Champorado or Filipino chocolate rice porridge is a traditional Filipino breakfast. Made with sticky rice and pure cacao tablets, it’s rich, creamy and very chocolatey; just the kind of boost we need in the morning.
I grew up eating champorado (pronounced exactly as it’s spelled: champ-o-ra-do).
Don’t confuse champorado with champurrado though, which is a warm and thick Mexican chocolate-based drink with corn flour.
Filipino champorado in English loosely translates to Filipino chocolate rice porridge, Filipino chocolate rice pudding, sweet rice porridge, cocoa rice recipe or simply, and quite literally, chocolate rice.
It’s traditionally eaten for breakfast, though I also eat it for mid-morning snack, afternoon snack, dinner and even dessert (clearly, I eat like a hobbit lol).
There are a lot of variations to the champorado recipe, like:
- Milo champorado, where Milo is used to make it chocolatey
- Oatmeal champorado, where oatmeal is added to the rice
- And champorado cooked in gata, or coconut milk
My favourite champorado recipe is still the kind my grandmother makes — sticky or glutinous rice and tablea (the same cacao tablets used for tsokolate or Filipino hot chocolate — check out the recipe to see how to make chocolate drink from tablea).
This champorado recipe is rich, very chocolatey, Filipino comfort food at its best. Perfect for these chilly winter mornings. But really, it’s a great start to the day, any season.
Why you’ll love this Filipino champorado recipe
This is a simple, straightforward sweet breakfast recipe. And you’ll love making it all the time because:
- It’s very filling. A small bowl will tide you over until lunch.
- It’s customizable. It’s traditionally eaten with tuyo or dried fish but you can also top it with chocolate chips or even crispy bacon. You can also control the amount of sweetness in your champorado for the perfect bowl of sweet rice porridge every time.
- Quick to make. It’s ready in less than 30 minutes.
- Warm and comforting. It’s hard to beat a warm bowl of champorado on a cold winter day or a chilly rainy morning.
- Chocolate for breakfast. That’s honestly all the reason I need!
How to make champorado
Champorado is so easy to make and doesn’t take much time at all to prepare in the morning.
To cook champorado, you’ll need:
- Unsweetened tablea
- Glutinous or sticky rice
- Brown sugar
- Milk for drizzling
- Optional toppings
You’ll need a medium saucepan and if you’re up to it, a batidor or wooden whisk to break down the tablea.
If you don’t have one, no worries. You can simply chop the tablea to make it easier to dissolve.
1 DISSOLVE TABLEA. In a medium saucepan, boil water. Add roughly chopped tablea and stir until dissolved.
2 COOK RICE. Add glutinous or sticky rice and brown sugar and stir. Bring down to a simmer and cook until the rice is cooked through and the mixture reaches the consistency of porridge (15-20 minutes). Stir occasionally.
3 ENJOY! Best eaten warm.
While researching the origins of champorado, I came across an article from the Philippine Daily Inquirer which says national hero Jose Rizal accidentally invented the dish by spilling some of his tsokolate into his bowl of rice and tuyo.
I thought champorado and champurrado would have some kind of connection (it probably does) but there you go. Jose Rizal did it. How interesting!
Ideally you should use sticky or glutinous rice to get thick, creamy champorado. If they’re not in the rice or grains aisle at your supermarket, you can find them in an Asian supermarket.
If you can only find regular bigas or rice in tagalog, opt for white rice. Just watch that it doesn’t break apart or get too mushy the longer you cook it.
Some recipes say to pre-cook glutinous rice before using it to make this sweet rice porridge. Some even say to soak it in water overnight. I don’t do this and still able to make creamy, thick, delicious champorado every time.
Tablea are pure cacao balls or disks popular in the Philippines. They are typically dissolved in boiling water or hot milk by beating them with a batidor or wooden whisk.
I don’t own a batidor so what I do is roughly chop the tablea before mixing them in water or milk. This helps dissolve them faster and results to a smoother mixture.
Tablea are available sweetened or unsweetened. When making tsokolate, I use sweetened tablea. For champorado, I use unsweetened.
But if you can only find sweetened tablea no worries. You can still make champorado, just adjust (or altogether omit) the sugar in the recipe.
If you can’t find tablea, you can still make champorado using Milo or cocoa powder. Simply substitute Milo powder for tablea. Remember that Milo contains sugar so adjust to taste.
Then just proceed to cook the rice as per the recipe.
For an even richer, thicker, creamier bowl of chocolate rice, swap some of the water used to boil the rice with coconut milk and evaporated milk. You can decide how much of each to substitute.
My only suggestion would be not to replace all of the water in the recipe.
Champorado is usually eaten for breakfast. Milk (evaporated milk or condensed milk) is drizzled on top for added sweetness, and tuyo or dried fish is served on the side for that salty balance.
Tuyo isn’t always available here so we usually eat it with crispy bacon and the combination is delicious.
To make the dish extra special, you can also top it with chocolate chips, chopped nuts and even coconut.
Other breakfast ideas
There you have it. Chocolate plus rice equals sweet chocolate rice porridge. If there ever was an excuse to eat chocolate for breakfast, this is it!
Though whether you eat champorado for breakfast or snack or dessert, it’s delicious. Hope you try it.
Here are other breakfast ideas for you to explore:
- This easy huevos rancheros recipe with crispy chorizo and chipotle sour cream is so good you’ll want to have it everyday!
- Or try this strawberry cream cheese stuffed French toast with a glorious strawberry cheesecake filling then drenched in luxurious custard before frying.
- One of my favourite ways to eat eggs is Greek scrambled eggs with tomatoes or Strapatsada. It’s packed with the wonderful flavours of tomatoes, sweet onions and salty feta cheese.
- Treat yourself to a lovely savoury weekend breakfast and brunch treat with jalapeño cheddar waffles. Top them with fried egg and start the day right!
Champorado Recipe (Filipino Chocolate Rice Porridge)
- In a medium saucepan, boil 5 cups of water. Add 5 pcs roughly chopped tablea and stir until dissolved.
- Add 1 cup glutinous or sticky rice and ½ cup brown sugar and stir. Bring down to a simmer and cook until the rice is cooked through and until the mixture reaches the consistency of porridge (15-20 minutes, see notes). Stir occasionally.
- Serve warm, topped with milk (optional).
Nutritional information are estimates only.
Did you make Filipino chocolate rice pudding? I’d love to hear from you in the comments section below.