Champorado is one of the greatest hits of Filipino comfort food. It’s as simple as it gets: malagkit rice, boiled in tablea or cocoa powder and topped with evaporated milk to loosen it up. Some finish it with candied dilis or fried tuyo for a savory, crunchy element. Others add sugar to make it sweeter. For what it is, it’s near-perfect. They say you shouldn’t mess with a good thing, but if you’re willing to experiment, you might find something you like even better.
These five unique champorado recipes reimagine the rainy-day favorite with different mix-ins, toppings, and flavor combinations. They’re not traditional, but they’re sure to delight you all the same. Give them a try and see how they match up against the classic version.
5 Unique Ways to Enjoy Filipino Champorado
If you know how to cook champorado from scratch, these ideas will be a breeze to execute. They start with tender, chewy sticky rice, so make sure to cook it excellently. Tip: stir it constantly to prevent clumping and add more water if the mixture looks too thick.
1. White chocolate with fruits and nuts
Since white chocolate primarily consists of sugar, milk, and cocoa butter, it’s sweeter and fattier than its darker counterparts. If you love eating condensed milk by the spoonful, you’ll love this version of the classic rice pudding. It has a nostalgic, almost-too-sweet quality reminiscent of Rice Krispies Treats and other milky childhood snacks.
Cook your malagkit rice in a pot of milk with sugar, vanilla, and a pinch of salt. Once the rice is tender, take it off the heat and stir in chopped white chocolate until melted. Top each bowl with fruits – go for tart options like strawberries, raspberries, and dried cranberries to contrast against the sweetness. Add toasted cashews and macadamia nuts for extra crunch.
2. Salted caramel banoffee
Banoffee pie is a British dessert with bananas, whipped cream, and caramel sauce on a butter-based crust. Now, imagine adding a layer of sticky rice for extra texture. You get gooey, pillowy, crumbly, and chewy in every bite. How’s that for a party in your mouth?
While your rice cooks in milk, prepare the other components. Make homemade salted caramel with sugar, butter, salt, and lots of patience – or go for store-bought to save time. Crumble butter cookies or graham crackers for the “crust.” Slice the bananas into discs. When your rice is ready, assemble your bowl. Sprinkle the crust on top until it covers the surface. Finish with bananas, whipped cream, and a drizzle of salted caramel.
3. Ube champorado with cheesy pandesal
This version takes inspiration from actress Judy Ann Santos' food business, Angrydobo. In 2021, Juday made headlines for her ube champorado recipe: malagkit rice mixed with real ube halaya, topped with burnt pastillas. She’s not the first to think of adding ube to this merienda favorite, but she certainly helped to make it a crave-worthy trend.
If sweet-on-sweet isn’t your style, you can skip the pastillas topping in favor of salty cheese cubes. Alternatively, enjoy your bowl with cheese-filled toasted pandesal – another merienda staple. Spread Lady’s Choice Real Mayonnaise on your pandesal and toast them mayo-side up to make your bread even crispier. Add quick-melting cheese while it’s still hot.
4. Double chocolate with potato chips
If you don’t want to venture too far from the classic flavors, stick to a rich tablea base. Make it more exciting with a few twists and add-ons. Got a brownie recipe you love? Bake a fresh batch and chop some squares into bite-sized pieces. Mix them into the rice for an ooey-gooey, uber-chocolaty champorado.
Top your bowl with lightly crushed potato chips instead of traditional tuyo for a salty crunch that feels more playful. You can also leave the chips whole and use them as makeshift spoons for the rice. If you’re going this route, make sure your base is thick and easy to scoop.
5. Strawberry cheesecake
Strawberry cheesecake is more than just a dish – it’s an actual flavor now. It’s available as cookies, brownies, and ice cream, among other popular desserts. So, it was only a matter of time before Pinoys figured out how to make champorado inspired by strawberry cheesecake.
Ever the innovator, Juday first launched her version through Angrydobo, also in 2021. Her concept was a yin-yang bowl: one side is for the strawberries, and the other for the cheesecake. You can jump between flavors and never have a dull moment while eating.
While her exact recipe is a trade secret, a bit of guesswork can bring you similar results. Cook your malagkit rice in milk and sugar, then split them into two pots. Add strawberry puree in one and softened cream cheese in the other. Ladle them into a big bowl, one side at a time. Complete the vision with a crumbled graham cracker crust and sliced fresh strawberries.
Give your favorite champorado a modern twist with these unique flavors and combinations. They prove that, with creativity and imagination, you can take something as simple as rice porridge and make it a whole new experience.