tokwa't baboy

140/280

I stopped shopping in Chinatown for almost three months just to avoid a rat poison scare in food shelves in the area. This occurred when Toronto banned the sale of Shark’s Fins, and I was not taking any chances. I always made sure that no matter how cheap or affordable prices were in the Chinatown District, I would still get the same quality of meat cuts I needed for my daily meals, and of course, I was almost always being very cautious. The only other oriental stores I knew were located in the suburbs which were about an hour away from my place downtown. This slight change of routine made me aware of other popular grocery stores in my area and independent meat outlets which I didn’t discover if I had not paused from ‘Oriental Shopping,’ so to speak.

By early February, when the scare dissipated, I decided to make a ‘BIG’ comeback to the good old Chinatown area. I just couldn’t resist myself from buying ‘exotic’ meat portions and vegetables that just weren’t available and carried by many Canadian operated groceries. And if they were, they were about 15% more expensive as compared with Chinatown’s.

As I stepped into the doorstep and relived the past I left for three months, I quickly felt the whiffing smell I had longed and missed; that stench that clung to your jacket after an hour or so of shopping inside their small, narrow aisles. I was back alright! In one of their display fridges stood the best and worst parts of the Pig et al; and the most delicious too. Staring at me were two gigantic Pig’s Ears, and checking the price at under $4.00, they were a bargain. I couldn’t resist! I took the pair, and told myself I will make the Filipino Classic Tokwa’t Baboy. The long absence from Chinatown made me miss Pinoy Food altogether, and after celebrating the holidays with oven roasted Steaks, Turkeys and Porkloins, I felt it was also time for the Classic Pinoy Food to also make its own comeback. As soon as I reached home, I cranked my stovetop to high and started boiling water.

Ingredients: Serves 1 to 2
A pair of Pig’s Ears
¼ of a lb. of Lean Pork
1 Spanish Onion
1 to 2 Cloves of Garlic
Slivers of Ginger and Bird’s Eye Chilis
Equal parts Filipino Soy Sauce and Vinegar
A touch of Premium Chinese Light Soy Sauce
Crushed Black Pepper
Salt

On the side:
Freshly Squeezed Lime Juice, Fish Sauce, Finely Chopped Onions & Chilis

1. Drop the Pig’s Ears and lean pork cuts in salted water and let it boil. Remove the meat parts from the pot, and throw the first boil. Clean the pot and replace with warm water or use a new pot, if necessary. Do these steps until the water has been cleared from all scum, and don’t forget to always salt the water everytime.

2. As soon as the ears are tender, let it hang ‘Dry’ on a strainer for about an hour so and allow the water to sip down a pot; so with the lean pork. Season with salt. The drier the ears are the better for sautéing or deep-frying.

3. Julienne the Pig’s ears, boiled lean pork, and other aromatics.

4. Heat up a wok and pan-fry the Pig’s Ears until they turn to golden brown. Discard some oil if necessary. Add the lean pork and let it turn brown a bit. Start adding the slivers of onions, ginger, chilis, and crushed garlic until aromatic. Toss and swirl.

5. Cut the Fried Tofu into cubes and toss it altogether into the wok. Stir until everything comes together. Season to taste.

6. Add a touch of Chinese Light Soy Sauce. (makes the difference)

Pig’s ears reminded me so much of my ancient and ancestral past. My dad and I used to travel to Plaridel, Bulacan for two to three hours just to check on the small Piggery farm he had managed and owned for several years. Whenever we visited, I would almost always request the ‘keeper-farmer’ to grill some Pig’s ears. He had made it so fast and so delicious that the taste of the ears didn’t leave my taste buds. It was just so crisp to the bite! I also couldn’t seem to copy his grilling method when I had reached home with my own pair. From then on, I searched for Pig’s ears everywhere.

