An updated recipe for a long-time favorite. Lechon con tokwa was a favorite at Boy Ching Woo Chinese Restaurant when we lived in Caloocan City. That was a decade and a half ago but we have never forgotten the wonderful dish that was always on top of the list whenever we ordered take-out.
The two photos accompanying this updated recipe were taken in the garden just before we had lunch. It is cloudy today but there was enough light to take decent photos. Photos taken indoors are never as pretty. But taking food photos outdoors for the blog during the rainy season is a hide-and-seek affair. And, when rain appears imminent, I would rather take less-than-perfect food photos than risk soaking the food and the camera in the rain which often falls without warning. The photos in this recipe should satisfy reader Myrna who e-mailed me a couple of days ago with her observations on what she called the “bad lighting” of the latest photos on the blog. It was just a “positive comment”, she wrote. I never heard of the term positive comment being used when making a criticism so I figured she meant “constructive criticism”. I didn’t find any reason to reply to her e-mail which I immediately deleted as “not worth wasting time on” but, on second thought, I am replying now not just to her but to every reader with similar sentiments.
The e-mail does make sense. In fact, it makes a lot of sense — to me. I understand that there will always be unhappy people who will find fault with anything and everything. In some cases, it’s for lack of something productive to do. Reader Myrna, I feel sorry that you are unhappy and that your outlet for your unhappiness is to put other people down. Unfortunately, I cannot help you. I am a lawyer, a cook and a writer, and completely unqualified to offer psychological counseling. You need to see a shrink for that.
Now, the recipe. This dish longer represents any attempt to reproduce Boy Ching Woo’s lechon con tokwa. Rather, it is inspired by that dish but the sauce is my creation. Since the dish requires cooked lechon kawali and fried tofu, see lechon kawali with no deep-frying and the tips on frying tofu.
- 2 tablespoons cooking oil
- 1 large large onion finely sliced
- 6 cloves garlic peeled and smashed
- 1-inch knob ginger sliced
- 2 tablespoons patis (fish sauce)
- 1 tablespoon soy sauce
- 1 tablespoon rice vinegar
- 1 tablespoon oyster sauce
- 1/4 cup Sriracha
- 3 tablespoons honey
- 1/2 kilogram roast pork belly (lechon kawali)
- 200 grams firm tofu cut into cubes and deep-fried until golden
- drizzle sesame seed oil
- sliced scallions to garnish
Heat the cooking oil in a wok or frying pan.
Saute the onion, garlic and ginger.
In a bowl mix together the fish sauce, soy sauce, rice vinegar, oyster sauce, Sriracha and honey. Pour into the pan.
Throw in the lechon kawali and tofu. Cook over high heat, tossing often. If the mixture appears too dry, add water, a tablespoonful at a time.
Turn off the heat, drizzle in the sesame seed oil and toss.
Transfer the cooked lechon con tokwa to a platter. Sprinkle the snipped scallions on top. Serve hot.