Tuesday, September 4, 2012


This is a one-dish meal - - a delicious and comforting soup. 

Arroz Caldo -- or 'Caldo de Arroz' is a Spanish name that literally means 'rice soup' or 'lugaw'. It is also known as 'congee' in many Asian countries which means 'rice porridge' from the ancient Tamil word 'kanji'. The original word comes from the Sanskrit root word 'Kaanjika'...

Arroz Caldo originated in India and have been eaten in many ancient districts like Orissa, Andhra Pradesh and Karnataka for thousands of years by the very poor people. It spread to China, Indonesia and other Asian countries. 

It was the Chinese who made Arroz Caldo the very flavorful rice soup dish that we know today, adapted to the tastes of the Spanish colonial settlers in the 1500's who patronized the Chinese restaurants in the Philippines, spiced with kasubha (safflower) from Spain and white pepper from China. 

The original Chinese arroz caldo makes use of chicken or beef broth and chicken wings.

Here is my chicken-less arroz caldo that is healthy, flavorful and comforting specially when served very hot.


1 c malagkit (glutinous rice)
1/2 block tofu or 2 pcs tokwa (fried, strips)
2 Tbsp ginger (strips)
2 Tbsp leeks or spring onions
2 Tbsp spring onions (chopped finely for garnishing)
2 Tbsp cream of asparagus powder or 2 pcs veggie bouillon
1 Tbsp kasubha (safflower), for reddish color
salt, black or white pepper
soy patis (or soy sauce), seasoning
calamansi or lemon

1. Boil water in a pot. In a frying pan, saute leeks or spring onions and ginger. Add malagkit rice and soy patis. Stir-fry rice to absorb flavor. Pour mixture into the boiling pot of water. Cover and cook.

2. Continue boiling over low heat until rice becomes soft, adding more water till lugaw consistency. Add salt, black or white pepper, cream of asparagus powder dissolved in a little water or veggie bouillon and seasoning. Simmer for a while.

3. Remove from heat. Add fried tofu or tokwa strips. Garnish with chopped spring onions. Serve very hot with calamansi or lemon juice with soy patis or soy sauce.

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