Arroz Caldo and Annoying Things Americans Do [RECIPE]

Good Morning Everyone!

Let me start out this post by saying, I am an American, born and bred, lived here all of my life, etc. etc. I am a patriot at heart and love my country very much. But there are a few things that Americans do that makes me shake my head. I often research and learn about other cultures and find that Americans can learn a thing or two from our global neighbors. Here are just a couple that come to mind:

  1. Wear a mask if you’re sick! The other day when I was in Target getting the home spa supplies a woman walked by me with her shopping cart. Right there in broad daylight she all of a sudden coughed… right. on. me! This wasn’t a little “ahem”. This was a “HRUMPH!”. She didn’t lift her hand to cover her mouth. She didn’t turn her head away from me. Instead she just passed by like nothing happened at all! Meanwhile I internally freaked out and could feel the germs invading my body. Fast forward to today. I woke up this morning with congestion and a sore throat. Unlike this woman I’ll be staying home until I’ve fully recuperated. But if I did have to go out, you can best believe I’ll be wearing a face mask to ensure that no one else catches my cold. Many Asian countries provide masks for the public to wear as a health and safety measure. I don’t care if you think it looks weird or makes you feel like a ridiculous version of Spiderman. Put on a mask!
  2. Buffets. Why do we have so many buffets in America? Or if it’s not a buffet it’s an “All You Can Eat” special. … Why? Just… why? Are we cattle? Is there some national apocalypse coming that I am unaware of, so I need to stockpile my gut to prepare for disaster? Trump jokes aside, there isn’t any disaster coming that would merit us eating that much. Yes, things look a tad grim in the economy right now… but put down the ice cream pint, folks. It will be okay, I promise.
  3. Grocery stores do not need to have that many selections. I’m proudly married to a first generation immigrant and often times my husband will tell me how when he first moved to the United States he felt overwhelmed in the grocery stores. In fact, it wasn’t until he married me that he really began grocery shopping! (Before then he did the bachelor/eat out thing all the time). Well, I’ll say this: I’m an American and I still feel a bit overwhelmed in the grocery stores. Do we need 15 kinds of cheese selections? 30 kinds of soda to choose from? And an entire aisle created just for potato chips? Thank God for those grocery aisle labels on the ceiling, otherwise I’d be lost! I think we could trim things down a bit.
  4. Our public transportation sucks. Now I know what you’re probably going to say. “But Noob Chef! My city <insert name here>, has great transport!”. And you know what? If that is the case, great! Honestly I think that is fantastic. But having lived in all four corners of the U.S. I can tell you that I have run into two major issues: A. there are major gaps where public transport doesn’t even exist… so you have to own a car. Or B. it does exist but the buses and trains look run down and shady as hell. Let’s take a page from Singapore’s public transportation, shall we? They have laws that enforce cleanliness. Now that is something to be proud of!
  5. Speaking more bluntly. I’ve definitely noticed that Americans tend to be more abrupt and blunt with how they phrase things. In many Asian cultures there is a certain level of tact that people have. Likewise with many European people, there is a certain level of social etiquette that is understood. Apparently many Americans missed that memo because we have more incidents of road rage, shoppers rage, bar fights, etc. than most countries. Even in general speech, Americans are more likely to tell you what they think in a blunt manner of speech than people from other nations. While honesty is great, I tend to lean towards the side of tact and etiquette on this one.
  6. Holistic Medicine. Now Mr. Noob Chef and I disagree on this point, but I strongly feel that the body should heal itself to a certain degree. If you’re really ill, then yes… modern medicine is there for a reason. Get your vaccines to prevent major illness and protect yourself. Make sure you have a great primary care physician. That is important too. But don’t forget that nature has excellent medicine too. I’ve often looked into Chinese and Japanese herbal remedies to alleviate common cold symptoms, and this recipe today comes from the Philippines that helps fight the common cold. America has a drug for every symptom and a symptom for every drug, but let’s not forget that Mother Nature has a remedy too that takes a much more gentle approach to medicine.

Alright, now let’s jump into the recipe. Arroz Caldo is the Filipino name for chicken rice porridge. In China it is called congee. In Japan it is called okayu. There are many variations of rice porridge but all of them have the same intention: health and wellness. It is a restorative dish that promotes healing. After making it many times over the years I learned that if you blend half of the rice with an immersion blender, and then add in the other half of the cooked rice at the end, the porridge has just the right consistency. Some people swear by cooking the rice directly in the chicken broth but I prefer cooking mine in a rice cooker and then adding it in afterward. This recipe is one variation of Arroz Caldo. Enjoy this gentle recipe everyone and keep on cooking ❀ !


Filipino Arroz Caldo

Courtesy of:

Yields: 6 servings


  • 2 tablespoons olive oil
  • 1 onion, diced
  • 2 cloves garlic, crushed
  • 1 (2-inch) piece ginger, peeled and thinly sliced
  • 2.25 lbs. chicken wings, split and tops discarded
  • 1 tablespoon fish sauce
  • 6 cups chicken broth
  • 1 cup glutinous sweet rice
  • salt and pepper to taste
  • 1 green onion, chopped
  • 1 lemon sliced (optional)


  1. Heat the olive oil in a large pot over medium heat; cook and stir the onion, garlic, and ginger in the hot oil until fragrant, about 5 minutes. Add the chicken wings; cook and stir together for 1 minute. Stir the fish sauce into the pot, cover, and cook another 2 minutes.
  2. Pour the chicken broth into the pot. Add the sweet rice and stir. Bring the mixture to a boil; cover and cook for 10 minutes, stirring occasionally to assure the rice is not sticking to the bottom of the pot. Season with salt and pepper. Garnish with the green onion, and serve with lemon slices and additional fish sauce, if desired.





  1. Many of the things you describe are common in Australia too, although I’m seeing more people wear masks. They tend to be Asian though. The buffet thing. What is it with that. Quite often the quality isn’t great and people feel like they need to pile up their plates and go back for more.
    I love congee, or in the Cantonese, jook. It’s amongst my favourite things and with winter coming, I’ll be making it a few times in my slow cooker.

    Liked by 1 person

  2. I totally agree with all six of your comments. You did a great job explaining each one with a sense of humor too. I hope the Arroz Caldo helps you recuperate quickly so you can get out and enjoy the beauty of nature!!

    Liked by 1 person

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