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Arroz Caldo

 

Everyone has a favorite type of congee. I love the Filipino version, called arroz caldo, which in typical Filipino form, can be eaten at all times of the day – breakfast, lunch, dinner, or merienda (well, more like a small meal between meals. Hobbits would love us!), or snack or as a side dish or opening item!¬† My family’s version is very garlicky and ginger-y. If you want to reduce the salt, use a low-salt chicken broth and omit the chicken broth cubes. Some folks like putting toasted, crispy garlic and onions on top, or chopped up green onions, or, in my case, cubed, fried tofu. Experiment with toppings if you like, but you might find that my recipe is flavorsome enough.

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Chicken Sopas

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Quick, light and easy, this soup suits both cold nights and summer days back in the Philippines. Some versions include using diced Tender Juicy Hotdog (which resembles the red-covered frankfurter, but tastes different) or diced ham. This is the simplest version in the family and is also a nice side dish, especially if the chicken is cut into even smaller cubes.

It can also be made with chopped up store-bought roast chicken meat, cutting down the cook time even more.

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Nilagang Baka

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Nilagang Baka, or “boiled beef” belies the very delicious and richly satisfying soup that results from the ‘mere’ boiling. Best done with cheaper soup bones with meat still clinging to the bone and with cheaper cuts of beef, my prefered method is to add all the ingredients together and simmer for at least four hours in a large stew pot.

Because I have a large family, when I make this it’s a huge batch, with leftovers that the kids like to have later on. You can reduce the amount of ingredients as needed (Or, for single-person amounts, 1 osso bucco, 1-2 corn cobs, a handful of cabbage, one large carrot, a handful of beans, and two medium potatoes, 1 beef broth cube!)

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