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Champorado is both a breakfast and side dish that originates from the Philippines. The dish is made of sticky rice, which is combined with cocoa to make a porridge. Filipinos typically eat the dish hot, with sugar, milk or cream poured over the top. Since fresh milk is not readily available in some parts of the Philippines, the dish may be served with evaporated or condensed milk instead.
Traditionally, champorado is made using blocks of bittersweet cocoa combined with powdered milk and sugar. The blocks are added to the rice while it is cooking, allowing the block to melt and combine with the rice. Outside of the Philippines, cooks who do not have access to the blocks might use cocoa powder or even baker’s chocolate as a substitution.
The sticky rice used to make champorado is sometimes called glutinous rice. Unlike some other types of rice, the rice is short-grained and it becomes sticky and sweet when cooked. In areas outside of the Philippines and Asia, this sticky sweet rice can be found in Asian markets or in Asian food sections at grocery stores.
Typically, champorado is served during breakfast time in the Philippines. The dish usually constitutes the majority if not the entire breakfast meal, and is served hot like oatmeal. Cooks might decide to make the dish at other times of the day, serving it either hot or cold, to be eaten as a side dish or even a dessert to be eaten at the tail end of the meal. In some cases, Filipinos eat the dish as a snack in the afternoon.
Normally a cook prepares champorado from scratch. In some parts of the world, however, instant mixes are sold in grocery stores. These mixes allow a person to make the dish in less time, since the preparation process only involves heating up water and then adding it to the appropriate amount of mix.
Side dishes of meats are often served with champorado. Salted fish is the most popular side meat to be eaten with the dish. Other meats that have been fried or smoked are also commonly eaten along with the dish, helping to balance out the sweetness of the porridge.
When preparing champorado, the cook can change the consistency of the dish by adding different amounts of water to the rice. Adding higher amounts of water causes the rice to expand and stick together more, making the porridge thicker. Mixing less water with the rice causes the rice to be drier and not adhere together as much.