Just outside the village where I grew up, there was a BBQ place I frequented just for the BBQ Pig’s ears. Those were the days when I used to commute about an hour or so (without traffic) from the city centre (Makati) to the suburbs. I just needed that stopover at the corner store for a bite or two of Filipino BBQ delicacies and a bottle of San Mig before taking another tricyle to reach my final destination. Like an Oreo cookie to milk, I would dunk the Pig’s ears in vinegar filled with aromatics and spices. I did this routine almost daily to sit and relax after bracing an enormous gridlock at the Bicutan interchange. That corner store also served Tokwa’t Baboy with Rice, which, unfortunately, I never had a chance to taste.

It was also the time in my young adult life when I had not watched my blood pressure fluctuate as often as now. Tough luck for me.


4.0 from 2 reviews
Tokwa't baboy
Author: 
Recipe type: Appetizer
Serves: 1-2
 
Ingredients
  • A pair of Pig’s Ears
  • ¼ of a lb. of Lean Pork
  • 1 Spanish Onion
  • 1 to 2 Cloves of Garlic
  • Slivers of Ginger and Bird’s Eye Chilis
  • Equal parts Filipino Soy Sauce and Vinegar
  • A touch of Premium Chinese Light Soy Sauce
  • Crushed Black Pepper
  • Salt
  • On the side: Freshly Squeezed Lime Juice, Fish Sauce, Finely Chopped Onions & Chilis
Instructions
  1. Drop the Pig’s Ears and lean pork cuts in salted water and let it boil. Remove the meat parts from the pot, and throw the first boil. Clean the pot and replace with warm water or use a new pot, if necessary. Do these steps until the water has been cleared from all scum, and don’t forget to always salt the water everytime.
  2. As soon as the ears are tender, let it hang ‘Dry’ on a strainer for about an hour so and allow the water to sip down a pot; so with the lean pork. Season with salt. The drier the ears are the better for sautéing or deep-frying.
  3. Julienne the Pig’s ears, boiled lean pork, and other aromatics.
  4. Heat up a wok and pan-fry the Pig’s Ears until they turn to golden brown. Discard some oil if necessary. Add the lean pork and let it turn brown a bit. Start adding the slivers of onions, ginger, chilis, and crushed garlic until aromatic. Toss and swirl.
  5. Cut the Fried Tofu into cubes and toss it altogether into the wok. Stir until everything comes together. Season to taste.
  6. Add a touch of Chinese Light Soy Sauce. (makes the difference)

 

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9 thoughts on “140/280

  1. Wow these pig ears reminded you of your keep farmer you must go back to him to ask of his recipe, but I am certain that you cook it amazingly sumptuous, I don’t cook, I only cooked fried fish fried pork fried everything. LOL but I am good in eating. Heheh visiting from YS>
    Sahm’s Dining Diary recently posted Yummy Sunday # 10: Mango Sago

  2. This is my type of Tokwa’t Baboy – using pig’s ears! I love the texture of the cartilage, but I prefer to have the dipping sauce served on the side. Well, I still haven’t tried the stir-fried way of cooking/serving this, I might give it a try.

    Thanks for sharing!
    Jenn recently posted Jollibee Chicken Nuggets Crunchers

  3. Masarap itong ilagay sa sizzling plate! Iba ang naituro sa amin ni daddy – boiled and cut up pork (cooked in water with vinegar, salt, pepper and bay leaf) mixed with fried tofu. I think interesting yung ganito.. the frying process will give the pork more body.
    Jessie recently posted Tea Tattle (SM Fairview)

    1. Hi Jessie! Thanks! I wanted to do that too, like cooking Lechon Kawali or Crispy Pata, but I wanted to make sure the ears were thoroughly clean. I felt the tons of salt I put in every water change would work just the same. By the third boil, the ears were already too tender for another boil. :)

  4. This is how my dad cooked tokwa’t baboy, too, with pig’s ears. The boiled pork ala-Jessie’s dad and ‘lechon kawali’ version – sa labas ko na natikman. But I like ‘em all! :D

  5. wow, this is really something…very yummy, i am sure! thanks for sharing your recipe, i love here because of those interesting post and good recipe! visiting from WE, hope you can visit me back. thanks and have a great week. :)
    Cheerful recently posted AISB’s Readathon 8

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