Tokwa’t Baboy

Tokwa't baboy for Sunday lunch!

This is one dish that I can do in my sleep. It has been 2 decades since I first tasted this dish, when my mom,  a pork vendor, decided to try out  a way to dispose of the pig heads she couldn’t sell. That was also the first time I tasted beancurd (tokwa) and it was love at first taste.

For this recipe I used about 200 gms of pork liempo which I boiled in salted water until well done. Afterwards, I fried it in some oil until brown on both sides. It would be better if one uses pork head or pork ears — boil that then grill — but cleaning and preparing a pork’s head with the snout and ears would entail more work and I’m not feeling up to that today. Slice the fried pork into small pieces then set aside. Four squares of tokwa would do for this dish. Tokwa costs about 4 or 5 pesos in the wet market. Cut it into small cubes and fry until golden. Drain it and set aside.

The key to a good tokwa’t baboy is the the sauce, particularly, the proportion of soy-sauce and vinegar. I usually just estimate the amount I use, and then taste the concoction until I am satisfied. But since a recipe to be followed need adequate instructions, I propose to use 1 part soy sauce to three parts vinegar. For this recipe it’s 1 cup vinegar to 1/3 cup soy sauce. That will ensure that the sauce won’t be too salty. It would also be wise to add 2 tbsp of red sugar to the mixture to temper the sourness of the vinegar. Add a pinch of crushed black pepper and stir. You can add a pinch of salt but I prefer not to do that since the pork I used was already salted. Finely chop a medium red onion (the white one is not as flavorful), and a piece of green  finger chilli (or “siling haba” in local parlance). Throw that in into the sauce and mix well.

You can serve the sauce on the side or mix the pork, the tokwa and the sauce together before serving. I personally prefer the latter because it’s more flavorful.

This serves 2 and would be a great accompaniment to lugaw or arroz caldo. Bon appetit!

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