Arroz Caldo/Lugao

This is a dish that goes by many names and has many variations all over Asia. The recipe I used is for the Filipino variety, which is called either arroz caldo or lugao, depending on where you’re from and what you put in it. This one was called arroz caldo, but it sounds like it has more in common with lugao, per Wikipedia, but what do I know? I’ve never even been to the Phillipines. Whatever you want to call it, it was yummy. And apparently it’s sick people food, but I might consider getting sick just to eat it. Or perhaps not. But maybe it’s got preventative powers as well?

I halved this for the two of us, and I omitted a couple of the topping options, but hey, they’re optional. I’ll still mention them in the recipe so that if you have and/or want those things in yours, you know.

Arroz Caldo, or Lugao, or some magical combination of the two

2 bone-in chicken thighs, skinned
4 cups chicken broth
1 cup uncooked short-grained rice (apparently medium is also ok, but long is not – it won’t turn into the right consistency. I actually had Arborio rice left over from a zillion years ago, so I essentially made Filipino risotto)
1/2 an inch to 1 inch ginger, grated (I used a microplane zester!)
2 green onions, chopped, the white and the green parts separated
soy sauce

In your big soup pot, cover the chicken thighs with the broth. If there’s not enough to cover them, for some reason, add water.
Also add the ginger, the white (and maybe some of the light green if you’re feeling it) part of the green onions, a few cranks of pepper, and a few glugs of soy sauce. Oh and the rice.
Simmer – do not bring to a boil! – for 30 minutes or until the chicken is cooked.
Take out the chicken and shred it with two forks.
Now put it back into the pot. Challenging, I know. We are operating at a very high level here.
If the rice is cooked, you can stop and serve it at any time – now you’re just letting it get to the consistency you prefer. Some people go for soupy, some for thick porridge, and some in between.
Now you get to add condiments to your individual bowl! This is the fun part! Here are your options:
more soy sauce
lemon wedges (did not use)
sesame oil
hot sauce (forgot to use)
the rest of the green onion
fried minced garlic (one clove was just about perfect for two people)
Stir whatever you like into your bowl, and enjoy.

I didn’t know until I read the wikipedia page that this was essentially the same as bubur ayam! When we lived in Indonesia, I never had it (as far as I remember… I was 4 – 6 years old), but the name is familiar. I’m going to tell my dad about this and he’ll probably recognize it from the ingredient list.

P.S.: I’m caught up! But not for long. I’ll be starting on something else in about 20 minutes, and Matt’s birthday is coming up, and he’s also making a movie next weekend, for which I am helping out by being Craft Services. So things will add up.

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2 Responses to Arroz Caldo/Lugao

  1. Peter says:

    I added your blog to bookmarks. And i’ll read your articles more often!

  2. Cornelius says:

    Are you a professional journalist? You write very well.

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