Tres Leches Ube Champorado with Crispy Dried Squid is an indulgent and fun take on the traditional Filipino Champorado. Think rice porridge with ube. The creamy comforting Champorado is drizzled with three types of milk: everyday milk, the usual suspect evaporated milk, and a generous sprinkle of sweet powdered buttermilk. And one, must not miss out the unexpected crispy saltiness from the squid that makes it a perfect bite.
A vibrant and delicious bowl of ube champorado served with three types of milk and crispy curled squid.
What the heck is Champorado?
I grew up with traditional Filipino Champorado usually served on cool mornings. It is hot and steamy chocolatey delicious rice porridge. Sweet glutinous (not to be confused with gluten) rice is gently simmered in water. A few discs of tablea dropped into the pot provides Champorado’s deep brown color.
A tin of evaporated milk is poked on top, and generously poured in swirls on the bowl of champorado. The creamy spirals against the deep brown is the signature look of Champorado.
Of course, the bowl is not complete without the crisped dried herring scale-on served on the side. The scales are picked apart, but if properly crisped, can be consumed. The chewy brine texture of the dried fish balances the creamy goodness of this bowl.
If y’all think this combo sounds weird, I bet that’s what you thought when salted caramel first came out.
Tres Leches Ube Champorado
Ube is purple yam. Just to be clear, purple yam is not purple sweet potato. I used my own homemade ube halaya (or haleya, halea), a creamy ube spread in this recipe. You can go through the satisfying but laborious process of making your own. If you find the elusive seasonal root crop.
Some Asian stores will sell this in powder or grated frozen form. Sometimes the real ube lacks intensity in color because that’s the way nature is. You can add a few drops of the ube flavor to heighten the vibrancy in both color and flavor. This is, of course, optional.
Tres Leches had a nice ring to it so I had to go with three milk types: Evap milk, Sweet Powdered Milk and regular milk. No regrets. Feel free to play around with your favorite creamery. I think it’s brilliant to have this with vanilla ice cream as well.
Crispy Dried Squid
This really makes this bowl extra special but a word of warning, turn the vent on, windows open when you fry this. It is quick but can lethal. Most Asians would drool at the smell of this. BUT, if you are not used to it, this may chase you away. If you have tried fish sauce, the smell is not far from it.
Also, If you have seafood allergy, you can skip this.
Not-so Secret Ingredient
Cheese y’all. I switch between Velveeta, mild cheddar and parmesan. You add this after the ube and let it melt into the porridge. Just a small portion of this gives that certain je ne sais quoi.
May be hard to find items for
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I pulled up a list with options that may be hard to find in your regular grocery store.
Other Recipes You Might Like
If you like recipes like this, you might want to give your hand at a Filipino version of creme brûlée, the Leche Flan. Or if you want to go on the savory direction, a comforting bowl of Arroz Caldo may be what you need. In any case, you can browse through a recipe index.
Recipes are meant to be guides. My recipes will take you almost there… if not THERE.
Cook with your senses – taste, smell, look and feel.
And finally, cook often to develop your common cooking sense.
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Tres Leches Ube Champorado with Crispy Dried Squid
- 1 cup glutinous rice (or regular white rice) washed until clear water runs
- 5 cups water
- 1 cup ube jam or halaya
- 2 oz velveeta cheese, cut into cubes or shredded
- 1 tsp ube flavoring optional
- 1/4 cup sugar + more to taste
- evaporated milk
- regular milk or half and half
- Powdered Sweet Buttermilk or regualr powdered milk
- 1. Put washed rice and 2 cups of water in a heavy bottom pot or a nostick pot on medium heat. Let it come to a simmer. Stir ocassionally to keep rice from sticking to the bottom.
- 2. Thin out the ube jam in one cup of water. When rice has slightly softened (about 10 minutes). Add the thinned out ube jam. Simmer.
- Add sugar, ube flavoring and velveeta. Mix until everything is incorporated.
- Adjust texture by adding more water. Adjust sweetness by adding sugar.
- Cut dried squid in thin strips. Crisp in cooking oil, about 1 minute. It's cooked when it's curled. Remove and put in serving plate.
- Drizzle liquid milks and sprinkle powder.
- Top with crispy squid.
- OR serve squid, and milk assortments on the side for eater's preference.
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