Congee is a well-known dish utilized in Traditional Chinese Medicine practices for basic nourishment and food as medicine. It supports the Spleen Qi function in allowing your digestive system to take a break and not overwork itself just to be nourished. The ingredients work together to drive out cold in the body, nourish the Blood, tonify Qi and support circulation.
In TCM, congee is a great way to customize what your body needs through food. It is a dish that is commonly prescribed during the Winter season, as various herbs, meats/protein, and spices can easily be added to this basic rice porridge.
In Filipino culture, Arroz Caldo is just that - it is a deliciously warming and nourishing congee dish. With the Winter season and snowfall sticking around a little longer, this is one of my favourite ways to nourish the body. It is my go-to dish when I’m not feeling well, overworked and in need of warmth and comfort. Enjoy!
Arroz Caldo Recipe
What You’ll Need:
2 tablespoons olive oil
1 onion, diced
3-4 cloves garlic, crushed
1 (2-3 inches) piece fresh ginger, peeled and thinly sliced or grated
4-6 chicken thighs
1 tablespoon fish sauce
2 chicken bouillon cubes accompanied with 5 cups of water or 5 ¼ cups chicken broth
2 cups glutinous rice, rinsed and drained
salt and pepper to taste
3-4 green onions, chopped
1 lemon, sliced (Optional)
1 teaspoon fish sauce for sprinkling, if desired (Optional)
What to do:
Heat the olive oil in a large pot over medium heat; cook and stir the garlic for 2 minutes, onion for another 2 minutes and ginger in the hot oil until fragrant, (about 5 minutes).
Add the chicken; cook and stir together for 2 minutes. Stir the fish sauce into the pot, cover, and cook for another 2-3 minutes.
Add 5 ½ cups of water with the chicken bouillon cubes (or the chicken broth) into the pot. Add the rice and stir. Bring the mixture to a boil; cover and cook for 10 minutes, stirring occasionally to assure the rice is not sticking to the bottom of the pot.
Season with salt and pepper.
Garnish with the green onion, and serve with lemon slices and additional fish sauce, if desired.