In Southeast Asia, “porridge” is very popular and has many different names, such as babar (Cambodia), joke (Thailand), bubur (Malaysia) or lugaw (Philippines). In this article, let’s take a look at 5 popular porridge dishes in Southeast Asia that you may not have tried yet.

Bubur ayam

Bubur ayam is the Indonesian version of chicken congee, a thick rice porridge topped with shredded chicken and various savory condiments. This breakfast staple probably originates from the Chinese rice porridge, but it employs regionally available ingredients and toppings to create an authentic Indonesian dish.

The process starts with boiling chicken (usually darker, on the bone pieces), and the same broth is typically used to cook the rice until it becomes dense in consistency. Besides rice porridge and shredded chicken, bubur ayam can employ a myriad of other ingredients.

Arroz caldo

Arroz caldo is the Filipino variety of congee, a thick rice porridge that is ubiquitous in many Asian countries. It is also one of many congee varieties found in the Philippines. Distinguished by the addition of chicken, arroz caldo is usually cooked in a ginger-infused broth and served with various accompaniments and seasonings.

Although congee is originally Chinese, this particular variety is believed to have been developed and adapted to suit the tastes of the large Spanish community that was present in the country during colonial times. This comforting rice dish is usually enjoyed as a filling breakfast or a satisfying midday meal.


Champorado is a thick Filipino rice pudding. Originally prepared with chocolate, nowadays it is usually made with cooked glutinous rice blended with sugar and cocoa powder. The origins of the dish derive from a Mexican chocolate-based drink known as champurrado, which was introduced during the colonial period.

Usually enjoyed as a hearty breakfast or a sweet afternoon snack, Filipino champorado can be served hot or cold, drizzled with condensed milk, or accompanied by salted dry fish.

Vietnamese Pork Offal Porridge (Cháo lòng)

Often described as a porridge or a congee, cháo long is a Vietnamese dish that combines pork bone broth, rice, and various pork offal such as liver, kidney, spleen, intestines, or hearts. The dish is always served warm, with sliced offal and usually pieces of quẩy—deep-fried dough—as well as scallions and chili flakes, while bean sprouts, lime, fresh vegetables and herbs, fish sauce, and ginger are usually served on the side.

Optionally, cubes of congealed blood can be added. Cháo long is a hearty, affordable dish that is enjoyed throughout the country.

Thai Congee (Chok)

Chok is the Thai version of traditional Chinese congee, a type of rice porridge. It is typically prepared with boiled jasmine rice cooked with water, chicken broth, or pork broth until the dish becomes very thick. Pork meatballs, liver slices, shredded chicken, shrimps, or fish and lightly boiled eggs are typical accompaniments to this rice dish.

Thai chok is usually flavored with fish sauce, garlic, white pepper, vinegar, and soy sauce. Warm and filling, this breakfast staple is typically served with Thai donuts on the side, sprinkled with slivered ginger, spring onions, fried garlic, and freshly chopped cilantro. 

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