Underneath that crunchy fried tofu and sliced pork are wonderful, complimenting flavors of soy sauce, vinegar, onions, and of course, the heat of chili peppers. So when you push that fork to get those yummy pieces of tofu and pork, push a little deeper to pick up and enjoy all of those flavors.
Tokwa’t Baboy literally means “tofu and pork.” It is dish traditionally eaten as a side dish with the Filipino’s version of congee, which is lugaw and arroz caldo. In some occasions, it is also eaten as “pulutan” or finger food with alcohol beverages like beer and hard liquor.
1 tub firm tofu - fully drained ½ lb pork belly 1 cup vegetable oil 2 cups water 1 Tablespoon salt 2 bay leaves 1 cup cane vinegar 3 Tablespoon soy sauce 1 Tablespoon sugar 1 Tablespoon finely chopped garlic 1 teaspoon finely chopped ginger 1 teaspoon Worcestershire sauce 1 teaspoon sesame oil 1 teaspoon ground black pepper ½ teaspoon salt 1 small red onion - diced ¼ cup chopped green onions 3 Thai chili pepper - cut thinly
Cut tofu into ½ inch cubes and place in a colander to drain. In a medium bowl, combine all the vinegar mixture and then set aside. Place small sauce pan over medium heat. Add water, salt, bay leaves, and pork belly. Let it simmer until pork skin is soft enough to be pricked with fork (about 30 minutes) Remove from pan and set aside to cool and drain. Slice boiled pork belly thinly and about 1 inch wide. Place wok over high heat and then add 1 tablespoon oil. When the oil is hot, add sliced pork and stir fry until light browned. Transfer in the vinegar mixture and toss. Let it soak for about 15 minutes. Return wok over high heat and then add 1 cup vegetable oil. When the oil is hot, deep fry tofu until they are golden brown and crispy. You may have to do it in two or three batches. Place cooked tofu in a colander to drain. Toss in hot tofu in the vinegar mixture with the fried pork. Serve immediately.
Chicken Arroz Caldo
1 whole chicken – cut into serving pieces 1 medium onion – chopped 1 cup uncooked rice 2½ Tablespoon finely minced ginger 2 Tablespoon finely minced garlic 2 Tablespoon vegetable oil Salt or Patis(Fish Sauce) to taste Gound black pepper to taste 6 cups water (add more if it rice becomes too thick) 1 cup chopped green onions or scallion for flavoring and garnishing (chop but separate the white parts) Sesame oil to taste. Slices of lemon or calamansi. 1 teaspoon kasubha or safflower for coloring.
Place wok or large casserole over medium-high heat then add oil. When the oil is hot,add onions, garlic, and ginger. Stir fry until onion is translucent. Add chicken then stir fry until chicken is seared to light brown. Add water and let it boil. Remove all the foam that will float on top of the water. Add rice and let it boil. Stir occasionally to avoid rice from sticking to the bottom. Add the safflower. Add the whites parts of the green onion. Add salt or fish sauce as needed. Add ground pepper. Serve hot topped with chopped green onion. Toasted garlic, lemon or calamansi, additional chopped green onions, and sesame oil may be served on the side.
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