Rice porridge or locally known as lugaw is a popular recipe in Philippines. Filipino affection with lugaw is highly influenced by Chinese cuisine, In Chinese cuisine, rice porridge is known as Congee, Lugaw is also known as poor mans recipe as it is always associated with Filipinos poverty. While it is associated with poverty as some of my unfortunate countrymen just ate plain lugaw (rice and water) to fill hungry stomach. Lugaw can be also being cook with different variation.
Goto is one of the variations for Filipino rice porridge, it is associated with beef entrails known as tripe and intestine. Using innards as a main meat ingredient for rice porridge adds so much flavor but it also has a lots of cholesterol that are bad for health. So if you want to use innards as a ingredient, boil the meat at night before cooking and let it cool in the morning. Cholesterol start to solidify and can be easily be remove making our goto much healthier.
Arrozcaldo is another variation of Filipino rice porridge recipe, the procedure for cooking with arrozcaldo is just the same with goto, the only difference is just for the meat ingredient as in Arrozcaldo we usually used Chicken meat as an ingredient. In rural areas, it is commonly practiced to use native chicken as it offers tasty flavor and much healthier compare with broiler chicken.
For plain lugaw, we usually use hibi (preserved dried small shrimp) to add flavor.You could always use pig brain or just a food seasoning to add flavor.
Tokwa at baboy (Tofu with boil pork) is the usual side dish for rice porridge, it is a boiled pork meat slice thinly offer with fried tofu. It is usually served with vinegar seasoned with soy sauce, ground peppercorn, sugar, garlic and onion. Now days you could find some using pig tongue instead of pork to make side dish healthier (tongue is leaner). Aside from Tokwat Baboy, fried vegetable roll (Lumpiang prito) Tokneneng (battered hardboiled egg) can be also offer as a side dish.
I just dine in with one of the lugawan in Metro Manila (eatery that specialized with lugaw) that offers variety of side dish for lugaw, among them might be unusual. Their specialties includes, steam cows and pig brain, cows and pigs eye (boiled), and pig liver with hardboiled egg. It is so unusual for other but taste really good.
Presently, rice porridge has emerged not only as a poor mans meal. It becomes a well known food for every Filipino as there lots of variation to choose with. A simple recipe that always has been love by every Filipino and change in a course of time to accord with Filipino taste.