Comfort food in a bowl for the rainy season
It’s the time of the year when we enjoy the cozy day, and stay inside the house or on the patio looking outside, while wrapping our freezing body with a blanket to keep us warm from the cold weather. But of course, with our culture of comfort food, we always incorporate the rainy season throughout the years, especially when served in a bowl.
A Filipino food usually eaten during breakfast, champorado (or tsampurado) is a sweet chocolate rice porridge. It is made traditionally by boiling sticky rice with powdered cocoa or tablea. A gracious amount of milk and sugar are added to give it a much sweeter taste, making it under “desert” on some restaurant menus.
Dried fish (buwad or tuyo) is sometimes added on top of the cooked champorado thus adding a distinctive salty taste.
During the galleon trade between Mexico and the Philippines, there were Mexicans who stayed in the country and passed on their knowledge on how to make champorado. Because of that, as an exchange, the Filipinos during that time introduced to them palm wine (or tubâ).
In Cebu, we call it Pochero. But in other parts of the country, it’s Bulalo. This comfort food has its roots from Spain and is served in many countries like Mexico, Uruguay, Colombia, Spain and the Philippines.
It is a type of dish composed of beef chunks stewed with plantains (saba; bananas), potatoes, corn, and sometimes white yam (bisol) and taro (gabi) making our version starchy.
Cabbage and other green leafy vegetables are also added; a pinch of calamondin (calamansi or lemonsito) to give it a tangy taste and some chili pepper cultivar (siling labuyo; Tagalog or siling kolikot; Bisaya) for a kick of spice.
A restaurant in Cebu City, Abuhan, is well-known for its pochero.
Chicken Sopas or Chicken Macaroni Soup is a delicious creamy soup that is usually served for merienda. On rainy days, it can be the king (or queen) of comfort food for both the young and old (but young at heart).
It is made up of chicken strips, vegetables and some spices like pepper and salt for an amazing and absolutely tasty soup base. Elbow macaroni is commonly used. However, noodles and other pasta are also good varieties for this heart-warming dish.
Ready-to-cook macaroni soup is also available in a pouch which can be instantly cooked with boiling water. The macaroni can also take into animals and alphabets shapes which are fun to eat particularly for the kids.
This is one of the many culturally diverse comfort food there is. From Japanese to Korean, or even the grocery easy-grab, ready-to-cook instant noodles, Ramen is the one of best.
It can be served with egg, vegetable bits, and meat. This can be mild, to spicy, to super spicy (very particular to Korean’s Shin Ramyun) and Jjamppong, a spicy seafood noodle soup.
A home-made soup can also be made with Chinese egg noodles which are cooked slowly to perfection.
Whatever you call it: congee, arroz caldo, rice porridge, pospas, you name it. This is another rice soup with the chicken, but minus the chocolate, sugar and milk from champorado.
It is best served with hard-boiled egg, spring onions and crushed chicharon. A drizzle of fish sauce or soy sauce for salty taste, and pepper for a little spice. A small amount of squeezed lemonsito is also good for lugaw.
Sometimes, dried tofu (tokwa) cubes are placed on top for some spongy texture. Don’t forget the toasted garlic bits! Perfect!
Are you feeling dreamy now? Go home and get ready your most enjoyable rainy days with your most favorite comfort food in a bowl.
ALSO READ: 5 Things to do on rainy days
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