Best lugaw toppings: how to make it tastier & a full meal

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Lugaw is a traditional Filipino rice gruel made of glutinous rice or white rice. It is also known as porridge or congee in various parts of the world.

In the Philippines, the lugaw is often made with savory spices like salt and ginger, while others may look to cook a sweet lugaw with sugar to make a dessert lugaw.

Despite being a heartwarming meal that’s good enough to be eaten plain, many people may opt to add toppings into their lugaw for a heartier meal.

Best Lugaw toppings

As lugaw is often soft and eaten warm, it’s a common meal to be fed to toddlers, the elderly, or anyone who’s ill. Lugaw is also a favorite on cold days and is comparable to a bowl of soup to the Filipinos.

In this article, we’ll discuss some of the best lugaw toppings from the Philippines that can be found in most Asian grocery stores or even from your kitchen.

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Best lugaw toppings from around the world

While lugaw can be eaten as is, adding toppings will often elevate the taste of this comfort food. Here are some of the best lugaw toppings you can add to make your yellow lugaw tastier.


Rousong or meat floss is a common lugaw topping in the Philippines and amongst the Chinese community. Rousong is often made either of chicken or pork.

The light and airy consistency in rousong will gently lift the taste of savory lugaw bowls, making it a crowd favorite regardless of your age.

There are also crispy varieties of rousong that add a texture to your soft lugaw, and they can be found in most Asian grocery stores.

Fried garlic or scallions

Fried garlic or scallions are also popular additions to the traditional lugaw. This is a great topping if you’re not keen to add meat to your lugaw, making it ideal for vegetarians or vegans.

Some Filipinos may also add a dash of soy sauce to make their lugaw less bland when eating it with fried garlic or scallions.

Also read: what exactly is the difference between Lugaw and Arroz Caldo? This are the main ones

Eggs – halved

Halved eggs often make their way into bowls of heartwarming lugaw. It’s a great addition as the vibrant colors often pop behind the warm whites of the lugaw and add protein to the porridge.

In some Asian countries, salted eggs (this is how you make them) are used to replace regular eggs in lugaw, and this is also a favorite as you don’t have to salt your meal further.

A slice of lemon

Although this may sound weird, a slice of lemon is often added to lugaw along with fried garlic and scallions. This gives the lugaw a mild acidic twist, making the meal more appetizing to anyone who is sick.

Some fish sauce may also be added to give the lugaw a heartier flavor, but this varies according to different family recipes.


Meat is also a common topping to lugaw and can vary from chicken, pork, fish, or beef. This is usually eaten by anyone who takes lugaw as a comforting meal as opposed to eating it while they’re ill.

Lugaw with meat toppings are typically not fed to babies either. Scallions or fried garlic is also often added with the meat for a good balance of flavors.

Hard or fried tofu

Finally, hard or fried tofu also makes for a great lugaw topping. This is especially popular with vegans and vegetarians as tofu is made of soybeans.

It’s a great source of protein to add to your lugaw, and the texture is soft enough for many elderly or patients recovering from an illness.

Do note that a little soy sauce is sometimes added as tofu generally has no flavor.

Also check out this amazing lugaw recipe here

Check out our new cookbook

Bitemybun's family recipes with complete meal planner and recipe guide.

Try it out for free with Kindle Unlimited:

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Joost Nusselder, the founder of Bite My Bun is a content marketer, dad and loves trying out new food with Japanese food at the heart of his passion, and together with his team he's been creating in-depth blog articles since 2016 to help loyal readers with recipes and cooking tips.