17 Jan2013


Slam dunk. :) I love an arroz caldo or pospas or lugaw made with chicken broth and chicken parts, it was our go-to “cure-all” sick food of our childhood. I did a post on that version, here. But I knew that Chinese versions of the dish sometimes relied on pork broth, so I naturally thought a version with lechon broth, crisped up lechon, chopped up chicharon and fried garlic would probably be pretty good. It was. This is something we are experimenting with for introduction at some Zubuchon outlets, particularly one at the airport if they ever confirm that we officially have a small space in the soon-to-be-renovated departure area. This is precisely the kind of hot, comforting food I would like while waiting for a flight back to wherever…


To make, and I won’t give exact measurements, just saute some large slices of ginger and finely chopped onion in some lard briefly until fragrant and onions translucent. Add several cups of concentrated all natural lechon broth (we make ours from the patas, bones, etc. of cooked lechons, no MSG added) and an equal amount more or less of water. Bring this to a boil, add the rice of your choice (some folks just use regular short grain rice, others like a mixture of sticky and regular rice) and keep stirring until the rice is fully cooked, if not overcooked and soft. You might want to add a pinch of kasubha if you want some color to your pospas. Also a touch of patis or fish sauce. Unless you are eating this right away, leave some liquid in the pot as the rice will absorb much of this if allowed to sit for a while. You can always thin the porridge with additional broth/water at a later point. The rice porridge was flavorful on its own, but it was the toppings that really made this a slam dunk dish… shredded and fried lechon flakes, chopped chicharon, chopped green onions, fried garlic, etc. Add some patis and kalamansi juice if desired. Yum.



  1. bearhug0127 says:

    My comfort food since ever since! What would I not give to have a bowl of this?

    Jan 17, 2013 | 6:40 am


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  3. ykmd says:

    Ooohhh! Yes, that’s my kind of comfort food!

    Jan 17, 2013 | 6:58 am

  4. PITS, MANILA says:

    this would be the perfect comfort food to have … right about NOW …

    Jan 17, 2013 | 7:08 am

  5. betty q. says:

    Chicken legs were on sale everywhere last week…so made chicken leg confit and a big caldero of arroz caldo…topped with crispy flakes of confit as well as chicharon, etc… munching on Crispy Kale Chips on the side…very addicting merienda!

    …am asked to do a repeat performance of arroz caldo again this week-end…Halika, sabay tayo gumawa Ebba! Manghingi ka ng kale sa kapitbahay!

    Jan 17, 2013 | 7:46 am

  6. jdawgg says:

    It’s so cold right now here in the SF/BayArea that I could a big bowl of hot arroz caldo. Thanks marketman for making me drool all over my laptop.

    Jan 17, 2013 | 7:47 am

  7. HRH WQ says:

    Over the top comfort food! YUM!

    Jan 17, 2013 | 7:47 am

  8. betty q. says:

    MM…you just inspired me to have an Arroz Caldo Bar? this week-end…will make about 10 different toppings or more…as many as I can think of!

    Jan 17, 2013 | 7:59 am

  9. Natie says:

    I had Arroz Caldo for lunch-the basic recipe…that is a great version, MM. You would know about lay overs and food in airports!

    Jan 17, 2013 | 8:13 am

  10. odessa says:

    comfort food level up MM!! also great with native chicken and malunggay or dahon ng sili!!!

    Jan 17, 2013 | 8:15 am

  11. Betchay says:

    Yum! Comfort food during cold rainy days and when you’re down with colds/flu.
    MM, the bowl you used…..I remember that from childhood being used in Chinese Restos and the numerous small snacks/ mamihan lining Avenida Rizal!

    Jan 17, 2013 | 8:34 am

  12. ros says:

    Wow! Next stop. Lechon n’ Beans!!
    Please do Lechon n’ Beans!! Or huevos rancheros with lechon. :D

    Jan 17, 2013 | 9:12 am

  13. Cwid says:

    That looks soooo good!

