Tofu & Pork Salad
Disclaimer I use the term salad very loosely. Token greens in the form of finely chopped spring onions? Check. Brown onions and garlic are vegetables, right? Tofu is healthy…. before it is shallow-fried that is. And the hero of the dish is juicy bite-size pieces of pork belly. Now that is my kind of salad!
A dish featuring traditional Pinoy flavours with its perfectly balanced, garlicky vinegar sauce, Tokwa Baboy is comfort food at its finest. It takes me back to my childhood when, arriving home from school, I would be greeted with the distinctive aroma of tofu frying… It was tokwa baboy night! It worked for Mum to cos it was dinner on a budget, and it was something we all loved (especially Dad; you had him with pork belly and fried tofu).
Here’s my humble version based on my Mum’s recipe. If you’re like my husband and you like it spicy, you can add a finely sliced chilli. Either way, I hope you find a soft spot for Tokwa Baboy too!
- 500g pork belly
- 1/2 teaspoon salt
- 2cm piece ginger, bruised with the flat of a knife
- 2 whole spring onions, icluding the roots
- 500g firm tofu
- oil to shallow fry
- 1 1/2 cup white vinegar
- 1/4 cup light soy sauce
- 1/2 brown onion, finely diced
- 2 cloves garlic, minced
- 4 teaspoons brown sugar
- 2 teaspoons fish sauce
- 2 spring onions, white and green finely chopped
- 1 bird’s eye chilli, finely sliced (optional)
- Drain the tofu of its liquid, then transfer to a plate lined with absorbent paper, to remove as much moisture as possible. Set aside in the fridge as you prepare the pork.
- Place the pork belly In a large pot and cover with cold water. Add the salt, bruised ginger and whole spring onions. Bring to a boil over hugh heat, reduce the heat and simmer for an hour until tender. Remove the pork from the broth and set aside for about an hour until the pork is almost room temperature. Transfer the pork to the fridge to chill for at least an hour until it’s nice and firm.
- While the pork is in the fridge, combine the white vinegar and soy sauce in a small saucepan over medium heat. Heat until simmering, then add the brown onion, garlic, brown sugar, fish sauce and chilli if using. Stir until the sugar has dissolved, then remove from the heat. Set aside to cool slightly.
Remove the chilled pork belly from the fridge and slice into 2cm slices, then chop each slice into batons. Place in a large serving dish.
- In a non-stick frypan, heat enough oil to shallow fry the tofu in batches, until both sides are crisp and golden brown. Drain on absorbent paper, then slice into similar sized pieces as the pork. Add to the pork, and toss to combine. Drizzle over the dressing, and garnish with the finely sliced spring onions.