Porridge or congee, we Filipinos know it as lugaw–soft-boiled rice cooked in meat broth. The best variety of rice for making lugaw is the malagkit na bigas (glutinous rice). Starchy and sticky, the rice thickens the broth and makes a very filling lugaw. But there’s no reason why one can’t cook a reasonably good lugaw by using other varieties of rice.


Pour the unwashed rice in a casserole and set over medium heat.

Toast rice until slightly browned. Pour in the meat broth to rice. Stir well. Season with a little salt or patis.

Bring to a boil then lower the heat. Cover and simmer for forty-five minutes to an hour with occasional stirring. At the end of the cooking time, the grains should be well puffed and the mixture should be thick.

If you wash the rice, drain it well and place in the casserole with the broth.

While the rice cooks, prepare the topping. Mix together the vinegar, soy sauce, sugar, about 1/2 tsp. of ground black pepper, the sliced onion, crushed garlic and chili pepper. Pour the mixture over the cubed ox tongue and fried tokwa and toss well.

When cooked, fill the individual bowls with lugaw until about 2/3 full. Arrange the cubes of ox tongue, tokwa and sliced onions at the center.

Sprinkle with finely chopped onion leaves and toasted garlic.


A note about unwashed rice. Unwashed rice is best for lugaw because all the starch is retained. If you buy your rice in sealed plastic bags (or you are otherwise reasonably sure of the hygienic state of the unwashed rice), I’d recommend cooking your lugaw with unwashed rice. However, if you buy your rice by the kilo from public markets where the rice is exposed to dust, grime and all kinds of infestations, forget about the starch. A thin lugaw is preferable over a thick one that can make you sick.


  • 1 cup of rice (unwashed)
  • 6-7 cup of meat broth
  • 2 cup of cubed ox tongue
  • 2 cup of fried and cubed tokwa (tofu)
  • 1/4 cup of coconut vinegar
  • 1/4 cup of dark soy sauce
  • 1 tsp. of brown sugar
  • 1 small onion, sliced thinly
  • 1/2 head of garlic, peeled and crushed
  • 1 chili pepper, crushed
  • salt and pepper
  • toasted garlic and finely chopped onion leaves for garnish
Serves 5
60 Minutes

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