Chicken Arroz Caldo! Garlicky, gingery, filling, and savory–all the things you love about your favorite Filipino merienda is here!
This one is so easy to make and requires just one pot to cook. You do not need to stand at the stove stirring constantly. Serve with your favorite Arroz Caldo toppings and you’re day is complete!
What is Arroz Caldo?
Arroz Caldo is basically a type of porridge made with rice, ginger, garlic, and chicken. Its name is derived from Spanish words Arroz (“rice”) and caldo (“broth”) but its origin can be traced back to a dish called congee; introduced by Chinese migrants to Filipinos.
I grew up eating Arroz Caldo as a light meal or merienda. It’s warm, filling, and comforting especially during the cold rainy season. My Mama often makes it for us when we are sick. It is, after all, an all-in-one complete meal with magic nourishing powers.
I firmly believe that to this day 🙂
Why you’ll love this Chicken Arroz Caldo recipe
- This recipe uses two types of rice–medium-grain (or long-grain) and glutinous rice making it easier to cook and requires less stirring.
- The ginger root is grated instead of chopped making it easier for the kids to eat.
- The chicken, ginger, and onions are all seared in fish sauce to give it an extra boost of flavor.
- It has a smooth, and starchy consistency but definitely not too thick.
Arroz Caldo Ingredients
- Chicken – use bone-in, skin-on chicken pieces for a more flavorful broth. If you are watching your fat intake, you can omit the skin.
- Rice – you can use Jasmine rice (long grain rice) and Japanese rice (medium grain) combined with a small amount of glutinous rice.
- Garlic – I recommend using a whole bulb for maximum flavor. Toast in warm oil until brown then divide to be used for cooking and topping.
- Onion – and green onion for cooking and topping.
- Ginger – peel then slice or grate.
- Chicken broth – use homemade broth or store-bought for convenience. In this recipe, I used 2 chicken bouillon cubes diluted in 4 cups water.
- Fish Sauce – gives the Arroz Caldo that distinct Filipino savory flavor. If you been a long time reader, you’ll know how much I love this stuff.
How to Cook Arroz Caldo
And here’s how to Chicken Arroz Caldo using just one pot!
- Cook the garlic in warm oil (not hot) until brown and toasted. Scoop out of the pot and set aside.
- Brown the chicken until no longer pink then add the onions and ginger. Cook until softened. Add the fish sauce and let it simmer for 1 minute. This step boosts the umami flavor.
- Add the washed rice and simmer for 1 minute.
- Pour 4 cups of the chicken broth. Cover and cook until rice is half-cooked. Stir occasionally. Add the remaining broth and continue cooking until rice has softened and the broth becomes starchy.
- Add half of the toasted garlic and half of the green onions to release their flavor into the broth. Simmer for 2 minutes more. I’ve been doing this technique for years and it just makes the flavor of Arroz Caldo so much better!
- Serve with boiled eggs. Drizzle with calamansi juice and top with more toasted garlic and green onions.
Storage and shelf-life
If you have leftover Arroz Caldo, you can keep it in the fridge in an airtight container. It should be consumed within 2-3 days.
To reheat, place in a pot and reheat on the stove. Add more water or broth and season with fish sauce and black pepper as needed.
Watch how to make it
Chicken Arroz Caldo
- 1 cup medium or long grain rice (I used medium-grain rice)
- 1/4 cup glutinous rice (also known as sweet sticky rice)
- 2 pcs chicken bouillon
- 8 cups hot water (divided, add more if needed)
- 1 1/2 tbsp vegetable oil (canola)
- 1 bulb garlic (finely chopped)
- 600 grams / 1.5 lbs chicken (bone-in and skin-on, cut into serving pieces)
- 1 onion (chopped)
- 3 tbsp ginger (peeled and grated)
- 3 tbsp fish sauce (add more if preferred)
- salt and pepper (to taste)
Arroz Caldo Toppings
- toasted garlic
- hard-boiled eggs (sliced)
- 1/2 cup green onions (chopped)
- 4 pcs calamansi (or lemon)
- Combine the two rice in a bowl and rinse with tap water. Drain and set aside. Dilute the chicken bouillon in 4 cups of hot water to make the chicken broth.
- Heat oil in a large pot until just warm (not hot). Add garlic, fry until golden brown. Lower the heat if it becomes too hot to prevent burning the garlic. Remove from pot and set aside.
- Add a little more oil. Add the chicken pieces and cook until no longer pink. Stir-in onions and ginger. Cook until softened. Pour the fish sauce and let it simmer for 1 minute until fragrant.
- Add the rice. Stir and let it simmer for 2 minutes.
- Pour 4 cups of the chicken broth. Cover and cook until rice is half-cooked. Stir occasionally. Add 2 cups more hot water and continue cooking with the lid on until rice has softened and the broth becomes starchy around 45 minutes to 1 hour. Adjust cooking time depending on the desired consistency. Add more hot water as necessary.
- Add half of the toasted garlic. Stir and simmer for another 3 minutes. Taste and season with salt and pepper. Add half of the chopped green onions. Stir then turn off the heat.
- Serve in a bowl. Top with sliced boiled eggs. Drizzle with calamansi juice and top with more toasted garlic and green onions.
Recipe Notes and Tips:
- Rice: You can use Jasmine rice (long grain rice) or Japanese rice (medium grain). If glutinous rice is not available, you can replace it with the same amount of regular rice.
- Note that as the Arroz Caldo cools, it will become thicker so it's good to have extra hot water and add it when necessary.
- Storage and Shelf life: If you have leftover Arroz Caldo, you can keep it in the fridge in an airtight container. It should be consumed within 2-3 days.
- To reheat: Place in a pot and reheat on the stove. Add more water or broth and season with fish sauce and black pepper as needed.
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Frequently asked questions
While other recipes call for just using glutinous rice, I prefer to use less of it and more of regular white rice like Jasmine or Japanese rice. Combining two types of rice makes the Arroz Caldo starchy with a thinner consistency.
If you want to use Brown rice, I have another recipe for it. It’s super easy and just as good as this one.
Everybody has a different preference when it comes to the consistency of Arroz Caldo. I personally, prefer mine a bit “soupy” and use the ratio of 1:6 to 1:8—1 cup of rice to 6 to 8 cups broth.
Note that as the Arroz Caldo cools, it will become thicker so always come ready with hot chicken broth and add it when necessary.
Yes, but once is enough. Over rinsing lessens the starch of the rice and we want/need starch for Arroz Caldo.