Archive for SOUPS & STEWS

Arroz Caldo

Arroz Caldo is a classic Filipino dish that made its way into Chamorro kitchens. This is my version of this delicious comfort food. It’s very quick and easy to put together. In fact, the longest part of making this dish is waiting for the rice to cook. 🙂

Give my recipe a try. I think you’ll like it. 🙂

Arroz Caldo


  • 2 tablespoons vegetable oil
  • 2 tablespoons minced garlic
  • 1 medium onion, diced
  • 8 chicken tenders, cut into small pieces
  • 1 tablespoon fish sauce
  • 1/2 teaspoon achote powder
  • 1/2 teaspoon ground ginger
  • 4 tablespoons powdered chicken bouillon (or 4 bouillon cubes)
  • 1/2 teaspoon black pepper
  • 8 cups water
  • 2 cups uncooked rice
  • 1 can coconut milk
  • 3 hard-boiled eggs, sliced
  • 4 green onions, thinly sliced
  • Hot pepper flakes

The only ingredient not shown above is the fish sauce. I like to use the brand that has three green crabs on the label; it’s not as pungent as most other brands of fish sauce. This is what the bottle looks like. You can find it at most Asian supermarkets.


Place the oil in a large soup pot over medium heat. Once the oil is hot, add the garlic. Stir it around in the hot oil and fry until browned slightly. Place about 3/4 of the fried garlic in a small bowl and set aside.

Add the diced onions to the pot. Cook for a couple of minutes.

Add the chicken pieces to the pot. Stir to combine with the onions.

Add the fish sauce, achote powder, ginger, chicken bouillon, and black pepper to the pot.

Stir to combine the ingredients. Cook for a couple of minutes, just long enough for the chicken to be cooked through and is no longer pink.

Pour the water into the pot. Turn the heat up to medium high.

Add the rice, stir, then cover the pot.

The easy part is done. Now for the hard part — waiting for the rice to cook. You want to cook the Arroz Caldo for about 45 minutes–this is so the rice can begin to break down and really thicken the soup.

In the meantime, you can be boiling the eggs if you haven’t already done so.

This is what the rice looks like after only 10 minutes of cooking. Give the mixture a stir, put the cover back on, and wait patiently. Trust me, it’s worth the wait. 🙂

This is what the rice and broth looks like after 20 minutes. The rice is done at this point, but you want to cook it longer so that the soup gets nice and thick. Notice that the broth is starting to thicken up a bit.  Give the soup a stir, then place the cover back on the pot. Turn the heat down to medium.

After 30 minutes, we’re almost there, but we still need to cook the soup for about 10-15 more minutes.

After 10-15 more minutes, the rice is cooked just how it should be and the soup is nice and thick — now it’s time to finish up the soup. Turn the heat down to low. Add the coconut milk to the pot.

Stir to mix the coconut milk into the soup. Cook only long enough to heat up the coconut milk — do not boil the soup. Remove from the heat.

It’s time to dish up some goodness! Pour some soup into a bowl. Garnish with green onions, fried garlic, and a couple of slices of hard-boiled eggs. If you’d like, add a lime wedge as well.



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Corn Soup

Chicken corn soup is a classic dish on Guam.  It’s made many different ways, from cutting corn kernels off fresh ears of corn to using canned or frozen corn.

As with most recipes nowadays, you can find fresh ingredients right in the freezer section of your grocery store–ingredients frozen right at the peak of ripeness so that we can enjoy them year round.

My version of chicken corn soup is relatively quick and easy to make.  On a side note, I have an even simpler version of corn soup that I’ll share soon.  In fact, it’s so super-simple that I call it “Cheater Corn Soup”.  Come back soon for that one. 😉

Cook a pot of my chicken corn soup.  It’s perfect when you’re craving comfort food, or if you want something to warm up your insides on a cold, blustery day.

Give my recipe a try.  I think you’ll like it. 🙂

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Short Ribs Soup (Kådun Kåtne)

It’s cold and rainy right now in the Colorado Rockies…perfect weather for Short Ribs Soup.  We call this Kådun Kåtne in Chamorro.  You can substitute short ribs with your favorite cut of beef–other favorites are oxtails (don’t knock it ’till you try it) and beef shanks.

