Lugaw, Goto, and Arroz Caldo: Same concept, what’s the difference?

Sherry Tadeja
PUBLISHED June 11, 2018 04:47 pm
Photo from @chicagochic/Instagram

(Inside Manila) Last week the Philippine Atmospheric Geophysical and Astronomical Services Administration (PAGASA) has officially announced the start of rainy season in the country due to the continuous rains brought by tropical storm "Domeng". But more than the frequent storms and rain that will come this season; this is the perfect season to eat warm and hearty dishes. More likely the following; Lugaw, Goto, and Arroz Caldo.

These three dishes are all popular in rice-consuming Asian countries with variations of their own.

Looking at it closely the three dishes are the same—all are rice porridges. So, what's the difference? Here's the answer:

Lugaw for a start is a warm soup made out of cooked sticky rice. According to an article by Wikipedia, the humblest preparation for this dish is only by adding sugar to taste and nothing more as it's intended for sick children.

Goto, on the other hand, is more of the meaty version of lugaw. From the name itself, "Goto" refers to the sole of a cow which is popularly incorporated into this dish to add a depth of meaty flavor. “Tokwa't-baboy” is another popular side dish for goto. Soysauce, calamansi, vinegar, garlic flakes, and pepper are used to season and taste.

By now you might have guessed that the difference between the dishes is meat used to improve its bland taste.

This also goes the same to popular rice porridge, Arroz Caldo. The dish is a direct descended from congee. The word Arroz Caldo literally means "rice soup". The dish contains chicken broth, chicken meat, and ginger.


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A dessert version of this dish exists which goes by the dish called "Champorado”.  A sweet chocolate rice porridge originally made in the Philippines. The dish is made of boiled sticky rice and cocoa powder and made to taste by adding milk and sugar.

These dishes may be the same in concept at the same time different but all three brings the Filipino stomach to a warm gastronomical experience every rainy season.

Do you have other food facts? Let us know!



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