Tokwa’t Baboy: A Filipino Comfort Food
Tokwa’t Baboy, a beloved Filipino dish, holds a special place in the hearts of many locals as a comfort food. I think one of the Pinoy’s comfort food. However, not all versions of this dish are created equal, and some may find the taste lacking in street food vendors or fast-food joints. If you’re like me and prefer a more satisfying and flavorful experience, then I’ve got a fantastic solution for you! In this recipe blog post, I will share my own unique take on Tokwa’t Baboy, using apple cider vinegar and other delicious ingredients to create a fruity, spicy-sweet, and sour taste that will leave your taste buds singing with delight.
The Craving and The Experiment
One day, I found myself craving Tokwa’t Baboy, but I wasn’t satisfied with the taste of the usual offerings from street food vendors or fast-food establishments. The pork tasted bland, and the vinegar was overly sour. Determined to satisfy my craving, I decided to experiment with the recipe and made a few tweaks. The most significant change We made (with my wife0 was using apple cider vinegar instead of the regular vinegar traditionally used in this dish. And, to my delight, the experiment was a resounding success!
The Charcoal Stove Method
To ensure a delightful texture and flavor, I took the extra step of boiling the pork using a charcoal stove. Cooking with charcoal imparts a unique, smoky taste that elevates the dish to a whole new level. Additionally, using a charcoal stove helps tenderize the pork while maintaining its firmness, making it a perfect choice for this recipe.
Pork Belly vs. Pork Cheeks and Ears
While the classic version of Tokwa’t Baboy uses pork cheeks and ears, not everyone may have easy access to these cuts. Fear not, as pork belly can be a fantastic alternative! The tender and succulent pork belly works wonderfully in this dish and complements the other flavors just as well. However, if you’re fortunate enough to find pork cheeks and ears, consider selecting the cheek part with pork tongue for an even more delicious experience.
Preparing the Pork
Start by washing and cleaning the pork ears and cheeks thoroughly, removing any hairs or remaining blood. To eliminate any unwanted odors, rub the pork with rock salt, then rinse it under running water and drain.
Boiling the Pork
In a pot, add enough water to cover the pork, and season it with salt and black pepper. Boil the pork for about an hour or until it reaches the desired tenderness. For an enhanced flavor, using a charcoal stove is recommended, as mentioned earlier.
Frying the Tokwa
While the pork is boiling, deep fry the tokwa until it turns golden brown. Once done, drain the fried tokwa and allow it to cool.
Assembling the Dish
Slice the tokwa into cubes and place them in a deep platter, leaving enough space for the pork. Next, slice the pork cheeks and ears into squares and mix them with the tofu. Alternatively, if you prefer, you can arrange the tokwa and pork side by side without mixing them.
Preparing the Sauce
For the delectable sauce, combine water, apple cider vinegar, sugar, onion, soy sauce, and siling labuyo (Filipino chili peppers). Stir well until the sugar is fully dissolved.
Serving and Enjoying!
Finally, pour the sauce over the tokwa and pork, and your delightful Tokwa’t Baboy is ready to be served! The fruity, spicy-sweet, and sour taste of the dish will undoubtedly leave you and your loved ones wanting more.
Elevate Your Tokwa’t Baboy Experience
Tokwa’t Baboy, a Filipino comfort food, can be an incredibly satisfying dish with the right combination of flavors and cooking techniques. By using apple cider vinegar and a charcoal stove, along with your choice of pork cuts, you can elevate this classic dish to a whole new level of deliciousness. So why settle for ordinary when you can indulge in the extraordinary? Try out this revamped recipe and savor the delightful taste of Tokwa’t Baboy like never before. Happy cooking and happy eating!
How to Cook Tokwa't Baboy (Boiled Pork with Fried Tofu)
For the tokwa't baboy
- 10 to 12 pcs tokwa or tofu about 2 inch square inch
- 1 kilo pork ears and cheeks (pork maskara) or pork belly
- 1 Tbsp. black peppercorn cracked
- 1 Tbsp. rock salt
For the sauce:
- 1 cup water
- 1/4 to 1/2 cup apple cider vinegar or cane vinegar
- 1 piece medium size red onion chopped
- 2 Tbsp brown sugar
- 3 pieces siling labuyo bird's eye chili, chopped
- 1 to 2 Tbsp. soy sauce
How to Cook Tokwa't Baboy
- Wash and clean the pork ears and cheeks by removing hairs and remaining blood.
- Rub with rock salt to remove the odor. Wash in running water and drain.
- In a pot, put enough water just to cover the pork and add salt and black pepper.
- Boil for an hour or until the pork is tender.
- Use a charcoal stove if you have one because it taste better and the pork is easier to tenderize and the pork is still firm.
- In the meantime deep fry the tokwa until golden brown. Drain and let cool.
- Slice the tokwa into cubes and put in a deep platter but leave enough space for the pork.
- Slice the pork cheeks and ears into squares and mix them with the tofu.
- It's up to you if you want to arrange the tofu and pork side by side if you don't want to mix them.
- For the sauce, combine water, vinegar, sugar, onion, soy sauce and siling labuyo. Mix well until the sugar is dissolved.
- Pour the sauce over the tokwa and pork then serve.
Cooking Tips for Tokwa’t Baboy:
- Tenderize the Pork with Care: To ensure your Tokwa't Baboy turns out tender and flavorful, take the time to properly tenderize the pork. Boil the pork cheeks and ears in a pot with enough water, seasoned with salt and black pepper, for about an hour or until they reach the desired tenderness. For an even more delicious outcome, consider using a charcoal stove, as it imparts a unique smoky taste and helps maintain the pork's firm texture.
- Opt for the Right Pork Cuts: While traditional Tokwa't Baboy calls for pork cheeks and ears, finding these cuts might not always be easy. No worries â€“ pork belly can be an excellent alternative! Its tender and succulent nature works perfectly in this dish, offering a rich and delightful experience. However, if you're lucky enough to find pork cheeks and ears, opt for the cheek part with pork tongue for an even more flavorful result.
- Experiment with the Sauce: The sauce is a crucial element that brings the entire dish together. While the classic recipe usually includes vinegar, soy sauce, and sugar, don't be afraid to experiment and make it your own. As mentioned earlier, using apple cider vinegar can add a fruity and tangy twist to the sauce, creating a unique flavor profile that sets your Tokwa't Baboy apart from the rest. Adjust the ingredients to your taste preferences, adding more sweetness or spice if desired. Remember, cooking is about creativity and making dishes that you truly enjoy!