Recipe: Mom’s Arroz Caldo

This is one of those dishes that transports me back to my childhood. My mom used to have a small canteen where she sold her merienda dishes. One of them is the Filipino favorite, arroz caldo. It’s a congee or a type of rice porridge that uses glutinous rice and chicken pieces. It is best partnered with fried tofu in soy-vinegar sauce. This is Filipino comfort food.

Ingredients

Arroz Caldo
250 grams glutinous rice
250 grams chicken pieces, wings
1 medium-sized onion, diced
8 garlic cloves, diced
30 grams ginger root, cut into matchsticks pieces
1 chicken bouillon cube
1 pork bouillon cube
3 tbsp. fish sauce
2 tbsp. safflower
2 tbsp. vegetable oil
4 sprigs of spring onion, diced
Water

Tokwa’t Suka
1 brick of tofu
½ cup water
½ cup cane vinegar
2 tbsp. soy sauce
3 tbsp. sugar
1 small red onion, diced
Oil for frying

Procedure

Arroz Caldo
1. Mix glutinous rice and safflower then rinse together in a colander. Set aside.
2. In a heavy pot, sauté 4 garlic cloves, onion, and ginger in vegetable oil. After two minutes add washed rice and safflower mixture. Stir thoroughly. Pour in about 4 cups of water. Cover pot and wait until it boils and stir occasionally.
3. When it boils add in chicken pieces and bouillon cubes then lower heat. Stir well. Simmer until rice and chicken are cooked, about 15 to 20 minutes. Add water when necessary, mixture tend to thicken quickly. It must have a soup-like consistency. Stir occasionally.
4. Add fish sauce then season with salt and pepper. Adjust to taste. Turn off heat.
5. Meanwhile, in a pan, toast diced garlic until brown and crispy.
6. Serve arroz caldo in a bowl and garnish with toasted garlic and spring onions.

Tokwa’t Suka
1. Slice tofu crosswise and fry pieces until golden brown.
2. Meanwhile, in a small bowl mix together, water, vinegar, soy sauce, sugar, and add ground pepper. Stir until sugar melts then add diced onions. Adjust to taste. Set aside.
3. After frying tofu, cut into cubes.
4. Serve on the side of cooked arroz caldo. Enjoy!

Serves 8-10

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