    Jan 17, 2013 | 9:18 am

  14. Cwid says:

    To Betty q – you just gave me an idea of what to serve a group of 14 people. What are you going to serve as toppings?

    Jan 17, 2013 | 9:20 am

  15. marilen says:

    Comfort food elevated several notches up. There is nothing you can’t do with pig!!! Sorry, vegans. (My son is one)

    Jan 17, 2013 | 9:24 am

  16. Footloose says:

    @BettyQ They are called Buffalo ware being manufactured right across the border from here in Buffalo NY. They were my first set of china as a new immigrant in the early seventies. Bought them at a cut-rate restaurant store in Chinatown for what seems now next to nothing. Gave it to a recently arrived immigrant family when I grew tired of it. Forty years later, during our most recent reunion, they showed me remnants of it that they are still using.

    Do you guys know how they call lugaw in Kapampangan? Lelut.

    Jan 17, 2013 | 9:50 am

  17. Marketman says:

    Cwid, think shredded tuyo, or smoked kippers in the U.S., even deep-fried ham strips, garlic chips, fried onions, chopped herbs of all sorts, chopped shrimps, pork and chicken strips, chilies, both fresh and vinegar soaked, crabmeat, blanched veggies, etc. ros, you mean you missed THIS POST on my lechon and beans, the upscale version of canned pork&beans? :) Betchay, the bowl is a semi-antique, some 50+ years old and from my lola’s old house/hotel she used to own in Cebu… it’s an absolute classic from a specific era, and we have only a few odd pieces left over! Natie, no kidding, but I have to say, North American airport food selection is getting much better in recent years…

    Jan 17, 2013 | 9:51 am

  18. ami says:

    Lechon arroz caldo will go well with the tokwa’t lechon you made last year. In our household, those 2 are a classic pairing.

    Jan 17, 2013 | 10:29 am

  19. tindera says:

    that’s good news about having a good arroz caldo place again in cebu. after a long trip, (especially arriving in cebu after an overnight boat trip from the nearby islands) it is good to have this food.
    we used to eat this in a small restaurant in fuente osmena. passed by the area last week and was reminded of arroz caldo (or we call it pospas.)

    Jan 17, 2013 | 10:47 am

  20. Joe-ker says:

    Wow, can you please open an outlet in Manila soon? It is only because of you that I always plan a trip to Cebu. This is another reason why I should schedule another trip.

    Jan 17, 2013 | 11:11 am

  21. Bernard says:

    No plans for Escario Branch Yet??? I wanted to WALK over and try it for lunch today :)

    Jan 17, 2013 | 11:47 am

  22. Marketman says:

    Bernard, hahaha, not for weeks or months at least, recipe devlopment, testing and introduction takes a while… :)

    Jan 17, 2013 | 11:54 am

  23. betty q. says:

    CWID…when do you plan on making it?…this week-end? If so, I can give you 3 packages of Inian Candy like the ones I gave everybody in their loot bag when MM and Mrs. MM came over. Besides MM’s suggestions, I will have deep fried wonton strips, Chinese doughnut sliced very thin…either serve as is or you can deep fry the slices to a crisp, ginger-scallion sauce like the ones served with Hainanese chicken, buy enoki mushrooms…sometimes on sale at T and T then dip in tempura batter (just buy the tempura mix at T nd T or Fujiyama…get the one in white and red package with Japanese letters)…as a side dish to Arroz Cldo, while you are at the store…buy a small kabocha, grate in box grater using the big holes, add a bit of thinly sliced onions and scallions, season and bind with a little tempura batter…drop in hot oil using a cuchara so you have small bite size vegetable tempura…now the little itty bitty bits of deep fried stuff that floats, scoop it out and use that as one of your toppings….they are really, really good! Another topping…pork floss.

    But if your guests include Caucasians, may I suggest grouping the toppings. For instance, for a Japanese flair of Arroz caldo, group the tempura bits, enoki mushrooms, slices of fish tempura ( bought at an stores), furukake.

    Chinese toppings can include the deep fried wonton strips, ginger scallion sauce, pork floss, Chinese doughnut.

