Classic Tablea Champorado (Filipino Chocolate Rice Porridge)

Make champorado, the rich Pinoy chocolate rice porridge, using tablea, water, and short-grain rice.
6–8 servings
Wait Time
30 Mins
Active Time
30 Mins

Champorado is a Filipino start-of-the-day staple that almost doubles as a dessert: chocolate rice porridge made with sticky rice (malagkit) and chocolate (usually tablea). It's creamy, sweet, and filling, best eaten on a cold day.

What is Tablea?
Filipino tablea or tableya, meaning "tablet", are pucks of pure chocolate. They are made with local cacao beans that have been fermented, dried, roasted, ground, and shaped into coins or balls. Tablea serves as the main ingredient for sikwate/tsokolate (Filipino-style hot chocolate) and champorado (chocolate rice porridge).

This recipe guides you through how to cook a perfect version of traditional tablea champorado. No fancy ingredients, no out-of-this-world techniques. A tried-and-tested method to make champorado that gives you the pure flavor of cocoa and the pure texture of malagkit in a thick, creamy soup.

A short history of champorado

Filipino champorado has roots in Mexican CHAMPURRADO, a hot beverage made with chocolate, sugar, milk, and masa harina, the corn flour used to make tortillas.

The chocolate drink reached Philippine shores in the 17th century through the Manila-Acapulco galleon trade. Since we didn't have masa, locals used malagkit (glutinous rice) instead. The drink eventually evolved into a sweet chocolate porridge to enjoy for breakfast or on rainy days.

The champorado rice: Use malagkit

Malagkit, or glutinous rice, is a non-negotiable ingredient in champorado. It gives the porridge its texture, from the chewy grains to the extra starch that helps thicken your champorado. Regular rice won't give you the same consistency.

You'll usually find two kinds of malagkit in the market: regular and long-grain. Most households stock themselves with regular malagkit since it's more readily available. Regular malagkit will work great.

If you have long-grain malagkit, you'll notice more distinct, biteable grains in your champorado. This is because long-grain malagkit is less likely to break down into smaller pieces compared to regular malagkit. Not a huge difference, to be honest, that we'd prescribe long-grain over short grain.

Malagkit AKA glutinous rice.

For more texture, use malagkit and jasmine rice together

If texture is your goal, take a page from our chicken arroz caldo recipe and use equal parts malagkit and jasmine rice.

When cooked, jasmine rice gets you distinct, fluffy grains with a chewy bite—a nice textural contrast to creamy, risotto-like malagkit.

To substitute, use a half cup of malagkit and jasmine rice each, and follow the recipe as is.

Is it better to cook your champorado in water or in milk?

Champorado is traditionally cooked in plain water. In developing this recipe, we wanted to see how swapping the water for milk will affect the final champorado. Milk is creamy and tasty—surely it will make the champorado creamier and tastier, too?

We cooked three test champorados in different liquids: water, regular milk, and evaporated milk. Since milk doesn't have enough water content, and using just milk can be expensive for home cooks, we cut the milk with equal parts water.

Top to bottom: water, regular milk, and evaporated milk.

Surprisingly, the tests showed no discernible difference in champorado texture and creaminess. Malagkit played a bigger factor than milk—its starchiness made all our test bowls equally creamy. Keep it simple and use water!

The champorado chocolate: Tablea, cocoa powder, or chocolate chips?

Champorado is usually made with tablea, but some home cooks prefer cocoa powder as a convenient alternative. Modern kitchens may use sweetened chocolate chunks or chips. We tested all three options—in all three liquid tests above—to see which one worked best.

Testing tablea, cocoa powder, and chocolate chips.


Tablea produced the most intense cocoa flavor. We like sweetened tablea, which gives it a nice balance of sweetness and bitterness. If using unsweetened tablea, add two tablespoons of sugar to achieve the same flavor.

Cocoa powder

Cocoa powder is a cheap and convenient alternative to tablea—and we even recommend it as an alternative to some of our recipes that call for crushed tablea. But depending on the brand, some cocoa powders can taste artificial or less chocolatey compared to tablea.

Chocolate chips

For cooks outside the Philippines, chocolate chips will be more accessible than Filipino tablea. Expect the flavor to taste more like a chocolate candy bar—more Western-leaning than a traditional champorado, which leans more hot chocolate in flavor.

If you're working with non-tablea chocolate, we suggest using a combination of dark and milk chocolate bars with our Double Chocolate Champorado recipe instead.

Our tests prove that you don't need to mess with the classic champorado: just rice, water, and tablea will make the perfect bowl for a rainy day. Don't forget to adjust to taste with sugar and milk!

Add condensed milk, powdered milk, sugar, or regular milk.


  • 1 cup glutinous rice (preferably long-grain), uncooked
  • 8 cups water
  • 200g sweetened tablea, crushed
  • milk of choice, for finishing

Cook rice: Add rice and water in a large pot over high heat. Bring to a boil, stirring occasionally to prevent clumping. Once boiling, stir again to break up clumps of rice. Reduce heat to low and simmer, stirring constantly, about 10-15 minutes or until rice is tender.

Once the rice is tender, increase the heat to high. Stir the rice vigorously to break up the grains and release the starches until mixture has thickened, about 10 minutes.


Add tablea: Reduce heat to medium and add the tablea. Stir until tablea is completely dissolved and distributed. Remove from heat and divide between bowls. Serve warm, with a drizzle of milk if desired.

Substitutions & FAQs