What is Arroz Caldo?
Arroz caldo is a Filipino dish made with rice, chicken, herbs, and spices, such as ginger. It is a type of thick soup served with a boiled egg and fish sauce, and garnished with garlic, scallions, and black pepper. Safflower is used to give the dish its characteristic yellow color.
- The name “arroz caldo” comes from Spanish and literally translates to ‘rice broth’.
- This gruel is a regular breakfast meal in the Philippines and is also consumed as comfort food during sickness.
Some common Filipino comfort foods are:
- Arroz Caldo
- Tinolang Manok
- Batangas Lomi
- Ginataang Bilo-Bilo
Origin of arroz caldo
This soup is believed to be of Chinese origin. This is due to the fact that its ingredients and recipe are similar to various Chinese congees. However, it also has some Spanish influence due to the colonial presence in the Philippines. This is especially evidenced by the inclusion of safflower.
Nutritional profile for arroz caldo (1 serving):
Regular consumption of rice may aid sleep and improve brain health. Brown rice is rich in phytochemicals, phytic acid, antioxidants, and B-vitamins. Most of its nutrients are in the bran and germ layers. Brown rice may help to reduce the risk of diabetes, atherosclerosis, cardiovascular diseases, pancreatitis, and certain types of cancers. Also, it helps in lowering cholesterol and blood pressure. Glutinous rice also provided several benefits. However, white rice may lead to an array of health problems including increased risk of diabetes.
Chicken contains proteins, lipids, B-vitamins such as thiamin, pantothenic acid, and pyridoxine, iron, zinc, copper, and other micronutrients in decent quantities. In addition, chicken is associated with lower risk of obesity, cardiovascular diseases, type 2 diabetes, and cancer. It is considered a healthful food to eat during pregnancy, breastfeeding, and old age.
Ginger is rich in B vitamins and different micronutrients. According to some research, ginger has been shown to contain properties that ease nausea and vomiting and improve gastrointestinal function. Also, it eases pain and possesses anti-inflammatory and antioxidant properties. In addition, ginger may also protect against colorectal cancer and heart diseases. However, overconsumption of ginger may cause diarrhea and indigestion. Also, menstrual bleeding may increase in women.
Arroz caldo is very popular in the Philippines, meaning that it is available in all restaurants. Also, it is commonly prepared at home. Additionally, it was a signature dish served by the Philippines Airlines, and became so popular that it is now available for ordering without a flight ticket.
The main ingredients required for preparing arroz caldo are rice, chicken stock, ginger, garlic, and onions. First, the onions, ginger, and garlic are sauteed in a little oil, and washed uncooked rice is added. Next, the stock is poured in and the rice is allowed to cook in the stock. Then, salt and pepper is added for seasoning. Toppings can include hardboiled eggs, fried garlic, green onions, lemons, fish sauce, and even chicharron (fried pork rind) and shredded chicken.
Arroz caldo recipes
This is a porridge-like dish from the Philippines. It is usually made with chicken and rice and served with a boiled egg. There are very few variations to the dish. Here are a few recipes:
The USDA regulates all meat products, including chicken, which fall under the general classification of poultry. Chickens are classified into Rock Cornish game hen, Rock Cornish fryer or roaster or hen, Broiler or fryer, Roaster or roasting chicken, Capon, Hen or fowl or baking or stewing chicken, and Cock or rooster.
Enriched rice is regulated by the FDA, which specifies how the product may be fortified. The USDA sets the standards and grades for milled rice, and defines it as whole or broken kernels of rice from which the hulls and at least the outer bran layers have been removed.
Jerome B. Gomez, The origins of the PAL Arroz Caldo, ABS-CBN, https://news.abs-cbn.com/ancx/food-drink/features/03/18/21/the-origins-of-the-pal-arroz-caldo
Bode AM, Dong Z. The Amazing and Mighty Ginger. In: Benzie IFF, Wachtel-Galor S, editors. Herbal Medicine: Biomolecular and Clinical Aspects. 2nd edition. Boca Raton (FL): CRC Press/Taylor & Francis; 2011. Chapter 7., https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/books/NBK92775/
Koga, Minori et al. “PT739. Rice is nice: benefits of rice consumption for brain health.” International Journal of Neuropsychopharmacology vol. 19,Suppl 1 69. 27 May. 2016, doi:10.1093/ijnp/pyw044.739, https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC5617070/
Marangoni, Franca et al. “Role of poultry meat in a balanced diet aimed at maintaining health and wellbeing: an Italian consensus document.” Food & nutrition research vol. 59 27606. 9 Jun. 2015, doi:10.3402/fnr.v59.27606