Filipino Chicken Porridge (ArrozĀ Caldo)

November  8, 2021
7 Ratings
Photo by Bobbi Lin
  • Prep time 20 minutes
  • Cook time 45 minutes
  • Serves 6
Author Notes

This is a thick chicken and rice porridge perfect for warming the bones on a chilly day. My parents always ate it on Christmas Eve in the Philippines. This dish thickens over time, so add a bit more water when reheating. —Jacqui MacKenzie

Test Kitchen Notes

This Filipino porridge recipe is comfort food in a bowl. With every bite, you'll feel your soul warming up from within, it's that satisfying. Featuring simple aromatics like ginger, onion, and garlic, as well as weeknight-friendly skinless, boneless chicken thighs and lots of rice, you'll find yourself craving this recipe whenever it's getting chilly out, and you just want to warm yourself and your family or friends up with an easy dish. The fish sauce gives it a perfectly salty umami bomb, and the fried garlic flakes help tie everything together. Nothing makes your kitchen smell better than frying up a batch of garlic, trust us. It's extremely versatile too, as you can use basically whatever kind of rice you'd like (just keep in mind the cook times may vary, so be sure to taste as you go).

There's a reason why we call this chicken porridge the new chicken soup, and you can put it together even when you're not feeling your best. It really takes staple pantry ingredients and combines them in an unforgettable, savory way. You can add whatever spices you like too, if there's some you need to use up from your spice cabinet. If you don't have fish sauce or don't enjoy it, you can use soy sauce instead. No matter which way you go, you're going to come back to this recipe again and again whenever you've got a cold or if it's rainy outside and this simple dish is what everyone wants for dinner. —The Editors

What You'll Need
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Filipino Chicken Porridge (ArrozĀ Caldo)
  • 1 tablespoon canola oil, plus more for frying
  • 1 (1-inch) piece ginger, peeled and finely chopped
  • 1 small onion, chopped
  • 6 garlic cloves, finely chopped, divided
  • 1 to 1 1/2 pounds skinless, boneless chicken thighs, sliced
  • 2 tablespoons fish sauce
  • 1 cup short-grain rice
  • 4 cups chicken broth
  • Thinly sliced scallions, for serving
  1. In a large pot or Dutch oven over medium heat, heat the oil. Add the ginger, onion, and half of the garlic and cook, stirring occasionally, for about 3 minutes, until the onion is translucent.
  2. Add the chicken and cook, tossing to combine, for about 5 minutes, until browned.
  3. Add the fish sauce and let simmer for a few minutes, then add the rice and simmer a few minutes more, stirring often.
  4. Add the broth and bring to a boil. Reduce the heat to medium-low and simmer, stirring frequently, for 25 to 30 minutes, until the chicken and rice are cooked through.
  5. Meanwhile, in a small skillet over medium-high heat, heat a few tablespoons of the oil. Add the remaining half of the garlic and fry until a deep golden brown. Transfer the garlic to paper towels.
  6. Serve the arroz caldo with the fried garlic flakes and scallions sprinkled on top.

See what other Food52ers are saying.

  • Kristin Anderson
    Kristin Anderson
  • aelliott909
  • monkeymom
  • Max Dercum
    Max Dercum
  • ItsBrooksie
I like focusing on the small, simple moments that make up our every day. In the real world, I'm a web content editor for an international non-profit service organization. My favorite foods are eggs and avocados.

15 Reviews

Renee B. June 28, 2022
Made this last night even though it's hot and steamy here. It's surprisingly good for having so few ingredients. Delicious, actually. I added steamed diced carrots for color and to have a vegetable. I'll do that again. My husband really liked it which is a big win. Next time I will lower the fish sauce to 1 1/2 T just to reduce the salt in our diet.
CheddarLover May 8, 2022
This is a recipe I keep coming back to over and over again. It has become the default "chicken and rice" recipe in our house. Super quick and easy to make, and so so delicious.
CheddarLover May 8, 2022
but also, here are my modifications:

1) don't slice the chicken. use whole thighs, well blotted with paper towels.
2) sear off the chicken first on high heat, 3 mins per side, and remove it from the pan.
3) lower the heat to medium, saute onion, ginger, garlic. scrape up the tasty caramelized chicken juices.
4) add rice, saute that for 30 seconds or so with the delicious mix of aromatics.
5) add fish sauce and then chicken stock. mix everything together, cover, and bring to a boil over high heat.
6) add chicken back in, lower the heat, and continue cooking until done.
Kristin A. January 16, 2022
This was so good and easy to make! The fish sauce adds so much umami flavor, and the bright and aromatic ginger balances everything. The rice cooked up perfectly, too. YUM!
aelliott909 January 10, 2022
Made it with quinoa, absolutely delicious!
monkeymom March 24, 2017
This was delicious and easy. Perfect for a rainy day with a cold. Thank you!
linklau March 11, 2016
Too much liquid. And way too salty from the fish sauce.
Karla W. March 2, 2016
This is so amazingly delicious! Much more complex than the sum of its simple parts, thanks so much for this recipe!
Max D. February 5, 2016
i was taught to make this w/ Jimaca as well.
ItsBrooksie February 5, 2016
I made this last night and had it again for lunch today! Tasty and satisfying, true "comfort food." The ginger really transformed the dish from typical chicken-and-rice fare. I followed the recipe and used brown short grain rice. Adding this to the rotation!
Ruthy January 24, 2016
Hate to be a killjoy but what can I use instead of fish sauce? Allergies
Jacqui M. January 25, 2016
Try soy sauce instead!
Kennedy A. January 24, 2016
What adjustments would be needed to make this lovely dish with brown rice?
Jacqui M. January 25, 2016
I have not tried this recipe with brown rice but I would use the same measurements. Would love to hear how it turns out!
giuia.grady January 22, 2016
This is definitely a favorite in our house. My mom always uses a 1:1 mix of medium grain rice and sticky glutinous rice. She also dry fries a healthy pinch of saffron then adds it to the dish in the last 5 minutes of cooking.