Easy Champorado from Scratch

I never really was a champorado person, or at least not that I can remember (should ask my mom). But The Hubby likes it, so we occasionally buy boxed champorado mixes. For the uninitiated, champorado is a chocolate-flavored rice porridge that you eat with milk and sugar, or even better, condensed milk. Some people like to add bits of salty dried fish to it too (although when my grandmother dumped dilis in my bowl without asking me, I was horrified). I'm not sure about other countries, but champorado is a popular breakfast staple here in the Philippines.

Champorado is usually served steaming hot, so it's perfect for the cold weather of Baguio. One morning we ran out of bread, and we didn't have any boxed mixes, so I decided to try to make it from scratch. The Hubby had conveniently bought a couple of kilos of malagkit, or glutinous rice (it was supposed to be for biko, another local delicacy), and my mom and aunt gave us lots of tsokolate tablea (chocolate tablets), which are basically chocolatey discs of goodness. They're made from roasted cacao, ground into a paste, and formed into tablets or balls. You usually use them to make hot chocolate drinks, you can bake with them, or as in the HP household, you can use them to make champorado.

Champorado--perfect for a rainy day

It took a little tweaking and a lot of watching (because I'm rice-cooker-spoiled--I've never cooked rice on the stove top), but that first pot of champorado turned out to be a hit. Breeze declared, "This is better than boxed!" Side story. We went to the grocery, and Breeze spotted something in a fellow shopper's cart. She whispered to me, aghast, "Mom! They have boxed champorado!" Anyway.

Over the months, we've discovered that the quality of the tablea will affect the quality of your champorado. We've had really scrumptious tablea, and we've had just decent ones. Sometimes a few tablets was all I needed, other times, I had to add the entire roll. I wanted a more consistent recipe. Also, we finally ran out of tablea. 

I decided to try making it with plain cocoa powder because it's easier to find, and the quality is more consistent. After a few breakfasts, I finally have my recipe, which I'm happy to share. Start your day right with this breakfast of champions!

What you need:

  • 1 C malagkit or glutinous rice
  • 5 C water
  • 1/4 C unsweetened cocoa powder
  • pinch of salt

What to do: 

  1. Pour rice and water into a heavy-bottomed pot, and bring to a low boil, stirring occasionally. You don't want the rice to stick to the bottom of the pot. Ask me how I know.
  2. Simmer until the rice is tender and the water nearly gone. Yes, you can get a grain or two on a spoon to check for doneness. Don't forget to stir! It usually takes me 20 to get to the my point of doneness. Some people like their rice a little mushier, some like it with a bit more bite.
  3. While cooking the rice, make a paste with the cocoa powder. In a bowl, add hot water to the cocoa powder, a tablespoon at a time until you have a pastey texture. You could skip this step, but you'd likely end up with clumps of undissolved powder in your champorado. 
  4. Sprinkle a pinch of salt (or two or three--I tend to add a bit more salt because I love the contrast with the chocolate and the sweet).
  5. Add the cocoa powder paste and stir well until it has been dissolved into the rice. Remove from heat.
  6. Serve with milk and sugar to taste.


  • To save time, I boil the water in an electric kettle before pouring it into the pot with the rice. I boil a bit more than 5 cups so I can use the leftover for my cocoa paste.
  • Some people like soupy champorado. If you're of that bent, add more water to boil. My kids prefer it chunky because they like to drown their champorado in milk at the table, so I cook mine a little longer until more water is absorbed.
  • Just like tablea, the quality of your cocoa powder will affect your champorado. My greatest discovery is Bensdorp cocoa powder, which I have only found (so far) in our little neighborhood grocery. It's quite rich, so I only use 1/4 cup. I think I could even get away with less. You may need to tweak the amount of cocoa powder to get the chocolatiness that you prefer.
  • It's better to start with less cocoa powder, and add a little at a time as you go along.
  • Some people add sugar as they cook. I prefer to keep the pot unsweetened and add any sweeteners at the table. It's healthier that way! And each person can flavor their bowl as they wish. The Hubby and I have also been experimenting with locally sourced honey as an alternative to sugar, and it's a win!

This serves 4 hungry HPs, with a little left over for a snack.

I'm sure Goldilocks would have eaten all three bowls without any whining



  1. Bensdorp is my secret to a really yummy chocolate cake, too. Hard to find lang in these parts.

  2. Mik, I know! I’ve only seen it in that little neighborhood grocery. I’m hoping they have a constant supply.

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