Champorado, Filipino chocolate rice pudding
Of all the Filipino foods I know so far – maybe 0.1% of the lexicon – the one that baffles me is champorado. I love chocolate. I love rice pudding. I love salty little fish. And yet …
Essentially chocolate rice pudding, champorado is thick, warm, deeply chocolate, and often served with salty, dried fish. For breakfast. Perhaps you can understand my confusion. Or perhaps you are in my sweetheart’s camp.
He loves it, adores it, craves it. We’re too far right now for his mother to cook up a delicious batch, so I thought I’d try to stir up a bowl for his birthday.
His family had months ago given us cocoa tablets and a jar of tuyo, the tiny fish. They were sitting in the cabinet, watching the cans of tomatoes and coconut milk come and go, and patiently waiting for their day under the stove light.
My sweetheart thought I could use our everyday white long-grain rice, but none of the many recipes I checked out, including the one his mother kindly sent, mentioned ordinary rice. And this champorado would be like a birthday cake! It called for special-occasion rice: short-grain, sticky, sweet rice.
Sweet rice needs to be soaked for 20 minutes or so before you cook it. The nice part is no extra dish is required. I poured 1 cup of sweet rice in a small pot, covered it with 1 1/3 cup water, and let it sit.
Then I cranked up the heat until the water boiled. Once it was boiling, I turned it down to the lowest setting, covered the pot, and let the rice cook for another 15 minutes or so.
Meanwhile, in another small pot, I boiled 2 cups of water. Then I added 3 tablets and 1/4 cup sugar. I let it bubble and simmer and break down while the rice cooked.
Once the rice was done, I mixed in the pot of chocolate into the rice to make a rich porridge.
I let the rice pudding simmer until it cooked down a little bit. You can cook it longer, if you’d like more water to absorb.
Eat it with dried fish, if you like. Some of my favorite people do.