foodgeek's diary


Kulinarya Challenge - Arroz Caldo

Posted by foodgeek on November 14, 2011 at 1:50 AM

This month's Kulinarya challenge is Arroz Caldo. Perfect timing because I had been intending to make it anyway. Perfect theme for rainy, cooler weather here in Southern California. This is also the first time I am making this dish. I have made similar chicken and rice stews and soups, but never the traditional FilipinoArroz Caldo.



Arroz Caldo is quintessential of the Chinese/Spanish influence on Filipino cuisine. According to Wikipedia, "Arroz caldo is actually a Chinese congee that was adapted to the tastes of the Spanish colonial settlers who patronised Chinese restaurants in the Philippines." It "is usually spiced with safflower and black pepper in place of or in addition to the more traditional ginger and scallion. Arroz caldo more closely resembles risotto than congee, from which it can be distinguished by its bright yellow saffron colour and the relatively larger pieces of chicken meat."


So here you are. My version of Arroz Caldo! It became my version due to ingredients I had on hand. Instead of white rice, I used brown. I had no fresh ginger, so I used powdered. I used boneless, skinless chicken breast instead of skin-on, bone-in. I also added carrots and shiitake mushrooms. I had no safflower, so used saffron. I have to say, it turned out quite good!



2 tbsp. vegetable or saflowwer oil.

1 to 2 cloves garlic, minced or pressed

1 cup onion diced, medium

2 medium carrots, chopped to bite-size or smaller pieces

1 ½ lbs skinless, boneless chicken, cut into bite-size pieces

1 ½ cups uncooked brown rice

2 tbsp fish sauce

1/4 tsp. ground ginger

32 ounces low-sodium chicken broth

1/2 cup water

6 oz. shiitake mushrooms, thinly sliced

4 to 5 hard boiled eggs, quartered (or leave them whole if you wish)

A pinch of saffron

Salt and pepper to taste



1. Heat the cooking oil over medium heat then saute the garlic and onion until onions are soft and aromatic.

2. Add the carrots and saute for about 3 minutes or cooked to just a slight crunch.

3. Add the chicken and cook until browned but not fully cooked, about 5 minutes.

5. Add the fish sauce, ground ginger and uncooked rice cook for about 3 minutes.



6. Stir in the chicken broth and water and bring to a boil.

7. Put on low heat, add the mushrooms, and allow to simmer until the rice is fully cooked (about 40 to 50 minutes), stirring occasionally to keep the rice from sticking to the bottom of the pot.



8. Add the saffron and salt and pepper to taste.



9. You can add the hard-boiled eggs at this point and garnish with toasted garlic (instrucitions below) and chopped scallions (optional), or add the eggs and the garnish to the individual servings. Serve with lemon wedges or calamansi.


Toasted garlic:

Simply saute minced garlic in oil over medium heat until golden brown. Spread the cooked garlic on paper towel lined plate to drain.





Please check out the Kulinarya Cooking Club website to see the fabulous entries of other members. Thank you Joy of Joy's Misadventures for stepping up to the plate and coming up with the Arroz Caldo theme for this month. Good choice!

Categories: Soups, Kulinarya

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Reply foodgeek
2:04 PM on December 6, 2011 
Just wanted to finally take the time to thank everyone for your positive comments. These past few weeks have been incredibly hectic. I've managed to take some time to look at your blogs and am amazed by your creativity! I am learning so much from you all. Looking forward to more of your posts!
Reply cusinera @Busog! Sarap!
5:15 AM on November 26, 2011 
I can imagine the mushroom flavour and the nutty taste of the brown rice!!!! I love mushrooms=) Wonderful take on Filipino Arroz Caldo!
Reply chef_d
2:32 AM on November 23, 2011 
We both used brown rice for arroz caldo! Love your addition of carrots and mushroom :)
Reply skip to malou
4:44 PM on November 22, 2011 
the recipe of my aunt which i shared also used mushrooms and it added a silky texture to the mushy rice porridge. ahhh i want another bowl now.
great take on the challenge this month. happy thanksgiving!
Reply dudut @mytwistedrecipe
3:30 AM on November 22, 2011 
wow! i like the addition of mushrooms! Chinese congee often has them!

glad to be sharing FIlipino dishes with you, Maribel!
Reply Adora's Box
1:45 PM on November 21, 2011 
Delicious! I like the addition of mushrooms and carrots. That probably gave a slight twist to the dish. It looks so inviting.
Reply Tina (PinayInTexas)
1:24 PM on November 21, 2011 
Love the addition of shitake mushrooms in your arroz caldo! Definitely yummy!
Reply Boyet of Reel and Grill
10:34 AM on November 21, 2011 
really interesting take with the mushroom ... i once tried abalone in congee and it's quite good, but i think shiitake would be tastier ...
Reply peachkins
1:15 AM on November 21, 2011 
arroz caldo with mushroom!WOW!
Reply wok with ray
12:35 AM on November 21, 2011 
I like the addition of Shiitake mushroom; I think it's a great idea.
Reply Rowena @ Saraplicious! Kitchen
8:58 PM on November 20, 2011 
I love the mushroom twist to this Arroz Caldp
Reply elizabeth @Mango_Queen
8:46 PM on November 20, 2011 
Love the addition of mushrooms! So warm and comforting!