By Jed Nykolle Harme

There is no doubt that rice porridge or ‘lugaw’ is one of the favorite comfort foods in the Philippines. There are different kinds of porridge in the country. But the thing is, we are just picturing one thing in our minds: a hot bowl of chicken broth, rice, and a slice of acid in the form of calamansi. 

Lugaw is a Filipino glutinous rice gruel or porridge. It is traditionally made by regular white rice boiled with excess water. This well-loved food can be paired with various dishes and ingredients. You may not know this, but Lugaw has actually two variants: savory and sweet.


Introduced by Chinese-Filipino migrants, this variant of lugaw is influenced by a similar Chinese dish called congee. It comes in varieties across the country with everyone putting their own touch in preparing it according to their respective local tastes. 

Lugaw is traditionally served with toyo, patis, calamansi and is usually paired with meat. The most common of which is tokwa’t baboy. There are three famous types of this variant: 


This is the generic Filipino name for rice porridge. Lugaw is the most basic among the three, it is actually the base, a rice and water with a bit of salt or sugar. Toppings can be added after the cooking process. The common ingredients are garlic chips, boiled eggs, and a touch of spring onions. 

Photo Courtesy by Yummy PH

Arroz Caldo

A type of lugaw that is cooked by sautéing ginger, garlic and onions before adding the rich and broth. Arroz Caldos are prepared with chicken meat in addition to the basic lugaw. Some versions also add kasubha that turns this breakfast dish characteristically yellow.  

Photo Courtesy by Pilipinas Recipes


This type of lugaw is also known as arroz caldo con goto. It has similar preparation to arroz caldo but instead of using beef or chicken meat, it uses beef strips (goto in Tagalog) and sometimes added with hardboiled egg, fried pork or chicharon.

Photo Courtesy by Gotomefoods

No matter where you are, no matter what you call it, no matter what time of the day, these dishes are perfect with a splash of calamansi juice and fish sauce.


Sweet lugaw has a characteristically touch of Philippine cuisine. It's a recipe that is often enjoyed for merienda or dessert. Some of these include: 


Is a Filipino sweet chocolate rice porridge that is traditionally served for breakfast. It is made by boiling sticky rice and roasted cacao beans and is usually served for breakfast or merienda. It can be paired with milk, but a common pairing is with daing or tuyo. 

Photo Courtesy by Lutong Bahay Recipe

Ginataang Monggo

Ginataang munggo is a glutinous rice gruel dessert with toasted munggo beans, coconut milk, and sugar. It is flavored with vanilla or pandan leaves. This rice pudding is easy to prepare and makes a great snack or dessert.

Photo Courtesy by bitemybun


Is often enjoyed for merienda or dessert. It is a classic ginataang recipe that is made by glutinous rice cooked in coconut milk. Binignit is similar to the preparation of Bilo-bilo that contains a mix of many of the ingredients you love: saba bananas, sweet potato, and taro, among many other ingredients. For Visayan people, Binignit is cooked during Good Friday in observance of Catholics’ fast and avoidance of meat.

Photo Courtesy by Panlasang Pinoy Recipe


For decades, Lugaw can be eaten anytime of the day. Whichever you choose between the varieties of Savory and Sweet lugaw, all of these rice porridge are always winners. But one thing is for sure makes a difference: LUGAW IS ESSENTIAL and has become a favourite traditional Filipino comfort food.