Arroz caldo
Chicken arroz caldo with kasubha
Alternative namesAroskaldo, caldo de arroz, arroz caldo con pollo,Arroz caldoso, chicken arroz caldo, chicken pospas
CourseMain dish
Place of originSpain
Region or stateLuzon
Serving temperatureHot
Main ingredientsglutinous rice, ginger, chicken, toasted garlic, scallions, black pepper, safflower
Similar dishesGoto, lugaw, Congee

Arroz caldo is a Spanish term meaning "broth rice". It is derived from the Spanish dish arroz caldoso.

In Philippine cuisine, it is made of rice and chicken gruel heavily infused with ginger and garnished with toasted garlic, scallions, and black pepper. It is usually served with calamansi or fish sauce (patis) as condiments, as well as a hard-boiled egg. Most versions also add safflower (kasubha) which turns the dish characteristically yellow. Arroz caldo is also known as pospas in Visayan regions, though pospas has slightly different ingredients.

Arroz caldo is a type of lugaw. It is regarded as a comfort food in Philippine culture and is a popular breakfast meal.


The name is derived from Spanish arroz ("rice") and caldo ("broth").[1] It originally referred to all types of rice gruels (Tagalog: lugaw), but has come to refer to a specific type of lugaw that uses chicken and is heavily infused with ginger.[2][3][4]

While arroz caldo is derived from the Spanish brothy rice dish "arroz caldoso". A similar local derivative dish known as "Lugaw" or congee was introduced by Chinese migrants. It has diverged over the centuries to use Filipino ingredients and suit the local tastes.[5]


Arroz caldo is commonly served with calamansi

Arroz caldo typically uses glutinous rice (malagkit), but can also be made with regular rice boiled with an excess of water. The chicken pieces are usually cooked first in a broth with a large amount of ginger. The chicken are taken out and shredded once tender then re-added along with the rice. The rice is continually stirred while cooking to prevent it from sticking to the pot.[6][7][8] The characteristic yellow color of the dish is due to the addition of kasubha (safflower). In more expensive versions, saffron may be used, which further enhances the flavor, unlike safflower.[9][10] When neither are available, some versions use turmeric instead.[11]

Arroz caldo is served in individual bowls with a single hard-boiled egg. It is garnished with toasted garlic, chopped scallions, and black pepper. Crumbled chicharon can also be added to augment the texture and taste. While arroz caldo is very fragrant, it is usually quite bland in taste and thus need to be seasoned further with various condiments. The most commonly used condiments are calamansi and fish sauce (patis). Lime or lemon may be substituted for calamansi.[12][13]

Arroz caldo is regarded as a comfort food in Filipino cuisine. It is usually eaten for breakfast, during colder months, during rainy weather, and by people who are sick or bedridden. It is eaten hot or warm, since the dish congeals if left to cool. It can be reheated by adding a little bit of water.[10][13][14][15]

Philippine Airlines is particularly known for its arroz caldo,[16] reportedly a favorite of President Corazon Aquino.[17]


Visayan chicken pospas from Cebu without the safflower

In Visayan regions, savory lugaw is known as pospas. Chicken pospas is regarded as the direct equivalent of arroz caldo. However, unlike arroz caldo, pospas traditionally does not use safflower.[18][19]

A much rarer variant of arroz caldo is arroz caldong palaka, which uses frog legs (palaka means "frog" in Tagalog).[1] Non-traditional variants include vegan versions which use mushrooms or tofu instead of meat.[20]

Goto is closely related to arroz caldo but is regarded as a different type of lugaw since it does not rely heavily on ginger.[2] It is prepared similarly as arroz caldo but uses beef tripe that has been soaked and boiled for hours until very tender. It is also known as arroz caldo con goto or arroz con goto, from Tagalog goto ("tripe").[1][21]

See also


  1. ^ a b c Edgie Polistico (2017). Philippine Food, Cooking, & Dining Dictionary. Anvil Publishing, Incorporated. ISBN 9786214200870.[permanent dead link]
  2. ^ a b Castro, Jasper. "Here's How To Tell Lugaw, Congee, Goto, and Arroz Caldo From Each Other". Retrieved 6 December 2018.
  3. ^ Reynaldo G. Alejandro (1985). The Philippine Cookbook. Penguin. p. 38. ISBN 9780399511448.
  4. ^ Miranda, Pauline (13 June 2018). "The difference between lugaw, goto, and arroz caldo". Nolisolo. Retrieved 6 December 2018.
  5. ^ Trivedi-Grenier, Leena (2 February 2018). "Janice Dulce passes along Filipino culture via arroz caldo". San Francisco Chronicle. Retrieved 6 December 2018.
  6. ^ Amy Besa & Romy Dorotan (2014). Memories of Philippine Kitchens. Abrams. ISBN 9781613128084.
  7. ^ Nadine Sarreal (2017). "Rice Broth". In Edgar Maranan & Len Maranan-Goldstein (ed.). A Taste of Home: Pinoy Expats and Food Memories. Anvil Publishing, Incorporated. ISBN 9789712733031.[permanent dead link]
  8. ^ Duggan, Tara (28 July 2016). "The Philippines: Arroz Caldo by Jun Belen". San Francisco Chronicle. Retrieved 6 December 2018.
  9. ^ Merano, Vanjo (31 May 2017). "Chicken Arroz Caldo Recipe". Panlasang Pinoy. Retrieved 6 December 2018.
  10. ^ a b Agbanlog, Liza (February 2017). "Arroz Caldo (Filipino Style Congee)". Salu Salo Recipes. Retrieved 6 December 2018.
  11. ^ "Turmeric Arroz Caldo (Filipino Chicken Congee w a Twist) - Lugaw w Brown Red Rice". Cookpad. 27 January 2017. Retrieved 6 December 2018.
  12. ^ "Pospas / Arroz Caldo / Lugaw / Congee / Rice & Chicken Gruel". Market Manila. 19 October 2005. Retrieved 6 December 2018.
  13. ^ a b "Arroz Caldo". Genius Kitchen. Retrieved 6 December 2018.
  14. ^ "Chicken Arroz Caldo – A Filipino Christmas Rice Porridge". Wishful Chef. Archived from the original on 7 December 2018. Retrieved 6 December 2018.
  15. ^ Phanomrat, Jen. "Filipino Arroz Caldo". Tastemade. Retrieved 6 December 2018.
  16. ^ Uy, Sasha Lim (July 31, 2017). "Is This Airline's Arroz Caldo Really the New Status Symbol?". Esquire Philippines. Summit Media. Retrieved April 22, 2020.
  17. ^ Carolino, Gilberto (August 21, 2009). "Why arroz caldo is on PAL's menu". Philippine Daily Inquirer. Archived from the original on August 24, 2009. Retrieved April 22, 2020.
  18. ^ Newman, Yasmin. "Arroz Caldo (Chicken Rice Porridge)". Epicurious. Retrieved 6 December 2018.
  19. ^ "Inato Lang: Pospas". SuperBalita Cebu. 9 November 2013. Retrieved 6 December 2018.
  20. ^ Jennifer Aranas (2012). The Filipino-American Kitchen: Traditional Recipes, Contemporary Flavors. Tuttle Publishing. ISBN 9781462904914.
  21. ^ "Goto". Kawaling Pinoy. Retrieved 6 December 2018.