Lugaw at Tokwa is the perfect rainy day comfort food! Not only is it filling and delicious, but it’s also easy to make and budget-friendly too. This rice congee and crispy tofu combination are sure to hit the spot!
Lugaw with tokwa’t baboy is a popular food pairing in the Philippines and is commonly served as a filling breakfast or midday snack. However, in this lugaw at tokwa version, I did away with the customary pork for quick gratification and used only firm tofu, which I deep-fried to a lovely crisp.
As I find the crispy tokwa and its soy sauce-vinegar dressing flavorful enough, I like to cook my congee in plain water with a basic seasoning of ginger and salt. Heaped together in a bowl, these two simple elements make a satisfying vegetarian treat.
Making the congee
- Soak the glutinous rice in water for an hour for a speedy and even cooking.
- Newly harvested rice contains more moisture while older rice will require more liquid to turn soft and mushy. You may need to adjust the water depending on the rice used.
- You can add a pinch of kasubha or dried safflower to the lugaw to give it a more vibrant color.
Making the tokwa
- For best results, drain the tofu well from the packing liquid. Wrap the tofu block in a thick layer of paper towels, set it over a wire rack, and weigh it down with a saucer or plate for about 15 to 20 minutes to rid of excess moisture.
- Cut tofu block in uniform size to ensure even cooking.
- Heat the oil to an optimal temperature of 350 F to prevent tofu from sticking and absorbing too much grease.
- Use enough oil and do not overcrowd the pan to allow enough room for the tofu to brown evenly. Read more of my tips on how to fry tofu in this simple guide.
Ladle the lugaw in individual bowls and garnish with chopped green onions and fried garlic bits. You can also add a halved hard-boiled egg if you like. Serve the congee with the tokwa on the side.
How to store
- Store the congee and tofu in separate containers. Refrigerate for up to 3 days.
- Reheat the congee in a saucepot over medium heat to an internal temperature of 165 F, adding more water as needed to loosen consistency. Or warm in the microwave until completely heated through, stirring well to distribute heat.
- Leftover tofu can be eaten cold or at room temperature.
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