Lugaw with tokwa’t baboy is a common food pairing in the Philippines and is especially enjoyed as a filling breakfast or as a comforting midday snack. In this lugaw at tokwa, however, I did away with the customary pork parts for quick gratification and used only firm tofu which I deep-fried to a lovely crisp.
As I find the tokwa and its soy sauce-vinegar dressing adequate to impart my desired flavors, I like my congee cooked simply in plain water and lightly seasoned with ginger and salt. Paired with golden tofu, this dish makes a satisfying vegetarian treat. You can, of course, easily add depth by replacing the water with a robust meat broth. Lugaw at tokwa is rainy season food at its best, folks. Give it a try and let me know what you think on the comments below.
Lugaw at Tokwa
- 1 cup glutinous rice
- 10 cups water
- 2 pieces thumb-size ginger pounded
- 2 teaspoons salt
- 2 19 ounces package firm tofu
- 1 cup oil
- 1/2 cup vinegar
- ¼ cup soy sauce
- 1/2 teaspoon salt
- 1/4 teaspoon pepper
- 1 tablespoon sugar
- 2 shallots peeled and chopped
- 1 Thai chili pepper minced
- Wash rice with cold water two or three times.
- In a pot over medium heat, combine rice and 10 cups of the water. Bring to a boil, stirring occasionally. Add ginger and salt. Lower heat, cover and cook for about 25 to 30 minutes or until rice grains are softened and have burst, with congee thickened as desired.
- Drain tofu from packing liquid. Wrap tofu block in paper towels and weigh down with a small plate or cup for about 15 to 20 minutes to excess moisture. Cut into 1-inch cubes.
- In a cast-iron skillet over high heat, heat oil until very hot but not smoking. Add tofu and deep-fry, turning as necessary, until golden brown and crisp. Do not overcrowd pan and cook tofu in batches as needed. With a slotted spoon, remove tofu from skillet and drain on paper towels.
- In a pan over medium heat, combine vinegar, soy sauce, sugar, salt and pepper. Bring to a boil, stirring occasionally, until sugar and salt are dissolved. Add shallots and chili peppers and cook for about 30 to 40 seconds. Add tofu cubes. Cook, tossing gently to combine, for about 1 minute or until just heated through and covered with sauce. Remove from heat.
- Ladle congee into serving bowls. Garnish with green onions and serve with a side of tofu.