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December 28, 2007


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Nooo, thin Arroz Caldo is not right :) For some reason, this is the only dish where ground WHITE pepper almost seems like the better choice!

Yummy pics! My lolo makes a vegetarian version for me with lots of ginger. ^____^ But d'you know if "arroz caldo" is the same thing as "lugaw", or do they have slight differences? In my family, the terms are used interchangeably.

God, i look forward more to arroz caldo on Christmas Eve after Midnight Mass rather than the presents i'm allowed to open afterwards.

this year, my white friend (unfortunately, she had to work so she was stuck in Florida while her fam is up in Wisconsin) got to experience a Filipino Christmas Eve. she saw the bickering and gossiping between the fam (including my uncle's fam next door) and of course, arroz caldo. and yes, my mom offered many refills. she felt a little sick the next morning, but i think that was due to the beer my dad was offering everyone.

yeah, i roll with some chopped scallions and fried garlic...it's the only way to go, with a squeeze of kalamansi and a shot of patis...hmm...i think there's some leftover from Christmas eve *evil grin*

my dad is also the only person who doesn't go to Midnight Mass...but i always thought it was because it would give him time to be "Santa Claus" by eating the cookies and stuffing the stocking while we were at Mass. No wonder we were never allowed to stay home on Christmas Eve >:(

yum, marvin, i'm with you on arroz caldo being the best filo comfort food. i just love it.
Mum makes it thick, using sticky rice.
My hubby also gets the same treatment when he eats at Mum's-non stop nagging to eat more. He's taken her trick and turns the tables on her when she's visiting us.
as for b's question, we use 'lugaw' when referring to plain congee (no meat, or only with some dried prawns). arroz caldo always has chicken.
Have a great 2008 marvin.

Its perfect for the after New Year's Eve hang over.=)

Happy New Year, Marvin! For a Pinay, I am not really a rice-eater. I rather eat pasta as everyday staple:-). Weird but true. But Arroz Caldo is an exception for me! It's just as good for cozy rainy days---merienda or any meal time for that matter.
I also just recently found out that fried garlic and saffron is how I like my arroz caldo cooked with! As well as some chopped hard boiled egg as topping...:-)

Hi! Been reading your blog for quite some time now. I love the humour! Anyway, in PI people usually add "kasubha" not saffron which is too expensive. I saute garlic, ginger and onions first and add the chicken to and pan fry for a minute or so. Calamansi + fried garlic + spring onions for topping! Good winter food...

Hi Marvin,

Thanks so much for participating in LP-22. I love arroz caldo and actually made some a few days before Christmas just to tide me over :) You commenter, Lea, is right. Kasubha is used regularly in arroz caldo. It's the poor man's version of Safron. Just don't ask me where it's from. I may have to research kasubha next.

Take care and happy New Year to you and your family!


I chuckled over your use of Shakespeare so it's only right that you two fight over who garners the laughs. :D

My first job out of college was in a large Filipino community and the women were forever trying to feed me and set me up with their sons or nephews. I thought "Did you eat?" was a Filipino greeting? ;)

my mom does the same to me too! then she bitches about me needing to lose 10 pounds.

i identify with your famil holiday completely. only instead of arroz caldo it's ham and mash potatoes. hey, my parents are simpletons (word not made up).

Helpful Hint: search yummy recipes from your mobile phone using Boopsie.


perfect for recipes on the go.

My family usually has palitaw and some other similar dish I never knew the name of. (Little balls made out of mochiko flour, sugar, and water and simmered in coconut milk.)

And just like you, my dad never went to midnight mass. If he did, he had an extended smoking break outside of the church along with all the other dads.

hi there! our family also makes arroz caldo for new years day, along with palitao (or is it spelled palitow?). i've never tried making arroz caldo with saffron, but i'll give it a try this year. we eat our arroz caldo topped off with chopped green onions and fried garlic. arroz caldo is definitely one of my top comfort foods along with pinakbet and chicken adobo.

have a happy new year!