You can even change this up further by adding your favorite vegetables–potatoes, taro, other types of squash, and baby bok choy are delicious in this recipe too!

Give my recipe a try.  I think you’ll like it.  🙂





  • 3 packages (9 pieces) thick cut short ribs (rinse each piece well)
  • 1 large onion, diced
  • 2 tablespoons minced garlic
  • 8-10 cups water
  • 6 tablespoons Dashida beef flavored seasoning
  • Black pepper, to taste
  • 1 small head cabbage, cut into small pieces
  • 4 small yellow squash, peeled and cubed


1.  Place half of the diced onions in a large soup pot.  Add the short ribs and garlic.  Brown the ribs on all sides over medium high heat.

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2.  After the ribs are browned on all sides, add 8 cups of the water, the remaining onions and Dashida.  Place a lid on the pot and bring to a boil.  Every now and then, skim off and discard any scum that rises to the surface.


3.  Cook the ribs for 45 minutes to an hour over medium high heat.  Keep the lid covered while cooking; uncover only to skim off any scum on the surface then replace the lid.  If you need to, add the remaining water (keep the ribs submerged in liquid during cooking).  After an hour, the ribs should be tender.  If the ribs are not as tender as you’d like, cook for 15-20 more minutes.

This is what the scum looks like — you want to scoop this out and discard it.


4.  When the ribs are done (and as tender as you’d like them), add the vegetables.  First, layer the cabbage on top of the ribs.  Press down on the cabbage, just slightly so that the leaves are moistened with the broth.  Layer the squash on top of the cabbage leaves, also pressing them into the broth (do not stir the vegetables into the soup–they will cook ON TOP of the ribs).  Cook for 5 minutes then turn off the heat.

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Before serving, I usually scoop out a good amount of kådu (soup broth) into a freezer-safe bowl, then place the bowl in the freezer for several minutes.  All of the fat will rise to the surface and harden.  After the fat solidifies, I scoop it out and discard it, then reheat the kådu.

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5.  After the kådu is reheated, remove the pot from the heat.  Taste the broth; re-season if necessary with Dashida and pepper.  Serve with hot white rice and fina’denne’.  Enjoy!


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Chicken ala King

Chicken ala King is a classic comfort dish.

Growing up, chicken ala king was usually served at rosaries, after the prayers were completed, of course.  It was chicken ala king, beef vegetable soup with glass noodles or long rice, rosketti, and custard pie that I remember being served most often after rosaries.

Now you don’t have to wait for those somber occasions to enjoy this comfort meal.  My recipe and step-by-step photos show how easy it is to prepare yourself.

My daughter calls it chicken pot pie without the crust.  I wouldn’t say it’s quite like chicken pot pie, however.  I think it’s BETTER than chicken pot pie.  Who agrees with me?  Give my recipe a try and I think you’ll agree too.  🙂







    • 2 chicken breasts
    • 5 tablespoons butter
    • 1 medium onion, diced
    • 2 tablespoons minced garlic
    • 3 to 4 tablespoons powdered chicken bouillon, more or less to taste
    • 2 cups flour
    • 3 cups water
    • 2 cups heavy cream
    • 1 12-ounce can evaporated milk
    • 2 16-ounce bags frozen corn
    • 2 12-ounce bags frozen peas and carrots
    • 4 hard boiled eggs, chopped

This is what heavy cream looks like. You can find it in the dairy section of your grocery store.



1.  Cut the chicken breasts into very small pieces then place into a large soup pot.

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2.  Add the butter, garlic and chopped onions to the pot.  Cook over medium high heat until the chicken is done.  Add in the powdered chicken bouillon.  Stir to combine.

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This is the powdered chicken bouillon I use.  You can find it in most grocery stores.


3.  Reduce the heat to medium.  Add the flour all at once; stir.

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4.  Pour in the water, stirring vigorously to prevent lumps from forming — the mixture should be very thick at this point.  Mix in the heavy cream and evaporated milk.  Keep stirring until there are no more lumps.

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5.  Stir in the frozen corn, peas and carrots.  Bring the mixture back to a boil, stirring occasionally.  Cook over medium high heat until the mixture has thickened once again.

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6.  After the mixture has thickened, stir in the chopped eggs.  Pour the filling into the pastry shells and enjoy!

