Ok, people! It’s soup season! I’m sharing one of my favorite childhood comfort foods – Arroz Caldo. The Filipino version of chicken soup!
Most of you are probably going, huh?! Arroz what? Arroz Caldo literally translates to rice broth or rice soup. It’s made up of chicken and rice that has been simmered in chicken stock, until it’s broken down into a thick and creamy consistency. Traditionally, it’s served with added toppings, such as fried garlic bits, soft-boiled egg, calamansi juice, and fish sauce to add even more flavor. It’s incredibly hearty and can be served as a meal on its own.
This dish is a great representation of the history of the Philippines, as it reflects the influences of both Spanish and Asian cuisine. It is the perfect mashup of Spain’s arroz caldoso and China’s congee.
It’s been several years since I’ve been back to the Philippines, but this dish always takes me home. It’s a reminder of how simple Filipino food can be, but yet so flavorful. My mom always made it for me upon request growing up. Thankfully, she taught me how to make it on my own and have discovered that it’s incredibly easy to make!
Not only is it easy to make, it contains ingredients that you probably have in your pantry already and leftover chicken! There are many different variations for Arroz Caldo across the web, considering everyone makes it differently, so this means you can’t really mess it up. For my own bowl of soup, I added a soft-boiled egg, fried garlic bits, freshly-squeezed lime juice, fish sauce, Chinese doughnut, chives, cilantro, and hot chili oil. YASSS!
- 2 tablespoons vegetable oil
- 1 medium-sized onion, chopped
- 3 garlic cloves, minced
- 1” fresh ginger
- 1 cup uncooked jasmine rice, unwashed
- 11 cups chicken stock or low-sodium chicken broth
- 2 cups meat from leftover rotisserie chicken, chopped
- sea salt, to taste
- black pepper, to taste
- ). Heat a large Dutch oven or soup pot over medium-high heat. Add vegetable oil. When oil is shimmering, add onions and cook until they start to soften. Add garlic and ginger and cook until fragrant.
- ). Add unwashed jasmine rice to the pot. Cook until the rice becomes opaque. Add chicken stock. Give the soup a good stir and bring to a boil. Once it starts to boil, cover the pot partially, lower the heat, and gently simmer for 1 – 1½ hours. Make sure to stir every 15 minutes to prevent the rice sticking on the bottom of the pan.
- ). Once the soup is thick, creamy, and rice has broken down, add chicken and stir. Season with salt and pepper to taste.
- ). Ladle into bowls. Serve the Arroz Caldo with desired toppings, such as soft-boiled egg, garlic chips, freshly-squeezed lime juice, fish sauce, Chinese doughnut, chives, cilantro, and hot chili oil.