    For French inspired toppings, flakes of duck confit or chicken confit,thinly sliced scallions, garlic chips or shallot crisps, then arrange kale chips on the side

    For West Coast inspired toppings, group Candied salmon, shallot crisps, dungeness crb meat, shrimp, beet chips

    I am getting carried away again…

    Jan 17, 2013 | 12:02 pm

  24. Karina says:

    Would love to see a sit-down Zubuchon stall in the airport! I’m sure it would be well-maintained and a nice alternative to the usual fare. I was there last night and freaked out at the sight of two baby ipis right on the table I was at. Changed tables as soon as one was available and wolfed down my food. Good thing I ate something prepackaged…

    Jan 17, 2013 | 12:06 pm

  25. Joy says:

    I read somewhere that one can use bulalo broth as well, which we actually tried and was a big hit with our balikbayan guests.

    Jan 17, 2013 | 12:21 pm

  26. Nina says:

    How about tripe lugaw?

    Jan 17, 2013 | 12:32 pm

  27. ros says:

    Waaah!! I missed that! Thanks for the linkback MM. b(^-^)d
    Will definitely try it this weekend.

    Jan 17, 2013 | 12:34 pm

  28. CCA19 says:

    Perfect dish on a cool day like this :)

    Jan 17, 2013 | 12:52 pm

  29. robin castagna says:

    I think this is one of the prettiest photos I’ve seen. :) Ganda-ganda!

    The bowl reminded me of those pyrex cups my father used to drink coffee in back in the early 80s. Hay.

    Jan 17, 2013 | 2:50 pm

  30. edelweiza says:

    I love mine with lotsa chicharon bits! So simple yet very comforting food… :)

    Jan 17, 2013 | 3:19 pm

  31. ragamuffingirl says:

    I like that it’s served on those bowls. :)

    Jan 17, 2013 | 4:29 pm

  32. Ed B. says:

    Looks good.. Perfect for the relatively cold/cool weather that we’re currently enjoying in Manila. :-)

    Jan 17, 2013 | 5:17 pm

  33. Pink Carnations says:

    How i wish so much i could have this right now and wishing zubuchon was close by :-)

    Jan 17, 2013 | 7:33 pm

  34. Mom-Friday says:

    Happy new year MM and family!
    I love arroz caldo and your version with the lechon sure looks like a winner! Perfect for this chilly weather.

    Jan 17, 2013 | 8:24 pm

  35. ConnieC says:

    yes betty Q, you have covered the United Nations!!! You have anything Afghani? You may even settle the territorial disputes between the Chinese, Japs, the Viets and the Pinoys over a bowl of lugaw and their respective toppings…..but I bet you wouldn’t have a low calorie option…. ha! ha! ha!

    Jan 17, 2013 | 8:48 pm

  36. EbbaBlue says:

    Well Ms. BettyQ, kung kapitbahay lang talaga kita.. ay naku…. nariyan ako palagi, baka nga palayasin na ako ng hubby mo.

    And yes, you gave me idea what to serve for my apo when they come over… kasi gusto talaga nila, “mami bar”; eh medio sawa na ako ng pag-prepare non, kaya this time “arroz caldo bar” naman.. and yeah with different topping.

    Like MM, I use lechon/chicharon for my topping. And sometimes, yung deep fried pork or carnitas na nabibili ko sa mga mexican taqueria. I “tatdtad” it.

    I bought 2 packages of Enoki mushroom months ago, ay naku hindi ko alam kung anong luto ang nararapat, so ayun nasayang lang. (Ang mahal pa naman). So.. pwede ko pala siyang gawing tempura? Ummm….?

    And I just bought a big bag of smoked turkey necks..intended for split pea soup.. naku baka hiwa-hiwain ko na lang ito, pan-fry it, then add as a topping for my arroz caldo…ummm… ay naku Ms. BettyQ, ako rin, kagaya mo, pag-napag-usapan na ang variations of dishes…parang turumpo ang utak ko.. infinite ang mga ideas and I can even taste it.