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  • 2 large eggs
  • 1 cup milk
  • 1 cup water
  • 1 1/2 cups flour
  • 1/2 cup corn starch
  • 1 tablespoon sugar
  • 1 teaspoon salt
  • 1 teaspoon garlic powder


1.  In a shallow bowl, beat the two eggs.  Mix in the milk and water.

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2.  Mix in the flour, corn starch, sugar, salt and garlic powder.

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3.  Whisk until there are no more lumps.  The batter should be the consistency of pancake batter.


4.  Place the molds in the oil while the oil is heating up.


5.  When the oil and molds are hot, lift the molds out of the oil.  Let as much of the oil drip off as possible (if you still have oil on the molds, the batter won’t stick to it).  Dip the molds into the batter, but careful not to submerge the molds.  Dip the molds only to just below the rim (if the batter goes over the rim, it won’t release into the hot oil).


6.  Lift the molds up out of the batter.  Allow any excess batter to drip off.


7.  Place the batter-covered molds into the hot oil.


8.  Keep the molds submerged in the oil for about a minute or so — the shells/cups should drop right off the molds all by themselves.  If they don’t drop off by themselves, use a chopstick or fork to nudge the shell/cup off the mold.



9.  Lift the molds out of the oil.  Fry the shells/cups until golden brown.  Remove from the oil and place in a metal colander to drip off any excess oil.

NOTE:  The molds must be hot before dipping them in batter.  If the molds have cooled off (while you’re waiting for a batch of cups to fry), dip them back in the hot oil to reheat then repeat the process again.


10.  Let the shells/cups cool then fill with Chicken ala King and enjoy!




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Kimchi Soup

My name is Annie and I love kimchi.

There…I’ve admitted it, although it really wasn’t such a secret.  🙂  I’ve eaten kimchi since I was a little girl.  I do remember having to rinse it in a cup of water because I couldn’t stand how spicy it was, but I grew to love the spiciness of the fermented cabbage.

Kimchi is an acquired taste for sure, but it’s a staple in Korean homes, and lots of Chamorro homes too as a matter of fact.

Now on to kimchi soup.  I was first introduced to this soup when I was assigned to Korea about 17 years ago.  A group of us went to dinner with our Korean partnership officers and the senior officer placed a bowl of the steaming soup in front of me and insisted I eat.  “Eat, eat!” he told me, and he even placed a soup spoon with rice in it in front of me.  “Eat!  Eat!”  Of course, I didn’t want to offend him, so I ate….and ate….and ate….and ate.  It was so delicious, with pieces of pork, tofu, and lots of tasty kimchi!

Thankfully I have a Korean sister-in-law who is an excellent cook.  She, along with the Korean ajumma (or ajima) who watched my kids (during my second tour to Korea), taught me how to make the Korean dishes I’ll be sharing with you.

This is my version of Kimchi Jigae (or Chigae), one of my favorite Korean soups.

Kimchi Jigae (Kimchi Soup)


  • 1/2 pound pork belly
  • 1/2 pound lean pork (umm…lean pork cancels out the pork belly in my book)  😉
  • 6 cloves garlic, minced
  • 1 large onion, cut into large pieces
  • 4 cups of kimchi, cut into small pieces (save the kimchi juice!)
  • 6 stalks green onions, cut into 2-inch long pieces
  • 6 cups water
  • 1 cup kimchi juice
  • 1/4 cup Dashida beef flavored seasoning
  • 2 tablespoons Gochujang (Korean pepper paste)
  • 1 tablespoon sugar
  • Optional:  1 package firm tofu, drained and cut into small pieces

Cut the onions into large pieces


Cut the kimchi into small pieces

Save that kimchi juice!



1.  In a large soup pot over medium heat, sauté the pork belly, lean pork and garlic for a couple of minutes, or long enough for the pork fat to start to melt a little bit.

2.  Add onions to the pot, along with the kimchi, green onions, Dashida, gochujang, and sugar.  Stir to combine.


3.  Pour in the water and kimchi juice.  Stir then cover the pot and bring to a boil.  Once the soup is boiling, reduce the heat and simmer for about 20 minutes to soften the kimchi.  Add the tofu at this point; cook for another 5 minutes.



4.  Serve piping hot with a bowl of rice on the side.  Enjoy!


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