Wednesday, January 6, 2021

Champorado (Filipino Chocolate Rice Porridge) Recipe from Mia P. Manansala

 

Bowl of champorado swirled with condensed milk and a side of crispy bacon

Hello, everyone! I’m Mia P. Manansala, the newest member of Mystery Lovers Kitchen. My debut novel, ARSENIC AND ADOBO, comes out May 4, 2021, and is a Filipino-themed culinary cozy. Because of that, my very first recipe that I’m sharing with you all is a popular Filipino breakfast: Champorado.

Champorado is a sweet rice porridge made with cocoa (or tablea, if you’re making the traditional version) and glutinous rice, topped with evaporated and/or condensed milk. I’m not usually into sweet breakfasts, but Filipinos love the sweet and salty combination, and I'm no exception. This breakfast treat is traditionally served with tuyo, or dried, salted fish. However, I didn’t grow up with that combination, so I prefer serving my champorado with a side of bacon. It has the same salty, crispy, smokiness of the fish without smelling up my kitchen so early in the morning (I actually really like tuyo, but frying the fish creates a rather pungent smell that’s not for everyone).

This was the first thing I cooked January 1st, as a simple but decadent way to bring in the new year. Hope you enjoy!

Champorado Recipe
Serves 4

Ingredients:

½ cup cocoa powder
½ cup sugar (I prefer brown, but white works just fine)
1 cup glutinous rice
4 cups of water
Evaporated milk, condensed milk, and additional sugar/sugar substitute for serving

NOTE: You can make this dish vegan by substituting coconut milk or your favorite non-dairy milk

Directions:
  1. Boil the water and add the rice. Cook for about 5 minutes, stirring often.
  2. Add the cocoa powder and lower the heat to medium-low. Cook, stirring often, until the mixture starts to thicken and the cocoa powder is fully incorporated with no lumps.
  3. Add the sugar and cook for 5-10 minutes, stirring occasionally so the rice doesn’t stick to the bottom of the pot.
  4. Turn off the heat once you’ve achieved your desired doneness and consistency--some people prefer soft rice while others prefer it more al dente. The mixture will thicken as it cools, so you can add more water if you prefer a looser porridge.
  5. Serve in bowls and let each diner top their champorado as desired with the assorted milks and sweeteners.

The cast of characters

The water and glutinous rice coming to a boil

Whisking the cocoa powder into the boiling glutinous rice

Adding in the sugar to the nicely thickening chocolate porridge

The finished product: Champorado

I absolutely LOVE condensed milk

These are tablea, blocks of ground, compressed cacao beans traditionally used for hot chocolate and champorado in the Philippines. If you can find them, I suggest using them in this recipe. However, they need to be finely chopped before being added to the rice and I don't have that kind of energy in the morning

The dish is very rich, so I recommend small servings. If this is too much for breakfast, it makes a great snack or even dessert, and can be enjoyed hot or cold. It gets very thick when cold, so make sure to add a splash of water or milk when you reheat it.

Lastly, many Filipino dishes are served in ways that allow you to customize to your palate, so it's common to see a table filled with sauces and condiments so you can season the food to your preference. For example, if you serve the champorado as is, it's rather bitter. Because people have such different sweetness preferences/sugar tolerances, the dish is meant to be topped with milks and sweeteners at the table. The fun is in finding the combination that works for you!

So Dear Readers, do you prefer sweet or savory breakfasts? I’m looking forward to sharing recipes with you all!

24 comments:

  1. Welcome to the blog, Mia! That sounds way too sweet for my own breakfast, but dessert later? Yummy.

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    1. Thanks for inviting me, Edith! The dish honestly isn't that sweet sans toppings, I just make it that way by adding ALL the condensed milk :D

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  2. Welcome, Mia! Honestly, if my sons had known about champorado when they were growing up, they would have insisted on it every morning ;) I'm saving this recipe for the next time they come home for a visit! Truthfully, except for the cacao, this isn't so different from my favorite breakfast -- oatmeal with butter and brown sugar.

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    1. Thanks, Amy! It really is very similar to oatmeal. When I make oatmeal for myself, I take the same approach by making a large amount of a plain base (I prefer steelcut oats for the texture) and then adding in whatever toppings I feel like throughout the week. It works for savory options too!

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  3. I'm all for a champorado breakfast on a winter morning (as long as I'm working it off with a long walk or hike)! I like your option of coconut milk, and the sweet-and-salty combo is always a winner. (At our house, there's no making pancakes unless a side of bacon or sausage comes with it.) Wonderful post, Mia, thank you so much for sharing and welcome to the Kitchen! ~ Cleo

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    1. Thanks for the warm welcome, Cleo! I wish I could say I started the year right by going for a nice walk after my champorado breakfast, but I really just sat on the coach and watched baking contest shows with my mom all day.

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  4. What a fantastic recipe, Mia! Welcome to Mystery Lovers Kitchen. Can't wait to read your book. Hugs. MJ

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  5. I so enjoyed learning about a new to me dish and look forward to giving it a try! Have eaten rice porridge for breakfast while travelling in Asia but not had this one. Am even more charmed that you serve yours with a side of bacon. Have a great weakness for the latter.

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    1. Yes, savory rice porridges are super popular in Asia, and I plan on sharing one in the future. Glad you enjoyed my post!

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  6. I am so excited to welcome you to the MLK family, Mia! Yay! And this dish sounds heavenly! Congrats on the new book--so looking forward to reading it!

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    1. Thanks, Leslie! Happy to be here with all you amazing cooks and writers :)

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  7. Welcome!
    When you say "glutinous rice" is that like rice for risotto?
    This does sound like a great alternative to oatmeal.


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    1. Hi Libby, glutinous rice is the same as sticky rice, which is used in many Southeast Asian dishes and desserts. Arborio has similar properties, so should be a decent substitute if you can't find glutinous/sticky rice.

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  8. AHHH NOSTALGIA! Hands down my favourite breakfast growing up. I always added so much milk! I've actually never tried making champorado as an adult but it's sounding so good right now especially being in the PNW! - Laine T

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    1. This was my first time making it myself since it used to be my dad's job, and I was surprised at how easy it was! (I also like it really milky)

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  9. Nice recipe, Mia! I like my breakfasts more savory, though, but I enjoy my desserts sweet!

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    1. Thanks, Jen! I definitely prefer savory breakfast and brunch dishes, but it's fun to switch it up now and then.

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  10. I enjoy both sweet & savory breakfasts. Just depends on what kind of mood I'm in.

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    1. I can definitely understand that. Breakfast is probably my favorite meal, so it's fun to switch it up now and then.

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  11. I would rather a savory breakfast, but I would never turn down a sweet one. I just preordered your book. It sounds like a great read! Thank you!

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    1. Haha same! Like, I won't go out of the way to order the pancakes or French toast at brunch, but if it's there...

      And thank you so, so much! I really appreciate your support.

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  12. Welcome to the blog Mia! Sorry I was distracted by the chaos in our capital yesterday and forgot to check here. Your dish sounds so delightful and we're looking forward to more recipes and stories...

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