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Filipino Arroz Caldo with Turkey or Chicken

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The  Filipino Arroz Caldo is the most heartwarming, cuddly soup I’ve known all my life. I have always fed my children with this soup. Arroz Caldo (say ‘ar-roz kal-doh’) is the Philippine rice porridge best known for its healing curative qualities, no matter what the weather is like. Traditionally, it is cooked with boiled chicken. This time, I made Arroz Caldo with leftover roast turkey.

If you like to boil the turkey carcass the day after Thanksgiving then this is a good soup meal for you. Some folks like to throw in leftover vegetables and pasta to make leftover turkey soup. I like to transform our leftover turkey into a rich Arroz Caldo or the Filipino rice porridge.

If you’ve never had Arroz Caldo, you’re in for a treat. This savory broth hits the spot with the fragrance of ginger, the hearty filling of turkey chunks, the rich contrast of soft rice grains, the crunch of crisp garlic bits and scallions…and at the end a hint of lemon added.

Nothing else in the world is as soothing, as calming and healing as a rich bowl of rice porridge with turkey chunks . It is simply an easy, superb soup. Just like a warm hug to lift your spirits any day.



Filipino Arroz Caldo with Turkey or Chicken

The Filipino Arroz Caldo, is traditionally a rice porridge that's cooked with chicken in a broth seasoned with ginger, garlic and fish sauce. This is a simple and easy rice soup to make any time of the year.  This hearty rice soup is known to heal when one is feeling under the weather. For Thanksgiving, I used leftover turkey to give this classic Philippine rice porridge an interesting twist. Serve this piping hot, with fried garlic and chopped scallions on top. Sprinkle lemon juice all over to finish it off. This was inspired by a previous blog post from a recipe in The Adobo Road Cookbook by Marvin Gapultos. Serves 4.
Prep Time30 minutes
Cook Time2 hours 30 minutes
Total Time3 hours
Course: Dinner, Lunch, Merienda, Soup
Cuisine: American, Asian, Filipino
Keyword: Filipino Arroz Caldo Chicken Turkey
Servings: 4 people
Calories: 56kcal
Author: Asian in America


  • Large Stock Pot or Dutch Oven: 10 or 12 quarts


  • 2 pounds leftover turkey carcass with meat (or chicken)
  • 2 stalks celery chopped, for broth
  • 1 whole white or yellow onion sliced, for broth
  • 8 cups water or enough to cover turkey or chicken
  • 1 teaspoon salt for broth
  • 1 teaspoon ground black pepper for broth
  • 1- 2 cups cooked chunks of turkey or chicken from boiling leftover turkey carcass
  • 1 Tablespoon vegetable oil
  • 2 cloves garlic minced
  • 1 whole white or yellow onion chopped
  • 1 knob fresh ginger about 2 inches, peeled, sliced thin into 1-inch pieces
  • 4 Tablespoons patis (fish sauce) Filipino patis
  • 2 cups uncooked medium grain white rice
  • 6 cups broth from boiling leftover turkey or chicken
  • 4 cups chicken broth
  • 1 teaspoon salt
  • 1 teaspoon black pepper corns
  • 1 teaspoon ground black pepper
  • 2 stalks scallions sliced, for garnish
  • 1 Tablespoon calamansi juice (or lemon) fresh or frozen calamansi are found in Asian markets or use fresh lemon juice
  • 2 whole hard-boiled eggs peeled, sliced, for garnish
  • 1 Tablespoon fried garlic bits for garnish; about 2 to 3 cloves fried garlic, chopped fine


  • 1. The day after Thanksgiving: In a large stockpot boil the carcass of the leftover turkey in water. Make sure there is enough liquid to cover meat and bones. Add the chopped celery, onions, salt and black pepper.
    Cover the stockpot. Bring to a boil in about 10 minutes, then simmer till meat is falling off bone and broth is aromatic and flavorful, for about 1 to 2 hours. The larger the turkey carcass the longer it will take.
    When done, save the broth to make the arroz caldo. Remove the turkey meat from the bones and cut into bite-sized chunks. * Make this process of boiling the leftover turkey in a slow cooker or Instant Pot pressure cooker if that is more convenient.
  • 2. To make the Arroz Caldo: Use a large stockpot (or use the same empty pot where the turkey stock was cooked in). Over medium high heat, pour the vegetable oil. Saute the garlic, onions, ginger for a minute. Then add fish sauce. Add the rice grains. Stir around for 2 minutes till rice becomes puffy.
  • 3. Add the broths to the pot of rice sauté. Blend well. Cover the stockpot. When the entire soup and rice combination boils in about 5 minutes, lower heat to a slow simmer. Add the leftover turkey chunks and black peppercorns. Maintain the heat to a slow simmer. Stir well to avoid rice sticking in the bottom.
  • 4. Cover and continue cooking rice porridge over low heat . Rice will be completely cooked after about 18 minutes. You will have about 4 cups of cooked rice by the end of cooking. The amount of soup broth should be about 10 cups. Add more broth if desired. Season with salt and black pepper powder. Make sure to stir rice every now and then so it does not stick to bottom of the pot.
  • 5. To serve: Pour in individual soup bowls. Place the turkey chunks on top. Sprinkle lemon juice on the arroz caldo. Garnish with slices of hard-boiled eggs, sliced scallions and crisp fried garlic bits. Serve piping hot.
  • COOK'S COMMENTS: In the Philippines, calamansi (the Filipino lime) is sprinkled over the arroz caldo. If calamansi is available to you, feel free to use it instead of lemon. Sometimes, if we have leftover corn from Thanksgiving, I add cooked corn kernels to the arroz caldo and that makes it even more delightful. On other occasions, feel free to use chicken for this recipe which is the traditional basic ingredient for Filipinos.
  • When cooking with Chicken : Traditionally, Arroz Caldo consists of boiled chicken meat. If you want to do that recipe, boil half a pound of chicken in a pot filled with water, and the amount of onions and celery indicated above to boil the turkey carcass. Boil then simmer till chicken is tender for 55 minutes to an hour. Chop the chicken meat into small pieces. Cook the Arroz Caldo according to directions above, substituting the chicken for the turkey. Serve hot with the same garnishings. Or follow a previous recipe for Chicken Arroz Caldo from a past blog post here.
  • Instant Pot Arroz Caldo: A recipe for Instant Pot Arroz Caldo with Chicken is in my newest cookbook "Instant Filipino Recipes: My Mother's Traditional Philippine Food in A Multicooker Pot" sold worldwide on Amazon.com in paperback or Kindle format. I share traditional Filipino food, recipes from my mother which can be cooked in an Instant Pot or any multicooker brand. Click here to purchase.

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    Serving: 1g | Calories: 56kcal | Carbohydrates: 4g | Protein: 2g | Fat: 4g | Saturated Fat: 3g | Cholesterol: 2mg | Sodium: 2066mg | Potassium: 271mg | Fiber: 1g | Sugar: 1g | Vitamin A: 150IU | Vitamin C: 19mg | Calcium: 49mg | Iron: 1mg

    Notes on Nutrition:The nutrition information provided is an estimate and will vary based on cooking methods and specific brands of ingredients used.

    Did you like this recipe? I have more classic recipes inspired by my late mother’s cooking in my popular cookbook: My Mother’s Philippine Recipes. If you’re learning how to cook Filipino food or a fan of Philippine cuisine, buy my cookbooks and books on Amazon.com sold worldwide in paperback and Kindle format.

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    1. I love the idea of using the traditional Thanksgiving leftovers to make a dish with a totally different flavor profile. Defintely going to try this one.

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