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The talent of Filipino cooks manifests not just in the taste of their food. It also becomes very clear once you see how easily they are able to make the most of a few simple ingredients to fit the budget. One of the components we often see in local recipes is the beloved tokwa or tofu. Not only is it quite affordable, but it is also very healthy. And so if you want a great budget meal with plenty of richness, here is my recipe for you— Garlic Tokwa and Kangkong in Oyster Sauce.
You may already be familiar with tofu dishes like this. But what sets it apart is its stronger, more savory flavor as a result of using plenty of garlic. That sauce makes the tokwa taste meatier, and more satisfying. Let’s try cooking this up!
How to Make Garlic Tokwa and Kangkong in Oyster Sauce
Cooking the garlic
We want to start things off by preparing our garlic. Get 1 head of this, crush the garlic, and then chop it up. Then transfer that to a small pan. Pour ½ cup of cooking oil, and apply some heat. Set that to medium, and wait for the oil to begin bubbling. Once it does, you can take the heat down to the lowest setting. We will just keep the garlic cooking until it becomes golden brown. As you are doing this, don’t forget to continue stirring your ingredients together so the garlic becomes evenly cooked.
After that, just grab your kitchen sieve. We will want to separate the bits of garlic from the garlic oil using this. Set both these ingredients aside for now.
Frying the tofu
Take your remaining 1 cup of oil, and place this inside a deep small cooking pot. Set aside around 3 tablespoons of garlic oil, and then pour the rest into your pot. We will now add our 12 ounces of extra firm tofu. Fry this all up until it turns golden brown in color.
Then you just have to take tofu out of the pot, and place it in a container of choice. We will wait for this to cool for a bit before we dice the tofu up. Then set the diced tofu aside.
Making the sauce
For this step, you will need 3 tablespoons of oyster sauce, 2 teaspoons of Knorr Liquid Seasoning, 1 tablespoon of soy sauce, 1 ½ tablespoons of cornstarch, and ½ cup of water. Let’s put all of this in a bowl, and mix the ingredients up.
Putting the garlic oil, onions, tofu and water spinach together
Your garlic oil from earlier is up next. Pour the 3 tablespoons we set aside into a clean pan. Then just add 1 onion you’ve chopped. Sauté everything until the onion bits get soft. Afterwards, put your fried tofu in the pan, and sauté this for 30 seconds. We will also grab 1 bunch of kangkong or water spinach we’ve chopped. Put this in your pan. We will once again sauté, but for 1 minute this time.
Incorporating the sauce
It’s time to pour our sauce mixture from earlier into our pot. Stir everything together thoroughly, and then keep it all cooking.
Seasoning the dish
When your sauce has thickened, you can add half of your browned garlic. Now season everything with as much salt and ground black pepper as you like. And then that’s it! You can put your Garlic Tokwa and Kangkong in Oyster Sauce in a serving plate of choice. Top this all off with the garlic you have left. I would recommend having this with some rice.
Other Tokwa Recipes to Try
If you clicked on this recipe, you are probably a fan of the classic Tokwa’t Baboy like many Filipinos are. But if you want an upgraded version of one of the most famous tofu dishes in the country, I would recommend this dish! My Kakaibang Tokwa’t Baboy is named the way it is for a reason. It utilizes plenty of deliciously tender pork belly. The key is in steaming the pork to let it tenderize beautifully, and keep that flavor intact. That’s part of why this recipe truly is unique or kakaiba!
Do you prefer your ulams to be on the sweeter side? If so, the way to go would be this yummy Tokwa At Baboy Humba. It is irresistibly rich and juicy. And another plus we can’t forget about is that it makes use of pretty affordable ingredients. And so you can expect a ton of flavor without having to break the bank.
Now if you want to indulge a little bit, and truly enjoy the goodness of tofu, you should really try it with some grilled liempo. This meat cut complements the taste of our tofu, and blends well with spiced vinegar. Definitely try this Grilled Liempo With Fried Tofu for your next party!
If you have any questions about Garlic Tokwa and Kangkong in Oyster Sauce, that’s what the comments section is for! Leave your queries below, and I will get to them as soon as I can.
- 3 tablespoons oyster sauce
- 2 teaspoons Knorr Liquid Seasoning
- 1 tablespoon soy sauce
- 1 ½ tablespoons cornstarch
- ½ cup water
- Crush and chop the garlic. Put it on a small pan and then add ½ cup cooking oil. Turn on the heat and adjust it to medium setting. Once the oil starts to bubble, adjust the heat to the lowest setting. Continue cooking the garlic while stirring until it turns golden brown in color.
- Separate the garlic from the garlic oil using a kitchen sieve. Set aside.
- Heat the remaining 1 cup of oil on a deep small cooking pot. Add the garlic oil (leaving around 3 tablespoons for later). Fry the tofu until it turns golden brown. Remove the tofu from the pot and let it cool down before dicing it. Set aside.
- Combine all the sauce ingredients in a bowl. Stir until well blended. Set aside.
- Heat the remaining 3 tablespoons of garlic oil in a clean pan. Sauté the onions until it softens.
- Add the fried tofu and continue to saute for 30 seconds.
- Add the chopped water spinach (kangkong). Saute for 1 minute.
- Pour the sauce mixture into the pot. Stir and cook until the sauce thickens.
- Add half of the browned garlic and season with salt and ground black pepper as needed.
- Transfer to a serving plate. Top with the remaining garlic. Serve with white rice.
- Share and enjoy!