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Tokwa't Baboy (Filipino Pork and Fried Tofu With Vinegar Sauce)

As a child, Edwin's mom told him, "If you want to eat, you should cook it yourself." And that's exactly what he's been doing ever since.

Pork and fried tofu with vinegar sauce

Pork and fried tofu with vinegar sauce

Filipino Boiled and Marinated Pork With Fried Tofu (Tokwa't Baboy)

In the Tagalog language, tokwa means tofu or bean curd, and baboy means pork. Tokwa't baboy is a spicy dish that traditionally includes seasoned, boiled pork belly and pig's ears that are mixed with deep-fried tofu. Pig's ears are a delicacy in Asia, and their texture is a bit chewy. Like many Filipino dishes, this dish features a vinegar sauce and has sweet and sour flavors.

Tokwa't baboy is quite versatile: It can be served as an appetizer, a side dish with congee (a thick rice soup known as lugaw in Tagalog), a pulutan (a food served with beer or cocktails), or as a main dish. In all cases, it is usually served with a vinegar-based sauce.

As a child, I loved eating this dish with rice. As an adult, I still love this dish, though I now tend to enjoy it most when paired with a few drinks with friends.

Cook Time

Prep timeCook timeReady inYields

15 min

1 hour 15 min

1 hour 30 min

4-5 servings

Ingredients

For cooking the pork:

  • 1/2 pound pork belly
  • 1/2 pound pig's ears, available at Asian stores
  • 5 cups water
  • 1 onion, diced
  • 1 teaspoon whole peppercorns
  • 1 tablespoon kosher salt

For the vinegar sauce:

  • 3/4 cup reserved water used in boiling the pork belly and ears
  • 1 1/2 cups white vinegar
  • 1/4 cup soy sauce
  • 3 tablespoons white granulated sugar
  • 2 teaspoons kosher salt
  • 1 teaspoon ground black pepper

For frying the tofu:

  • 1 pound firm tofu, drained
  • 1 cup peanut oil

For the garnish:

  • 1/4 cup green onions, sliced
  • 1 jalapeño, sliced

Instructions

  1. in a pot, combine the ingredients for cooking the pork. Bring to a boil over medium heat. Lower the heat and simmer for 1 hour, until tender.
  2. Drain the pork in a colander and reserve 3/4 cup of the boiling liquid or pork broth.
  3. In a frying pan, heat the oil over medium-high heat and fry the tofu until browned. Turn the tofu over to brown evenly.
  4. Slice the cooked tofu into 1-inch cubes.
  5. Cut the cooked pork belly and pig's ears into bite-sized pieces.
  6. In a pot, combine the cut pork belly and ears with the vinegar sauce ingredients and boil for 2 -3 minutes.
  7. Place the pork belly and ears on a serving plate. Top with the fried tofu. Garnish with green onions and jalapeños. Drizzle some of the warm vinegar sauce on top and serve.

Variations

  • Try adding other seasonings, such as bay leaves or garlic, into the vinegar sauce.
  • Use other types of chili peppers, or omit the chili pepper entirely if you don't want it spicy.
  • If you wish to omit the pig's ears, that's ok. You might increase the amount of pork belly or tofu, instead.
  • Garnish with shallots instead of scallions.
  • Cut the tofu into cubes before frying.
  • Adjust the amount of sugar to suit your taste.
  • Serve the warm vinegar sauce on the side as a dipping sauce if desired.

Organic Firm Tofu