Chilly “Chili” and Rainy Day Food

Here in the Philippines, we are right in the middle of the wet season. In fact, Typhoon Labuyo (international name “Utor”) just left the country yesterday afternoon. Thank God for that and for keeping us safe. It was the strongest storm by far to hit the Philippines this year. There are certain areas that have been declared under a state of calamity. I pray they recover soon.


Photo credit: uckhet / Foter / CC BY-NC-ND

It’s interesting they named the typhoon “labuyo” which in Tagalog refers to a type of chili, the local bird’s eye chili, if I’m not mistaken. Well, it has certainly been chilly the past few days and in our home in such days nothing beats slurping noodles in steamy broth or a hot bowl of arroz caldo (chicken and rice congee), which is what Ren had all day yesterday. Here’s the recipe:

Arroz Caldo
Servings: 2 big eaters

1/2 tbsp. cooking oil
5 cloves of Garlic, peeled and crushed
1 thumbsized Ginger, sliced
1 small Onion, minced
4 Chicken pieces (I used whole chicken wings)
1 tbsp fish sauce
Ground pepper
1/2 cup uncooked white rice
1/4 cup uncooked glutinous rice
4 cups water or chicken broth
Dash of kasubha or safflower (NOT saffron)

Optional but very much recommended: 🙂
Fried minced garlic
A bunch of chopped green onion
2 hard boiled eggs
Fried tofu squares
Fish sauce w/ calamansi


1. In a medium-sized pot, heat the cooking oil.
2. Saute garlic, ginger and onion until fragrant, about a minute.
3. Add the chicken pieces.
4. Season with fish sauce.
5. Leave the chicken to cook until it’s a little brown on all sides.
6. Next, add all the rice to the pot and pour in the water or chicken broth. Add the safflower for color.
7. Simmer until rice is fully cooked, about 40 minutes. Check the consistency. We want our arroz caldo thick but if you prefer it to be less thick, just add more water.
8. Season with pepper and more fish sauce to taste.

To serve, ladle into bowls. Garnish with fried garlic bits and chopped green onions. Serve with hard boiled eggs and/or fried tofu. We also love eating this with fish sauce mixed with some calamansi juice.

gtrwndr87 / Foter / CC BY-NC-SA

What’s your fave rainy day food?


One response to “Chilly “Chili” and Rainy Day Food

  1. Pingback: Oodles of Noodles | Life in a Rental·

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