One the most memorable breakfast dishes for me was Champorado. My Tita Nory would make this once in a while and I would eat it like it was going out of style.
Champorado is basically a chocolate rice porridge that is typically served at breakfast time with a salty counterpart- such as tuyo- smoked, salted dried herring (which has a distinct odor when cooked and is absolutely delicious). It can also be a anytime of day snack, and is definitely for folks that have a sweet tooth.
Like other dishes in Filipino cuisine, Champorado traces its roots to Mexico. While the Philippine Islands were colonized by Spain- most of the administrative governance came from Mexico, which was the seat of government for New Spain. When Mexico gained independence from Spain, the Philippines was governed directly from Madrid. However, the culinary influences were already strong at this point and cacao production was already underway in the Philippines, most notably from the province of Batangas.
And so, the chocolate tablets (or tablea) for this recipe came courtesy of Johnny Air Mart in the East Village. And also the cane sugar is also sourced from the Philippines. #FilipinoFarmToHawaiianFilipinoAmericanTable
I did not use the short grain rice for this, instead I used 1 cup of Jasmine rice. (Because, I’m biased and think Jasmine Rice is the best rice in the universe).
- 1 cup of Jasmine Rice (Sticky Glutinous Rice is preferred, but whatevs.)
- 3 cups of water
- 1 cup of coconut milk
- 1/2 cup of cane sugar
- 1 teaspoon of salt
- 3 Chocolate tablea, coarsely chopped
Simply put,the washed rice is going to boil in the 3 cups of water for about 10 minutes. After the rice boils for about ten minutes add the chocolate, sugar and salt and let simmer for about 5 minutes. After the slow simmer add the coconut milk. If you want your champorado thicker, allow it to simmer longer.
To thin it out, you can add evaporated milk to your taste. Or you can use whatever milk you prefer. (Except almond milk, because it’s not milk, it’s just almonds and water. #Shade)
One thing I really like about this dish is using traditional ingredients. I’ve seen the bagged, instant champorado (that I think isn’t as tasty) and I’ve seen friends make this with cocoa powder and/or chocolate chips. (And sorry friends, but that it tacky).
I vividly remember Tita Nory cooking this with tablea, and that’s just how it has to be. For me. You can do whatever makes you happy. But Tablea is so cool though…
Anyway, it’s a good way to start off 2016- for me at least. A childhood memory made in excellence to set the tone for a sweet year.