Two Classic Filipino Dishes To Keep You Warm During the Rainy Season

July 23, 2021

In this post, we will explore two popular rainy day dishes that are all-time favorites among Filipinos

For Filipinos, the months between June and October typically bring torrential rains, cloudy skies, and blustery winds. Consequently, the need to stay warm, dry, and indoors is at no other time more important than during this period, known in the archipelago as the habagat (southwest monsoon) or rainy season.

Cooking a Filipino soup dish in a pot
Photo by Oleg Magni from Pexels

Two Classic Filipino Dishes To Keep You Warm During the Rainy Season


    Food for the rainy days


    Naturally, when the topic of staying warm and comfortable comes up, foods associated with eliciting that warm and cozy feeling are not far behind.

    If curling up beneath a blanket with a furry companion close by simply isn’t enough anymore, here are some delicious recipes that are sure to warm you up from the inside out.

    Bulalo: The Soup Designed for the Rainy Season


    When the weather turns foul and the winds blow a little colder and harder, the one dish that’s almost certain to keep you feeling safe and warm is soup.

    Cooking bulalo soup in a pot
    Photo by cottonbro from Pexels

    While there are many other soup dishes scattered throughout the world, every cook worth their salt has a bulalo recipe that seems specially designed for keeping us feeling warm and cozy throughout the rainy season.

    The reality is, like many other Filipino dishes, bulalo straddles the line between soup and stew. To make it, simply take a beef shank and simmer it in a blend of water, fish sauce, and peppercorns in as large a pot as possible.

    Bring the soup up to a boil, then turn down the heat and let the soup simmer for at least three to four hours. With about an hour of cooking time left, toss in some vegetables of your choice: popular options are halved ears of corn, cabbage quarters, split napa cabbage, or big pieces of carrot.

    The beef takes a long time to cook owing to a large amount of connective tissue in the shank, but once that tissue melts into the soup, you’ll be left with a rich, fatty, flavorful broth that tastes beefier than the biggest, beefiest steak.

    And let’s not forget the marrow! The core of the shank can be allowed to simply melt into the broth to add more flavor and complexity to it, but for a truly unctuous treat, you can extract it and grill it or stir-fry it, then serve it over rice as its own dish!

    Finally, for a more regional dish, try making kansi. This Ilonggo variant of bulalo is made almost exactly the same way, except that the extract of young tamarind is added to the broth. This makes the dish bright and tart and gives it an even greater depth of flavor.

    Arroz Caldo: A Dish That Gives You the Freedom to Play with Your Food


    While rice and grain porridges are found the world over, there are few that are both as simple and as satisfying as what Filipinos know as Arroz Caldo. 

    A bowl of Arroz Caldo
    A bowl of Arroz Caldo

    The porridge is made with chicken stock and is infused with ginger to make it flavorful and zesty on its own. Best of all, it’s a great way to dispose of overcooked rice without letting it go to waste, and it makes use of chicken bones and pieces that would otherwise be thrown out.

    To make this dish, prepare a simple stock of boiled chicken parts, skimming away whatever impurities float to the surface. Once the stock is prepared, add your rice to a clean pot along with the stock. You’ll need about twice as much stock as the rice, by volume.

    Bring the rice and stock to a boil over medium heat, stirring constantly. Once it boils, turn the heat down to low, but not all the way to a simmer, and continue to stir. This breaks down the starches in the rice and releases them into the stock, creating the thick, rich base for the porridge.

    At this point, you can also infuse the porridge with spices and seasonings, the most popular being slices of ginger. Turmeric is also a popular addition to Arroz Caldo, and it’s something that will turn the porridge a vibrant shade of yellow.

    Once your porridge is ready, it can be served as is, but part of the fun of having Arroz Caldo is preparing all the toppings that go along with it. Popular toppings include hard-boiled eggs, tofu seasoned with soy sauce and vinegar, and bits of crispy fried garlic.

    Those looking for a more filling dish can add slices of deep-fried ham hock, known in the Philippines as crispy pata, to their porridge. The crackle from deep-fried pork skin is a delicious contrast to the rich, creamy porridge.

