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. Plus, of course, one must use a very good meat broth in which to cook the rice.
First, see my slow-cooker lugaw recipe. Of course, you can cook the lugaw on the stovetop. That’s how it’s been done for hundreds (if not thousands) of years. But once you get to try making lugaw in a slow cooker, I doubt you’ll ever go back to making it on the stovetop ever again. The slow cooker method is, in a word, incomparable.
Now, if you want to enjoy your lugaw with tokwa’t baboy on the side…
- 1 and 1/2 cups crispy roast pork belly (lechon kawali), cut into half-inch strips
- 1 and 1/2 cups fried tofu , cubed
- 1 tablespoon shallots chopped
- 1 tablespoon garlic chopped
- 1 tablespoon ginger chopped
- 1 to 2 bird’s eye chilis
- 4 tablespoons vinegar
- 4 tablespoons soy sauce
Toss together lightly the lechon kawali and fried tofu to make your tokwa’t baboy.
Mix together the rest of the ingredients to make a dipping sauce.
Serve the tokwa’t baboy and the dipping sauce with your hot lugaw.