Tokwa’t Baboy

Tokwa’t Baboy is a Filipino dish made of tofu and pork with a tangy vinegar dressing. It’s delicious as an appetizer, as a topping for congee, or main dish.

Living with someone with a different food preference than mine can be both a bane and a boon.

G doesn’t like a lot of Filipino food, so when I make some, it means extra work of preparing a separate meal for him. On the bright side, that means MORE for me!

Tokwa’t baboy is a Filipino dish made of boiled pork cuts, crispy tofu cubes, and a dipping mixture of vinegar, soy sauce, shallots, and chili peppers. It’s popular as an appetizer with ice-cold beer and a filling side dish served with rice or congee.

Preparing the pork

  • Parts of the pork face, such as ears and snouts, are typically used for tokwa’t baboy, but you can omit it and use all pork belly.
  • Simmer the pork face until tender and dice into bite-size pieces. Add aromatics such as onions, garlic, bay leaves, and peppercorns to infuse flavor.

Deep-frying tofu

Crispy tofu is the other star of the show, and to showcase its best taste, we need to cook it right.

  • Use firm tofu, not silken or soft!
  • Drain the tofu well of the packing liquid. ¬†Wrap the tofu block with a thick layer of paper towels, set it over a wire rack, and weigh it down with a saucer or bowl for about 15 to 20 minutes to extract moisture.
  • You can cut the block into 1-inch thick slices and cut into cubes after deep-frying or fry already cubed for crispy edges.
  • Deep-fry tofu in hot oil, turning as needed, until golden and crisp. Use enough oil, about 2 inches deep, to ensure the tofu is fully submerged.
  • Maintain the oil at 350 F to 375 F range. Do not overcrowd the pan and fry in batches as needed to keep the temperature from plummeting.

The dipping sauce

  • To complete the dish is a vinegar, soy sauce, and pork broth mixture with a hint of spice from chili peppers. Feel free to adjust amounts to achieve your desired medley of sweet and tangy.
  • Bring to a boil without stirring to cook off the strong acid taste.
  • You can prepare the sauce in advance and refrigerate to allow the flavors to meld.

How to serve and store

  • Tokwa’t baboy can be enjoyed as an appetizer or main dish. It can also be served alongside lugaw (congee) as topping.
  • To prepare ahead of time, I suggest storing the pork and the sauce only and cooking a fresh batch of tofu when ready to serve for the best texture. Keep in the refrigerator for up to 3 days or in the freezer for up to 2 months.
  • To reheat, place in a saucepan and heat to an internal temperature of 165 F. Fry the tofu and combine.

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