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Basic lugaw
Alternative namespospas, lugao
CourseMain dish
Place of originPhilippines
Main ingredientsglutinous rice
Variationsarroz caldo, goto
Similar dishesCongee

Lugaw, also spelled lugao, is a Filipino glutinous rice dish or porridge. Lugaw may refer to various dishes, both savory and sweet. In Visayan regions, savory lugaw are collectively referred to as pospas. Lugaw is widely regarded as a comfort food in the Philippines.[1][2][3]


Lugaw is traditionally made by boiling glutinous rice (Tagalog: malagkit; Visayan: pilit). Regular white rice may also be used if boiled with excess water. The basic version is sparsely spiced, usually only using salt, garlic, and ginger; or alternatively, sugar. Heartier versions are cooked in chicken, fish, pork or beef broth. It is regarded as a comforting and easy-to-digest food, typically prepared for breakfast and during cold and rainy weather. It is also commonly served to people who are sick or bedridden, and to very young children and the elderly.[4][5]

Lugaw is usually eaten hot or warm, since the gruel congeals if left to cool. It can be reheated by adding a little bit of water.[6][7][8][9] Dessert versions can be eaten cold or even partly frozen.[10]

According to the National Commission for Culture and the Arts, lugaw is among the earliest documented Filipino food. Lugaw is listed in the 1613 dictionary Vocabulario de la lengua tagala which defined lugaw as a "rice mixed with milk or water or of both (porridge)"[11]


Lugaw can be paired or augmented with numerous other dishes and ingredients.


Chicken arroz caldo with safflower (kasubha)
Chicken arroz caldo with safflower (kasubha)

Most savory versions of lugaw are derived from or influenced by Chinese-style congee, introduced by Chinese-Filipino migrants. It has diverged over the centuries to use Filipino ingredients and suit the local tastes. Filipino savory lugaw are typically thicker than other Asian congees because they use glutinous rice. They are traditionally served with calamansi, soy sauce (toyo), or fish sauce (patis) as condiments[12][13] Savory lugaw are usually paired with meat or seafood dishes. The most common being tokwa't baboy (cubed tofu and pork).[4][5]


Champorado with dried fish (tuyo)
Champorado with dried fish (tuyo)

Sweet versions of lugaw are more characteristically Filipino. They include:

Use as a political symbol

The lugaw has been widely associated with the political camp of Philippine Vice President Leni Robredo, originating from her 2016 election campaign during which Robredo's supporters sold the rice porridge as part of a fundraising effort.[18] Robredo's detractors and internet trolls have pejoratively used the tags "Leni Lugaw" or the "Lugaw Queen" after photos of her serving lugaw circulated online.[19] In response, Robredo has since adopted the tag during political events and campaigns, including serving lugaw to attendees of her 2022 Philippine presidential election bid announcement.[20]

See also

Other Philippine rice cooking techniques:


  1. ^ Castro, Jasper. "Here's How To Tell Lugaw, Congee, Goto, and Arroz Caldo From Each Other". Retrieved December 6, 2018.
  2. ^ a b Reynaldo G. Alejandro (1985). The Philippine Cookbook. Penguin. p. 38. ISBN 9780399511448.
  3. ^ Miranda, Pauline (June 13, 2018). "The difference between lugaw, goto, and arroz caldo". Nolisolo. Retrieved December 6, 2018.
  4. ^ a b Ignacio, Michelle (April 23, 2012). "Lugaw with Tokwa't Baboy: A Pinoy Favorite". Certified Foodies. Retrieved December 7, 2018.
  5. ^ a b Veneracion, Connie. "Lugaw (congee) with tokwa't baboy (tofu and pork)". Casa Veneracion. Retrieved December 7, 2018.
  6. ^ Agbanlog, Liza (February 2017). "Arroz Caldo (Filipino Style Congee)". Salu Salo Recipes. Retrieved December 6, 2018.
  7. ^ "Arroz Caldo". Genius Kitchen. Retrieved December 6, 2018.
  8. ^ "Chicken Arroz Caldo – A Filipino Christmas Rice Porridge". Wishful Chef. December 9, 2013. Retrieved December 6, 2018.
  9. ^ Phanomrat, Jen. "Filipino Arroz Caldo". Tastemade. Retrieved December 6, 2018.
  10. ^ a b "Holiday Benignit / Ginataan". Market Manila. January 3, 2014. Retrieved December 7, 2018.
  11. ^ Noriega, Richa (April 2, 2021). "'Lugaw' is a PH cultural symbol – NCCA". Manila Bulletin. Retrieved April 3, 2021.
  12. ^ Trivedi-Grenier, Leena (February 2, 2018). "Janice Dulce passes along Filipino culture via arroz caldo". San Francisco Chronicle. Retrieved December 6, 2018.
  13. ^ a b Edgie Polistico (2017). Philippine Food, Cooking, & Dining Dictionary. Anvil Publishing, Incorporated. ISBN 9786214200870.
  14. ^ "Goto". Kawaling Pinoy. Retrieved December 6, 2018.
  15. ^ Chikiamco, Norma (May 16, 2013). "Quick and easy 'champorado'". Philippine Daily Inquirer. Retrieved December 7, 2018.
  16. ^ "Ginataang Mais". Kawaling Pinoy. Retrieved December 7, 2018.
  17. ^ Alvarez, Lhas. "Ginataang Monggo Recipe". Retrieved April 19, 2019.
  18. ^ "Wenceslao: Leni Lugaw". Retrieved October 7, 2021.
  19. ^ "Take that, trolls! In Batangas, Robredo embraces the 'Leni Lugaw' tag". RAPPLER. January 21, 2020. Retrieved January 31, 2022.
  20. ^ Malasig, Jeline (October 7, 2021). "Robredo owns 'Leni Lugaw' tag anew by serving rice porridge to announcement attendees". Interaksyon. Retrieved January 31, 2022.