bowl of Arroz Caldo, Filipino chicken and rice soup, topped with green onion and garlic.

Arroz Caldo | Filipino Chicken and Rice Soup

When you need a little TLC, there’s nothing better than chicken and rice soup, and in the Philippines, Arroz Caldo is the answer to a comforting bowl. This is my quick and easy, fast and speedy way of making Arroz Caldo. Ready in just about half an hour, it’s perfect for weeknight dinners.

bowl of Arroz Caldo, Filipino chicken and rice soup, topped with green onion and garlic.
Arroz Caldo | Filipino Chicken and Rice Soup

When you need a little TLC, there’s nothing better than chicken and rice soup, and in the Philippines, Arroz Caldo is the answer to a comforting bowl. This is my quick and easy, fast and speedy way of making Arroz Caldo. Ready in just about half an hour, it’s perfect for weeknight dinners.

bowl of Arroz Caldo, Filipino Chicken and Rice Soup, topped with scallions

Note: This post first appeared October 31, 2012, and has been updated with improved kitchen notes, recipe annotation, photography and video. I hope you enjoy this favorite from my kitchen!

I spoke with him on the phone. The storm was beginning to pick up and my dad assured me that he had enough water. Enough food. Batteries. A generator. Even a power inverter. And I slowly felt reassured. If anyone could McGuyver his way though a hurricane, it’s my dad. He’s always been Mr. Handy. And he’s a mechanical engineer.

Ginger for Arroz Caldo: Filipino Chicken and Rice Soup

Sliced scallions for Arroz Caldo: Filipino Chicken and Rice Soup

But his one concern were the trees. As he spoke of the large trees in front of my childhood home, I became nostalgic. I remembered each of those trees fondly: the majestic walnut that dropped its nuts, leaving round, treacherous obstacles to those not paying attention when they walked past our house, the dogwood whose leaves had surely turned its brilliant magenta by now, the oak that was home to the squirrels who scampered on our lawn, and the Japanese maple, whose only job, it seemed, was to look pretty. I played amongst those trees, and now I worried that they would fall.

Arroz caldo with garnishes on wood table.

It was hard to be away, to worry from afar. I took solace in knowing that my brother and his fiancee are a relatively short drive away, and that he checked in on him before Sandy.

Relief came this morning, when I heard from family and friends. Everyone was fine. But the images on the news are hard to swallow.

Arroz caldo with garnishes on wood table.

So, today, I cooked from the archives. Something sentimental. Arroz Caldo is the chicken soup that brings warmth and comfort – I cooked it for my dad when he was sick, and I cook it now for my family whenever we need a little extra hug. I hope that wherever you are, you can have a steaming bowlful and feel my warm thoughts with you.

If you enjoyed this Arroz Caldo recipe, be sure to check out these other comforting soup recipes:

Chicken and Asparagus Sotanghon (Glass Noodle) Soup
Sausage Molo Soup (Filipino Wonton Soup)
Filipino Meatball Noodle Soup: Misua Bola-Bola
Sweet Potato and Kale Coconut Curry Soup
Habanero Spiced Pumpkin Soup
Roasted Tomatillo Chicken Soup

Arroz Caldo (Filipino Chicken and Rice Soup)

This is my quick and easy, fast and speedy way of making Arroz Caldo. I can get it done in just about half an hour, perfect for weeknight dinners. When I have extra time, I also have a weekend version, which I originally published two years ago here.

Prep Time 10 minutes
Cook Time 25 minutes
Total Time 35 minutes
Servings 6 people
Calories 566 kcal

Ingredients

  • 1 medium onion chopped
  • 3 cloves garlic minced
  • 3 pieces of ginger sliced in thick chunks
  • 2 lbs chicken a combination of boneless, skinless thighs and breast works well, cut into bite size pieces
  • 1-2 tablespoons fish sauce patis, to taste. If you don’t have this handy, just use salt, to taste
  • freshly ground black pepper to taste
  • 8 cups chicken stock low sodium
  • 1 cup jasmine rice
  • 4 scallions finely sliced

Instructions

  1. In a large stock pot, saute the onion, garlic and ginger over medium-low heat until onion starts to become transparent, about 5-7 minutes.
  2. Add chicken, fish sauce and pepper. Stir to combine and cook for about 5 minutes, or until the chicken is nearly all cooked.
  3. Stir in the chicken stock and rice. Bring to a boil, then lower heat to simmer.
  4. Cover and continue to cook until chicken is very tender and the rice is fluffed and cooked, about 20 minutes. Stir frequently and adjust seasoning as necessary.
  5. Take out the medallions of ginger (no one really likes biting into chunks of ginger!).
  6. Garnish with scallions and freshly ground black pepper before serving.