    Finally, turning this into the Chinese version of rice porridge, called congee, is also a popular option. To the hot porridge, add a raw egg and stir until the egg cooks and forms long ribbons in the porridge.

    This dish can then be topped with Chinese favorites like sweet sausage slices, 100-day eggs, stewed bamboo shoots and pork, and slivers of green onion.

    Epilogue


    Whichever rainy-day treats are your favorite, make sure to prepare a big batch and save whatever is leftover for another day. 

    After all, the best part about the rainy season isn’t slaving away in the kitchen; it’s staying in bed!

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    Two classic Filipino dishes to keep you warm during the rainy days
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    25 comments

    1. I agree with you po, sarap talaga nito sa rainy days, katapos nga lang namin mag arroz caldo. Bulalo na lang po ang ndi pa. Miss ko na din to, nilagang baboy muna habang wala pang bulalo.

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    2. Both of these two classic Filipino recipes for rainy days sound delicious. Especially the Bulalo! I love stew.

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    3. love this ang sarap po ng mga dishes na ito perfect ngayong tag ulan sure na magiging mas masarap ang pagkain mo at mabubusog ka. Ang sarap pa lalo kapag mainit init pa ang sabaw 🥰

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    4. Well, now I'm looking for another rainy day! These dishes look so delicious.

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    5. Bulalo is one of my favorite Filipino dishes! It's always so satisfying, especially on rainy or cold days. Yummy.

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    6. Very timely ang content mo dadi iv . favorite ko talaga pag maulan kung hindi matulog, kumain naman. Agree po perfect ngayong maulan ang bulalo masarap kasi ang sabaw pag sobrang lamig ng panahon and arroz caldo.

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    7. Both of these soups soound great -- except for the fish sauce. How does the bulalo taste without the fish sauce? What can you substitue (fish allergy)?

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    8. i haven't tried adding chicharon on my arroz caldo i will try this for dinner tonight.

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    9. After I see this blog, I decided to make arrozcaldo tonight for dinner hahaha looks so yummy!

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    10. Nnnniiiiccceeeee...I want to try out Arroz Caldo! I am more familiar with Bulalo! Thanks for sharing about them here!

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    11. These recipes sound so delicious — I’ll just have to try some of them soon! Thanks for the recommendations

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    12. Wow! This looks really good. Your post definitely made me crave for Arroz Caldo. I actually love it with sweet sausage slices. Will try to make one tomorrow.

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    13. Isa po ito sa favorite naming pagkain dipo talaga mawawala ang Bulalo sa tuwing tag ulan. Masarap din po kasi lalo na kung mainit init pa . Try din po namin itong Arozz caldo. Bigla tuloy ako nag cacrave dito 😍

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    14. Soup is such a comfort food. Especially true on a rainy day.

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    15. Nothing beats BULALO and the delicious bone marrow you suck from inside the bone! It is my most favorite dish, especially during rainy days. It's a super comforting meal and I like it better when it's a little bit spicy. Yum!

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    16. I love Philippine cooking! I will have to cook these for the Missus :P Thanks so much for sharing.

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    17. I never knew that there were warm dishes during rainy season. Our rainy season is over but I have to share this with my Fillipino coworker.

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    18. Yum! These dishes look amazing! I just pinned your article to make your recipes. Thank you!

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    19. Nice one, I would like to make some of that menu. It's very cold when rainy days in my country

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    20. It has been raining so much where I live lately. I am definitely going to make some of these rainy day dishes soon for sure.

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    21. I have had both dishes so many times while living in Dubai and I loved them.

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    22. Looks delicious and I didn't know about these dishes! Will keep this recipe to the rainy days as they sounds really comforting. - Knycx Journeying

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    23. My favorite is arroz caldo. There a lot of variation in cooking this warm treat. Mine is dropping plenty of fried garlic and ginger. sarap talaga kumain ng ganito pag tag-ulan. It's so easy to prepare..kain tayo!!...

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    24. I have never tried Fillipino dishes but these look so yummy especially the Bulalo. So good!

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    25. Both of them are great choices to pick to make during rainy seasons. Bulalo is definitely for me, plenty of memories in this dish and hot soup for the win.

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