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 who has a whole 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 for me, 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 as well as 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.
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. 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 on its own 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 cook 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.