Arroz Caldo Chicken and Rice

Filipino Porridge Is Comfort Food

Written by SurfWriter Girls Sunny Magdaug and Patti Kishel

SurfWriter Girl Sunny’s ultimate comfort food is Arroz Caldo – a Filipino porridge also known as “Lugaw” (porridge or congee). Sunny remembers her mother Pat used to make it for her when she was a child.

So, when Sunny’s longtime friend Cynthia Mejia-Giudici gave her this Filipino-American cookbook, she couldn’t wait to try this arroz caldo recipe.


Sunny’s mom Patricia Alorro Magdaug grew up on Panay, an island in the central Philippines, and made arroz caldo for family gatherings. When she came to America as a young bride, the recipe came with her as a memory of home.

This classic Filipino rice dish, which was brought to the Philippines by Chinese immigrants – bringing memories of their own – is like a Chinese congee, but is thicker. It also includes chicken and uses more garlic and ginger.

Arroz Caldo (Lugaw) Recipe:


2 lbs. skinless chicken bone-in thighs or legs, 1 oz. ginger peeled and thinly sliced, 2 sliced green onions (scallions), 2 cloves garlic, minced, 2 T. soy sauce, 8 c. chicken stock, 1 c. long grain rice (uncooked), salt and pepper to taste.


  1. Place the chicken, ginger, green onions, garlic, and soy sauce into a large (4-5 quart) pot.
  2. Pour the chicken stock into the pot and bring the soup to a boil.
  3. Reduce the heat to low-medium and simmer for 20 minutes.
  4. Add the rice to the soup and simmer for another 30 minutes, stirring the rice so that it won’t stick to the bottom of the pan.

The dish is ready when it has a thick, porridge consistency and the rice is tender. When it’s done, season with salt and pepper. Ladle the porridge into bowls and top with chopped green onions (scallions).

Serves 6 and is sure to make lasting memories.

Surf’n Beach Scene Magazine

SurfWriter Girls

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