    MM, wow, magkakaron ka na ng branch sa Cebu airport? Yikes dapat na talaga akong makarating sa Cebu. I-add ko siya sa “bucket list” ko.

    Jan 17, 2013 | 9:31 pm

  37. wendy darling says:

    @ Marilen – as a part-time vegetarian, I know exactly where you’re at! :)

    Part-time (noun) – the act of eating more consciously, until you start reading Marketman’s epic quest for porcine perfection, and then having an overwhelming desire to fly into Cebu for a bite of that epic piggy goodness

    (maybe I should start calling myself “lapsed”)

    Jan 17, 2013 | 9:35 pm

  38. Part Time Homemaker says:

    Drool worthy, MM! =)

    Jan 17, 2013 | 10:37 pm

  39. Andrea says:

    truly comfort food especially here in the colder part of the east coast. we also make pospas made of beef tendons and kanchi with potatoes…best paired with lumpiang prito.

    Jan 17, 2013 | 10:58 pm

  40. Danney says:

    I love arroz caldo and pospas. We used to have a tailoring shop in Binan, Laguna and every afternoon we go for merienda and enjoy Mang Tony’s pospas and arroz caldo with lots of fried garlic, boiled egg, chicken or pork and thick caldo.

    Jan 17, 2013 | 11:25 pm

  41. michelle h. says:

    This would also be delicious made with oatmeal instead of rice…. and the oatmeal may help mitigate the effects of the lechon! Marketman, that photo is incredibly nakakagutom.

    Jan 18, 2013 | 12:28 am

  42. Getter Dragon 1 says:

    I’m not a huge arroz caldo fan, but the idea of a pork version I do find intriguing. I also like the idea of a arroz caldo bar with guests having their way with all sorts of toppings. It would make a great addition to the usual wings and pizza for a get together on Super Bowl Sunday (go Niners!).

    On the historical, I remember watching a documentary on PBS about the American civilians held as POWs in UST during WWII. During the interview, a woman recollected the lack of provisions. Instead of saying something like ‘rice porridge’, she said…lugaw. It would be interesting to know if she has aquired a taste for Filipino food or if it brings back memories of her experience.

    Jan 18, 2013 | 1:45 am

  43. Footloose says:

    There was a tripe arroz caldo specialty stall in my town called Goto Heaven. Truly to die for.

    Sometimes too wide a choice of topping can trip and stall specially the ambivalent. I’m quite content with the usual, fried garlic and green onions. When nursing a cold or flu, slices of century eggs and Taiwanese chili taufuru (fermented taufu) have the power to pull me out of bed.

    Jan 18, 2013 | 2:51 am

  44. Hannah says:

    If there is a “LIKE” button in every comment that bettyq writes, she would have had thousands hits in no time…

    and I love arroz caldo/pospas too!!!

    Jan 18, 2013 | 4:04 am

  45. charly says:

    what is kasubha and where can I buy this item in LA?

    Jan 18, 2013 | 4:04 am

  46. rickyg says:

    instead of kasuba, why not a pinch of saffron. Upscaled arroz caldo. you can also used annatto oil, get some annatto seeds and gently warm them over olive oil, it turns orange in color, add the colored oil to the lugaw, until you get the desired shade of yellow one desires.

    Jan 18, 2013 | 5:04 am

  47. betty q. says:

    Charly…maybe Alilay or Ted or Maria Clara can be of assistance to you for they are in your neck of the woods. Kasubha is derived from safflower.

    Besides astuete as RickyG suggested, you can maybe use paprika (not the smoked paprika though) or turmeric. But it is best to err on the side of less if you use turmeric for it can impart a strong flavour and you arroz caldo will turn neon yellow!

    Jan 18, 2013 | 6:49 am

  48. Marketman says:

    charly, a teeny weeny pinch of saffron would do as well. I have used saffron in arroz caldo with very good results.

    Jan 18, 2013 | 6:59 am

  49. charly says:

    To all thank you. We have some saffron that we got from Spain. I will steep some in hot water before I mix them in.

