That may sound like gibberish, but I know there are some of you who are familiar with Mahjong and actually recognize the Mahjong jargon. Mahjong is a Chinese table game that is very popular in the Philippines. It's actually a favorite pastime, especially during weekends and summer.
The shuffling of the Mahjong tiles under the palms of our hands, the guessing of the numbers by feeling the tiles, the sound made by the clashing of ivory tiles -- all these came to life again last weekend. After years of not playing, Mama B, my mother-in-law, Mama Nena, sister-in-law's grandma and I were reminded of the thrill of the game. And boy how we got carried away. We played continuously for more than 12 hours. That is not an exaggeration. We actually played through the afternoon, through night and into the next morning. How could three women of different generations and different interests stay up all night? I tell you, we were all under the Mahjong spell.
Playing Mahjong brought the three of us back to those summer days in the Philippines. Mama B was reminded of the days when we played Mahjong at the lanai back home. She fondly recalled how she taught her children the game so we could form a complete quorum of players. Mama Nena, on the other hand, remembered her trips to the province where she recollected how much fun she had playing Mahjong with her childhood friends. Fun memories echoed back and I could tell by the tone of their voices and the glow on their faces how much fun they were having.
Plus, with the addition of Goto and Tokwa't Baboy, the three of us knew that we were recreating those days so familiar to us. Not even the harsh Las Vegas heat was able to stop us from eating the pair. We were definitely in summer rhythm.
Goto and Tokwa't Baboy
Goto is a Filipino congee that is made of rice and beef tripe. It is a popular merienda (snacks) in the afternoon or after a night out. It is usually paired with Tokwa't Baboy, a side dish made of pig's offals and tofu.
Let's tackle Goto first. We need:
Tripe, clean with salt and rinse well. Boil it until tender with bay leaf, celery, onions and garlic. Slice in strips and set aside.
For the congee, we need:
1 c glutinous rice
1 c jasmine rice
2 cloves garlic, minced
1 medium onion, sliced
2 slices ginger
4 c broth
a pinch of safron
fish sauce for seasoning
Saute garlic, onions and ginger. Add the strips of tripe. Add salt, pepper and safron. Stir them together. Add rice and stir again. Add broth and let it boil. Reduce heat and cook it for another 30 - 40 minutes. Add broth as you go until you've achieved the desired consistency.
Voila, this is how my bowl of congee looks like:
Now let's make the Tokwa't Baboy
Pig's offals, boil in a pot with onions, garlic, cellery and bay leaf, slice them into strips
Tofu: Fry tofu and slice them into cubes.
For the sauce: Mix 1/2 c soy sauce, 1/2 c vinegar minced garlic, 1 tsp sugar, broth. It's optional but I like to simmer my sauce altogether. Add pepper.
Toss tofu and the pork together. Add sauce... your ready to enjoy a bite that would give you a whip! Enjoy!
You could just have the goto (congee) or just the tokwa't baboy on its own. But for me? I love to have both goto and tokwa't baboy together... the flavors, the textures ahh they are in perfect harmony!