about coffee’s repercussions.