Tokwa’t baboy is a Filipino dish made with boiled pork pieces, deep-fried tofu cubes and a dipping mixture of vinegar, soy sauce, shallots and chili peppers. Popular as an appetizer and perfect with ice-cold beer, it also makes a substantial side dish served with rice or congee. Parts of the pork face such as ears and snouts are typically used for tokwa’t baboy but if you prefer to substitute, use fatty cuts such as pork belly to better compliment the crisp tofu and tangy base sauce. Dig in, my friends!
- 1 about 1/2 pound piece pork ear
- 1 pound pork belly
- 1 small onion peeled and quarted
- 1 head garlic peeled and crushed
- 2 bay leaves
- 1 teaspoon peppercorns
- 1 tablespoon salt
- 1 16 ounces block firm tofu
- 1/2 cup oil
For the Dipping Sauce
- 1/2 cup pork broth from boiling pork
- 1-1/2 cups vinegar
- 1/4 cup soy sauce
- 1 teaspoon salt
- 1/2 teaspoon pepper
- 2 tablespoons sugar
- 4 to 5 shallots peeled and chopped
- 2 Thai chili peppers chopped
- In a pot over medium heat, combine pork ear, pork belly and enough water to cover. Add onions, garlic, bay leaves, pepper corns and salt. Bring to a boil, skimming scum that floats on top. Lower heat, cover and simmer for about 45 minutes to 1 hour or until meat is fork-tender. Remove from heat and drain well, reserving 1/2 cup of the liquid. Allow to cool to touch and dice meat.
- 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 pork broth, vinegar, soy sauce, salt, pepper, and sugar. Bring to a boil, without stirring, for about 3 to 5 minutes.
- In a large bowl, combine diced pork, tofu cubes, shallots, and chili peppers. Pour vinegar dressing and gently toss to distribute. Transfer into a serving platter and garnish with more chopped shallots and chili peppers.