a hand holding uncooked rice

Recipe: Filipino "Arroz Caldo"

Chicken and rice soup is one of those comfort foods that has no borders. This style of making soup is prevalent in Mexico, Latin America and my home country, the Philippines. Filipino food is deeply rooted in Spanish and Chinese cooking traditions, and my mother’s recipe of Arroz Caldo is a good example of the melding of the two cultures. Growing up, we had this popular soup mainly for “merienda”, a mid-afternoon light meal.

Courtesy of Ernesto Andrade on Flickr.com



Arroz Caldo

Serves 8


  • 1 chicken, cut into 8 serving size pieces
  • 5 cloves garlic, chopped
  • 1 small onion, chopped
  • 3 tablespoons oil
  • 1 cup short grain rice (like Arborio)
  • 1 cup long grain rice
  • 7 cups chicken stock or broth
  • 10 slices (size of a quarter) ginger
  • 1/2 cup fish sauce
  • Pepper to taste
  • 2 teaspoons sesame oil

     For Garnish

  • 1 tsp. fried, chopped garlic per serving
  • slices of scallions (green part)


  1. In a soup pot, heat oil and sweat the garlic and onions until tender.
  2. Add the chicken pieces and the 2 types of rice. Stir for 5 minutes.
  3. Add the chicken stock/broth, ginger, and pepper. Bring to a simmer, stirring occasionally for 35 minutes or until chicken is done.
  4. Season with fish sauce, pepper, and sesame oil.
  5. Serve in bowls topped with fried garlic and sliced green scallions.

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