Recipe Notes

This recipe for Arroz Caldo first appeared here on February 23, 2010.

Nutrition Facts
Arroz Caldo (Filipino Chicken and Rice Soup)
Amount Per Serving
Calories 566 Calories from Fat 234
% Daily Value*
Total Fat 26g 40%
Saturated Fat 7g 35%
Cholesterol 122mg 41%
Sodium 802mg 33%
Potassium 720mg 21%
Total Carbohydrates 38g 13%
Sugars 6g
Protein 38g 76%
Vitamin A 6%
Vitamin C 7.7%
Calcium 4.8%
Iron 13.5%
* Percent Daily Values are based on a 2000 calorie diet.

Comments

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  1. Brian

    Hi darling… I am sure it was hard to be away, to have to worry from afar. I’m glad he’s doing alright and that your family and friends are safe.

    Such a wonderful, comforting soup. I hope it helped calm your nerves a bit.

    Reply
  2. Rowena Dumlao-Giardina (Apron and Sneakers)

    I’m glad that your family is fine after the hurricane. I’m sure you didn’t sleep so well thinking about what was happening to your Dad. A bowl of arroz caldo is something I would like to have right now. It had been raining all day, dark, gray and very cold here.

    Reply
  3. Mary

    Liren, so glad to hear everything is fine with your family. I know a bit about what that worry feels like. I lost contact with Jael for hours during the storm. She, along with so many others, is still without power and will be for days. She will be fine though. The wonderful thing about family recipes is that it can bring us closer to the ones we love, even when they are far away.

    Reply
  4. Belinda @zomppa

    Gosh, I’m glad to hear your family is safe and sound. It’s so crazy the photos! This soup looks like the perfect comfort food.

    Reply
  5. lea davenport

    I loved this post. It reminded me of how I have felt when learning a loved one had made it through a rough patch. And there’s just nothing like soup for comfort! Glad your family is safe.

    Reply
  6. denise @ singapore shiok

    Hi Liren, I saw this evocative photo somewhere on the internet last week and couldn’t get it out of my mind. It reminded me of something very similar I saw in 2010 when I dived head first into the foodblogosphere and it was one of the earliest blog posts I had read and commented on. Today, on a hunch, I tracked it and here I am :) I’ve come full circle – I loved your work then, and I love it now, even when I don’t know it’s you. Congee is soul food and medicine for me too. I’m glad to know your dad and family are fine. I hope they remain safe and well in this difficult time.

    Reply
  7. Kiran @ KiranTarun.com

    So glad your family is fine — its been nerve wrecking ever since Sandy. I’m sure everyone would find comfort in this delicious bowl of homemade soup!

    Reply
  8. Pat

    Hello my friend, hope you are enjoying a wonderful autumn day.
    I would love to make this recipe for a dear friend who cares for my Mom.
    The fish sauce that you refer to, patis, is this similar to the fish sauce that would be purchased in an asian grocery store?
    Thanks so much for sharing your wonderful recipes with all of us.
    Sincerely,
    Pat D.

    Reply
    • Liren

      Hi Pat! I made this yesterday, as a matter of fact, and will be enjoying a bowl again tonight (made a large batch). This is the perfect time of year for it. Patis is indeed fish sauce, it is simply the Filipino word for fish sauce. Any kind of Asian fish sauce will work :) I hope your friend enjoys it!

  9. Shannon

    Hi there,

    I’ve made your recipe twice and my family loves it. I’m half Filipino, but never grew up with that part of my culture so I never learned how to cook the food. Your recipe is amazing and I’m going to make it a third time tonight. Thank you for posting this! :-)

    Reply
    • Liren Baker

      Thank you, Lauren! I made another batch this week when my little guy got sick! It’s always a soother.

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