Pork Tocino is a Filipino dish cured in sugar, salt, pepper and garlic. Typically served with garlic fried rice and eggs, it's a delicious breakfast buffet!
Homemade pork Tocino
Different regions in the Philippines are known for different specialties and we, Kapampangans, are known for the best pork tocino, tapa and longganisa.
Pork tocino is a type of Filipino curated meat made from beef, chicken or pork. It is typically served as a whole breakfast meal as a main component of the popular combination, tocilog, which is a portmanteau for tocino, sinangag (garlic fried rice) and itlog (sunny side up eggs).
This regional delicacy has turned out to be a delicious balance between sweet and salty, but traditional Kapampangan burong (cured) babi (pork), as I recall it, is fermented at room temperature to achieve a slightly sour taste. For food safety reasons, I highly recommend that the meat be hardened in the refrigerator for a maximum of three days and stored in the freezer immediately after.
It's so easy to make at home, you never have to buy it again! I suggest marinating a few pounds and freezing for future use. Divide it into individual reusable bags and you will have a delicious meal ready in a pinch.
Marinade ingredients for Tocino
Traditional pork tocino included salts (saltpeter) that act as a preservative and dye for food. However, the recipe below uses basic eating ingredients and has no added preservatives.
The marinade is a simple blend of salt, sugar, garlic powder and pepper to get the amazing sweet and yarn-like flavors you will love. The red food color is for aesthetic purposes only and can be omitted.
Tips on How to Make Homemade Pork Tocino
- Use the right meat for better taste and texture. I think the tenderloin (lomo) is too lean and the pork belly to be too fatty. Like our iconic BBQ pork, Tocino is best made with Boston butt or (despite its name, it actually comes from pork shoulder) Kasim which is well layered with fat.
- For a tender chew, cut the meat thinly over the grain.
- Not a fan of food color? Replace about 1 teaspoon atsuet powder or 1/4 cup banana ketchup.
- You can add pineapple juice, aniseed or vinegar to help crush the meat and balance the sweetness with a hint of tangy flavor. Be sure not to marinate the meat in the fridge for too long as the acids will denature the protein fibers and result in a mushy structure. Cure overnight and transfer to freezer.
How to cook pork Tocino
- You can fry straight in hot oil, but I suggest the tocino is first cooked in water until the fork is tender. Add just enough water to cover the meat and simmer until the meat is tender and liquid is mostly absorbed. Add oil and cook under stirring regularly until lightly browned and caramelized.
- Instead of roasting, you can also grill the meat over hot coals for approx. 3 to 5 minutes on each side or until cooked through and nicely charred.
- Place the marinated meat in a single layer on a foil lined baking sheet to bake. Bake, uncovered, in a 350 F oven for approx. 30 to 40 minutes, or until browned, and a thermometer inserted in the center of the meat shows 145 F. Turn the meat halfway through cooking and loosen the tent with foil, if burnt, before it is fully cooked. .
Homemade pork Tocino
Pork Tocino is a hearty Filipino dish served for breakfast with a sunny side up egg and garlic fried rice. Sweet and garlicky, it's sure to be a family favorite. Prep Time10 min Cook Time20 min Marinating time8 hours Total time30 min. Food: Filipino Keywords: burong babi, meat, tocino Servings: 8 servings Calories: 433kcal
- 2 pounds of pork bones, sliced to 1/4-inch thick
- 1 cup sugar
- 1 tablespoon salt
- 1 tablespoon garlic powder
- 1/4 teaspoon pepper
- 2 drops of red food color
- 1 cup of water
- 2 tablespoons canola oil
- In a bowl, combine the pork, sugar, salt, garlic, pepper and red food coloring. Massage meat with curing mixture until well distributed and evenly colored.
- Store in a covered container or ziplock bag and refrigerate overnight to cure.
- Add pork including marinade in a pan over medium heat and enough water to cover. Boil up.
- Lower the heat, cover, and simmer until the meat is tender and cooked through, adding more water in 1/2 cup increments as needed.
- When water is completely absorbed and the meat is tender, add oil and boil with stirring regularly until meat is caramelized. Serve hot.
Serving: 142g | Calories: 433kcal | Carbohydrates: 25.8 g | Protein: 26.6 g | Fat: 24.8 g | Saturated fat: 9g | Cholesterol: 102 mg | Sodium: 949 mg | Potassium: 385 mg | Sugar: 25.3 g | Vitamin C: 0.8 mg | Calcium: 30 mg | Iron: 1.6 mg