*PLEASE FEEL FREE TO SKIP MY MUSINGS AND GO DIRECTLY TO THE RECIPE.
When I was a kid, if you had asked me what my favorite breakfast was, I would most definitely say “champorado!” I have rediscovered my favorite childhood breakfast when I got sick for a week right after the New Year. (I am good as new. And thank God, it was just a bug, not Covid!) All I wanted to eat was soup. I was making and eating soup every day for five days. On one of those soup days, I was craving something not just warm and soothing but also something sweet and creamy. Champorado meets all of above: 1) hot food in a bowl 2)comforting 3) chocolatey sweet and 4) topped with creamy sweet condensed milk.
Champorado is such a lovely sweet treat for winter when it is dark and snowy. Actually, that was just wishful thinking on my part. It does not snow where I live and we are having gorgeous spring-like weather in February here in the San Francisco Bay Area when many parts of the US are buried in snow! The mornings are still very cold in the upper 30’s or low 40’s while it could get to 60’s in the afternoon until it gets cold again in the evening. We are experiencing a “heat wave” this week when the temperature rose to low 70s. I mean, that is hardly considered a heat wave but since it is supposed to be winter for another month, even the daffodils are confused. They already poked their head out!
Champorado (not to be confused with Mexican champurrado which is a thick chocolate drink) is a chocolate porridge drizzled with sweet condensed milk. (The Philippines and Mexico share many cultural similarities in traditions, values and food names having Spain as the common denominator in our histories. Just like me and Mr Sweetie — Filipina and Mexican-Amercian.😊) Filipino champorado is traditionally eaten with salted dried fish or dried anchovies. I know that it might sound weird but think “fried chicken and waffles drizzled with maple syrup,” “pancakes and sausages,” “apple maple bacon doughnuts,” and even “sweet potatoes and marshamallow” right next to turkey during Thanksgiving!
No worries, you do not really need to eat champorado with salted fish to enjoy it. In fact, I just had champorado for breakfast this morning and I ate it without the fish. The dried anchovies were a rare and special treat because my cousin sent them to me from the Philppines when my parents came to visit. I usually do not have access to dried salted fish.
Champorado for me is like chocolate risotto — smooth and silky. Unlike risotto, it so easy to make and only takes less than half an hour to cook. Kids of all ages, no matter how young or old you are, you will find this meal comforting and delicious. Even though champorado is traditionally eaten for breakfast, you can have it as an afternoon snack as well. Some people like to eat it cold but I prefer it hot with lots and lots of sweetened condensed milk. Eat it anytime you want a cozy chocolate hug in a bowl.
CHAMPORADO (CHOCOLATE SWEET RICE PORRIDGE)
- 1 cup glutinous rice (also known as sweet rice or sticky rice)
- 4 cups water
- 1/2 cup sweetened or unsweetened cocoa powder
- sugar to taste *Please see note below
- 1/4 teaspoon salt (optional)
- condensed milk for topping
HOW TO MAKE
- Rinse the sweet rice with water once or twice. Discard the water leaving only the rice. You can use a colander or just your hands to do this.
- Add salt (optional) and 3 1/2 cups of water in a pot and bring it to a boil on medium-high heat.
- Add glutinous rice and let it cook for about 5 minutes, stirring occasionally.
- Turn the heat down to medium low and let simmer for 15-20 minutes or until rice becomes tender and thick. It is important to stir occasionally to prevent rice from sticking to the bottom of the pot.
- Dissolve cocoa powder in 1/2 cup water until there are no more lumps present.
- Add the cocoa powder mixture into the rice.If using unsweetened cocoa, add sugar according to how sweet you want your porridge to be.
- Cook for 5 – 10 more minutes until the chocolate is fully incorporated.
- Ladle in a bowl.
- Top with lots of sweetened condensed milk. (Go for it!)
- Totally optional — enjoy it with tuyo (salted dried fish) or dilis (dried anchovies)
- This is not a sponsored post. All of my posts are free of commercial sponsorship.
- It is important to use sweet rice (aka glutinous rice or sticky rice). Other types of rice will not work.
- When my mom discovered Abuelita Mexican Hot Chocolate Tablets by Nestle, this is what she uses now when making champorado. My aunties in the Philippines started making champorado using this brand as well. My mom and aunts would ask me to send them Abuelita for their champorado. To use Abuelita instead of cocoa powder, I just drop a tablet in the porridge after the rice has thickened (step #5).
- Traditionally, tablea or Spanish chocolate tablets are used to make champorado. You can pretty much use any type of chocolates whether milk chocolate powder or dark chocolate. One of my aunts would even use chocolate truffles that we sent her. Totally gourmet and decadent!
- The thing to watch for is the sweetness of the chocolate. If it is already sweet, do not add sugar. The condensed milk will add an extra layer of sweetness to the porridge.
- I also never have to dissolve my cocoa powder first in water before adding them to the porridge. I just add the chocolate directly to the pot after the rice has become soft and thick. However, you might need to dissolve the cocoa depending on what you use like Hershey’s cocoa powder.
- Use your leftover condensed milk as creamer for coffee (like Vietnamese coffee)!
Did you make CHAMPORADO? Please let me know by leaving a comment below. Enjoy!