Hope your Christmas was meaningful, and you have a fantastic New Year!

I agree -- few things are more comforting than Arroz Caldo. I've never had it as part of Noche Buena, though; usually as either merienda or midnight snack. And Manggy's right -- it has to be thick! The picture above looks perfect. :-)

Krq, I think the little balls you refer to are called bilo-bilo, and when served in the coconut milk, it's Ginataang Bilo-bilo. Love that, yum!

On the flip side (no pun intended - OK, dat was not berry punny - alright, I'll stop):

About Filipino families, you'll never hear the "go to bed without dinner" punishment - that's just plain unforgivable in many Filipinos' eyes.

I always thought that punishment was weird anyway...

At home, arroz caldo was always what we ate when we felt sick. Lots of calamansi, green onions, and a side dish of patis for flavor. I think the main diff between pinoy rice porridge and the chinese version is the latter tends to be plain rice with water, cooked still sludgy, then served with various toppings (like stinky tofu, or fermented cabbages). Ours is cooked with flavor! I like adding slices of hard boiled egg to my arroz caldo, and some garlic peanuts.

I love the humor in your writing! It also reminded me of the Filipino Thanksgiving I had this year. My husband and I got invited along by one of his friends to this huge Filipino-American Thanksgiving dinner. Everything was delicious; even though I am mostly vegetarian and they hadn't expected me, I was stuffed. They had this awesome coconut and pineapple dessert, and another dessert made with purple yam or ube. No puto, though :(. The host, when she heard I was vegetarian, kept pointing out which dishes I could eat, and under her urging (and others') I ended up getting 3rds plus dessert. After awhile we all went to another Filipino-American home, where we were exhorted to eat more! The pandesal was yummy even with my stomach close to bursting. Awesomest Thanksgiving ever. :)

arroz caldo is most definitely the best comfort food ever especially when I am sick or in cold weather like we have been having in SoCal or after a whole night of drinking like New Year's Eve. With so many family members who make this, I dont know how many versions I have tried but I make it the same for me - with lots of kalamansi =) Happy New Year!

Hi Manggy. I love my arroz caldo with black pepper. That's just what I'm used to;)

Hello b! Thanks so much for visiting my blog. Based on the other comments for this entry, I'd say lugaw is just congee and a vegetarian version of arroz caldo.

Janice, arroz caldo after midnight mass is what keeps me going. And your theory about your father staying home is one I never considered for my dad. Nah, that couldn't be why my old man stays home;)

Thanks for the tip on lugaw vs. arroz caldo, desie! I didn't know that. Happy New Year.

Even more reason for me to make it then, Ruy!

Not a rice eater bernadette? That's ok though since you eat arroz caldo;) I've never had it with boiled eggs before, but that sounds good!

Thank you very much Lea, I appreciate your comments. I've never heard of kasubha before, but I guess it's similar to saffron?

Hi Jmom! Thanks for hosting this edition of LP-22! I can't wait to read your roundup of everyone else's posts.

WC, "Did you eat?" IS a filipino greeting;) And what? You didn't meat any nice filipino boys at that time:P

Hi Steamy. It must be a vicious cycle with Asian moms, telling us to eat more and then telling us we're fatasses. Stop the insanity!

Thanks for stopping by molly! I will definitely check boopsie out.

Thanks for the comment krq. My mom makes something similar with mochiko balls and coconut milk, but she also adds tapioca--we call that "Tambo-Tambo" or "Tombo-Tombo". Not sure if it is the same thing you are referring to.

Hello canine! I love green onions and fried garlic on arroz caldo, though my mom doesn't usually have time for those last two additions. Maybe I'll give it a try when I make it.

Hi Katrina! Even though I joke about my family quite a bit here, Christmas was indeed meaningful for me:) Do you know if Bilo-Bilo is the same thing as Tambo-Tambo?