    Jan 18, 2013 | 8:33 am

  50. Betchay says:

    @EbbaBlue: Enoki mushroom tempura is my favorite next to shrimp tempura. Try it. I just bought 2 packages to fry this weekend.
    @Footloose: Thanks. I googled Buffalo ware and learned that the wares were initially made for the Larkin Soap co. as a promotional gimmick and then later commercially produced for hotels and diners for their durability.
    @MM:You said semi antique(50 years as the cut off?) so when is it an original antique? or a classic or a vintage?

    Jan 18, 2013 | 9:24 am

  51. farida says:

    Hi, MM.Yummy. I was just craving for pospas the other day and now I read your post. Gee, bettyq, your various toppings are tempting. Am not very adventurous. Would you believe, I still have that Indian candy you gave away. Is it 2 years ago already! It is in the fridge and each time I open the fridge I see it but am just waiting for the right time. And now is the right time. I will use it as a topping. Also have some saffron. Arroz caldo bar, good idea!

    Jan 18, 2013 | 9:58 am

  52. Marketman says:

    Betchay, I think 100 years is technically antique, or at least that’s how I have always thought of it… :) Mind you, most of the real “antiques” our grandparents left us are more like 500-600 years old and were from diggings… they spent a good 400 years beside decaying bodies. Eeeew. :)

    Jan 18, 2013 | 10:33 am

  53. Cwid says:

    Betty q, thanks for all your suggestions. They’re all very good and I think I will combine all your toppings with MM’s. My guests will be well-fed.

    Coincidentally, I made duck confit for the first time a few weeks ago and I will serve this with the arroz caldo. Naging French-inspired.

    Jan 18, 2013 | 12:59 pm

  54. MP says:

    This is perfect for the west coast weather. Grabe it is so cold in south CA- the weather calls for arroz caldo. Thanks Bettyq for the suggested toppings. I’ve never tried any of those you enumerated (as toppings) but I am sure the family will love them…. Btw, what is kabocha?

    Jan 18, 2013 | 1:32 pm

  55. atbnorge says:

    I will not pass on this one especially when I have a packet of saffron stashed in my spice cabinet and the temperature outside is -6 deg. Celsius :)

    Jan 18, 2013 | 4:31 pm

  56. betty q. says:

    MP, kabocha is the Japanese calabaza…has the same texture of our calabaza…dense, orange flesh which is sweet. I use it to make OKOY…just grate using the big holes of box grater, add thinly sliced onions and scallions, tofu strips(if you are using the fresh tokwa, cut in slices, arrange on plate lined with several paper towels and top with paper towels and pat it dry, till really dry before cutting in thin strips OR just buy the prepared cooked tokwa and cut it into strips). The make your tempura batter, add a little astuete powder for color…not much…your batter should be slightly thicker than regular tempura batter used to coat prawns. Then using just 2cucharas, drop them carefully in hot oil in your wok or caldero…use the other cuchara to push the OKOY from the other cuchara into the hot oil. Since they are bite size, it will be done really fast. i think your family will like this type of OKOY….it is light nd crunchy.

    I like OKOY that when I see them in pinoy turo turo, I buy them. I made the mistake of buying OKOY at a pinoy turo turo here nd regretted buying it. It was soooooooo hard to chew!

    Jan 18, 2013 | 9:38 pm

  57. Rochelle says:

    Yum MM, my favorite meal anytime of the day! Having one now to keep me warm in the cold English weather :) will try it with pork sometime…thanks MM! :)

    Jan 18, 2013 | 9:50 pm

  58. max says:

    sarap…my comfort food too!

    Jan 21, 2013 | 10:16 am

  59. Giancarlo says:

    I’ve been dieting since the beginning of January and every time I visit your blog it’s torture. Would love to eat this dish?. Hope you get the place in the airport!!

    Jan 21, 2013 | 9:11 pm

  60. joey @ 80 breakfasts says:

    I think we need Zubuchon in Manila is what I think! ;) Hehe :) This sounds heavenly!

    Jan 21, 2013 | 11:51 pm


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