Usually when I'm ill, feeling very down, and just want to sleep all day I often want to have one of my favourite comfort food - lugaw. It's also called a number of different names like - pospas, porridge, congee, and arroz caldo. Nothing beats the smell and taste and satisfaction of eating it while your nose is drooling from a bad cold or flu. If it's for someone with a stomach upset you cook and serve it without oil or meat. Normally the meat that accompanies the Filipino version is goto (beef tripe) or chicken. Since I do not want to spend a lot of time cooking it I often do the chicken version. It takes time to tenderise the beef tripe, you know.
The malagkit (glutinous rice) in the recipe is optional. It is added to make the soup a bit thicker. Another optional ingredient is the kasubha I think this is the Pinoy equivalent of saffron. It makes the lugaw a bit reddish/yellow which is not really essential and does not add much taste to it. And finally, the variation of adding vegetables came from my mother-in-law. It's not to everyone's liking although I love eating chunks of veggies in the lugaw. Slurp slurp ... aaahhhh!
Lugaw with Chicken
500 g chicken - cut into bite-sized pieces
1 cup rice
1 Tbsp glutinous rice [optional]
2 Tbsp fish sauce (patis)
8 cloves garlic - minced
1 medium onion - chopped
1 square inch of ginger root - julienned
6 cups water or chicken stock
2 Tbsp oil
2 stalks green onion - chopped
chopped vegetables [optional]
pinch of kasubha (saffron) [optional]
- Heat oil in a big pot or saucepan.
- Saute garlic in low heat (so it will not burn) until brown.
- Remove garlic from the oil and set aside for garnish. (or you can set aside only half of it)
- Fry onion in the same oil in medium heat until translucent.
- Add ginger and cook for another 3 minutes.
- Add chicken and patis, stir for a seconds then cover and simmer for about 5 minutes turning the chicken once in a while.
- Stir in all the rice and mix with the chicken and patis mixture. Let the rice absorb the patis for about 5 minutes while stirring occasionally.
- Add in the water and bring to boil. Turn down heat to low and simmer for about 30 minutes or until both chicken and rice are cooked. Stir occassionally making sure the rice does not stick at the bottom of the pot.
- [Optional] At this point you can add chopped vegetables of your choice to the pot and cook until they are done. Favourites are broccoli, carrots, peas, etc.
- Ladle into bowls; sprinkle chopped green onion, kasubha, and reserved garlic on top. Serve with lemon or calamansi juice and more patis.