Good call Ed! I've never thought about it till now, but I've never been punished that way, I've only seen it on TV. I guess I would have had to have done something very very very bad for my mom to send me to my room without dinner;)

Very true Mila! All that chickeny goodness is cooked right in to arroz caldo!

Thank you very much Prac. It sounds like you had a great Thanksgiving!

Hello raissa. Arroz caldo is especially good for this cold weather right now. Happy new year to you.

What is it with mothers and over feeding? (lol)

Happy new year to you and the family.

How funny - I was home for Christmas and my dad made arroz caldo for dinner one night too. We had just gone to a Filipino restaurant that afternoon, but his cooking is always way better. It was the first time that my white husband had tried it and he loved it too. It definitely is a comfort food, and it's so delicious. It's one of my favorite Filipino dishes.

Ack, I prepared a post for the Lasang Pinoy which is in draft complete with photos. I was too busy kasi cooking and organizing my kitchen and forgot the deadline.

I love lots of calamansi and patis in my arroz caldo. I use kasuba which has a different flavor. Hmm, I'll try adding saffron next time I make arroz caldo.

Happy New Year!

OMG i want this arroz caldo..i would put lots of kalamansi,patis and roasted garlic!!and top it with hard boiled egg!!its been a long time since i had my arroz caldo :-(

ooops oggi too love the way i love it hehehe

happy new year marvin!!

you ... you ... you're breakin' my low-carbing heart!!!

I love arroz caldo so much. I've made it for friends, and they've liked it so much, they've even excused the smell of patis required to make it taste right. It's amazing how such a little amount of rice can starchify such a huge pot of stock. My mom never used saffron, either. Treason!

Hey Marvin, I've never heard of arroz caldo! I've had my mum's bubur (Indonesian version), congee (Chinese), kao tom moo(Thai) and chao (Vietnamese). Now I know :). Thanks for sharing!

Arroz caldo...one of my faves. I like all porridges, but arroz caldo, with that ginger flavor beats 'em all. Can't imagine what heights the saffron would take it too.

Your mom's arroz caldo looks yummy! We had arroz caldo a year ago and used kasubha (toasted) as garnish . . . I'd love to try it with saffron next time . . .


Thanks for joining LP22 with a great entry!

Your mother too, Cynthia;)

Hi Ruth! Homecooking is always better isn't it? And my wife loves arroz caldo too.

Hi oggi, with all these comments about kasuba I'm really going to try and find some now. Hopefully you can participate in the next LP event.

dhanggit, lots of kalamansi is always good with arroz caldo;)

Hi Julie. I never thought about it, but I guess that is a lot of carbs! But arroz caldo is too good to pass up for any diet.

Hi Pat. I guess most asian cultures have some sort of rice porridge.

elmo, it's pretty good with the saffron, but i still prefer it without.

Thanks Mike! Your arroz caldo recipe looks great too.

You are the funniest Pinoy food blogger ever. Love the part about your mom --- sooooo TYPICAL!!! Can't say I feel bad for your wife though :D

Arroz caldo and lugaw are very similar - both are rice porridge. Arroz caldo is made with chicken. Lugaw is made with pork stomach and/or tripe.

Kasubha is dried saffron flower - saffron is the dried stamen of the flower. Kasubha is inexpensive and used in Mexican cooking as well.

Lugaw is one of my favorite Filipino dishes. I've never seen it with saffron before. My mom uses slices of beef instead of chicken, since I'm allergic, and makes it in the pressure cooker so it takes a lot less time. She used to make it whenever I was sick, which was awesome.

I'm thinking about trying it with slices of pork for the ultimate Filipino effect. And I finally own a pressure cooker! I was hoping to inagurate it with bulalo, but I can't find beef shanks here in Florida, so this may be a perfect idea.

my mom always uses saffron in her arroz caldo. =]

I miss, so miss eating Arroz Caldo! I could eat bowls after bowls of it growing up!

My nanny used to make me one with boiled egg, chicken and chicken liver! And yes, with saffron! =)


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