Porridge or congee, we Filipinos know it as lugaw — soft-boiled rice cooked in meat broth. Cook it with chicken and color it a little with kasubha and it is called chicken arroz caldo… Cook it with beef tripe and it is known as goto… Served as plain lugaw, it is best with tokwa’t baboy on the side… In a country where rice is a staple food, we Filipinos have learned to cook it in many pleasing ways.
The best variety of rice for making lugaw is the malagkit na bigas (glutinous or sticky rice). The rice thickens the broth and makes a very filling lugaw. But there’s no reason why one can’t cook a reasonably good lugaw by using other varieties of rice. The trick is to slow cook the rice over very low heat for forty-five minutes to an hour (see congee is rice porridge is arroz caldo). Plus, of course, one must use a very good meat broth in which to cook the rice.
First, my lugaw recipe.
Recipe: Lugaw (congee, rice porridge)
- 1/3 c. of glutinous (sticky) rice
- 1/2 c. of long-grain rice
- 2 tbsps. of vegetable cooking oil
- 4 cloves of garlic, minced
- 2 thumb-sized pieces of ginger, julienned
- about 5 c. of good quality broth
- patis (fish sauce), to taste
- pepper, to taste
- Rinse the rice and drain.
- Heat the cooking oil in a thick-bottomed pot. Saute the garlic and ginger until fragrant and lightly toasted, about two minutes.
- Add the rice. Pour in the broth. Stir, scraping the bottom of the pot. Season with patis and pepper.
- Bring to the boil, lower the heat, cover and simmer for an hour until the rice grains puff.
- Stir often to help the rice release the starch into the broth to make a thick lugaw. Add more broth, no more than half a cup each time, if the lugaw looks too thick before the rice grains are sufficiently puffed.
- Taste occasionally too and add more patis or pepper, or both, as needed.
- Serve the piping hot topped with crisp fried onion slices, toasted garlic bits and finely sliced scallions (green onions)
Preparation time: 5 minute(s)
Cooking time: 1 hour(s)
Number of servings (yield): 4
If you want to enjoy your lugaw with tokwa’t baboy on the side, click the link to page 2 below.