Pork Tocino or simply tocino is a cured meat product native to the Philippines. It is made from pork and the preparation is quite similar to ham and bacon although beef and chicken can sometimes be used as alternatives. It is often reddish in color and has a sweet and savory taste. Pork Tocino was said to be named after the Spanish word “tocino”, which is used to describe cured meats.
Pork Tocino is usually eaten during breakfast along with warm rice. Tosilog is a popular meal comprised of garlic rice (or sinangag), fried pork tocino, and a piece of fried sunny side up egg. Pork tocino has been a famous Filipino “anytime” food because it is available almost in every grocery stores and can be consumed anytime of the day.
Pork Tocino got its reddish color artificially. A red food coloring is needed to make your own homemade tocino to make it look more appetizing. Of course, the food coloring is just optional because it does not affect the taste of the meat. I usually cure my tocino in the fridge for at least 3 days for best results. I also freeze my cured tocino for a week before cooking. I am not recommending you guys to do the same because 24 is just enough for curing — I think that I just want my homemade pork tocino to get cured longer.
One word of advice though, even how good cured meat tastes, moderate consumption is still recommended. Too much intake can still affect our health in the long run. It is best to have pork tocino at least once or twice per month. By the way, it tastes best when dipped in spicy vinegar.
Let me tell where I bought some of the ingredients, since it can be quite a challenge to get these ingredients if you are outside of the Philippines. I got the Prague powder (also known as curing salt) online from a website called myspiceage.com. I also ordered the sodium phosphate online from americanspice.com. The annissette liquer was purchased from a local wine store, while the rest of the ingredients came from the local grocery store. Making your own homemade tocino is really easy, as long as you have all the ingredients in hand.
Good luck everyone and let me know if you have questions. You can reach me by emailing or by following our Twitter, Instagram, and Pinterest accounts (@panlasangpinoy).
Try this Pork Tocino Recipe and let me know what you think.
Homemade Pork Tocino Recipe
- 2 lbs. pork ham
- 1 1/2 tablespoons sea salt
- 1/2 teaspoon Prague powder #1
- 3/4 cups granulated white sugar
- 1 teaspoon sodium phosphate
- 1/4 cup anisette liquer
- 1/2 cup pineapple juice
- 1/4 cup crushed garlic
- 1 tablespoon garlic powder
- 1/4 teaspoon Vitamin C powder
- Red food coloring
- Slice the pork ham to about ¼ inch thickness
- Dissolve the sodium phosphate in 5 tablespoons of water.
- Except for the meat, combine all ingredients in a large bowl and mix well
- Apply the combined mixture to the meat by rubbing. Make sure that the mixture is evenly distributed across the meat
- Place the mixed ingredients in a covered container
- Store the covered container (with meat and mixture) in room temperature for 14 hours. It may also be refrigerated but would take at least 3.5 days to complete.
Now that you have you have made your own homemade pork tocino, all you need to do is cook it. I cook my tocino by boiling it with 2 cups water and 1/4 cup cooking oil. The meat gets tender as the water starts to boil. After quite a while, the water evaporates and the cooking oil will be left. This will instantly fry the meat. Make sure to turn the meat over after a few minutes of frying to cook the opposite side of the tocino. Doing this will give you a tender and delicious pork tocino that is cooked just about right.