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 treat!
This regional delicacy has evolved to be a delicious balance of sweet and salty, but traditional Kapampangan burong (cured) babi (pork) as I remember it, is fermented at room temperature for about 3 to 5 days to achieve a slightly sour taste. For the sake of food safety, I highly recommend curing the meat in the refrigerator (no more than 3 days!) and storing in the freezer immediately after.
Pork tocino is typically served for breakfast and along with sinangag and sunny side up eggs, is a primary component of the popular Filipino food combo tocilog.
This cured meat is so easy to make at home, you’ll never have to buy it again! I suggest making a good few pounds and storing in the freezer for future use. Keep one-meal portions in individual resealable bags and you’ll have a delicious meal ready in a pinch.
Tips on How to Make Pork Tocino
- This recipe uses basic pantry ingredients and no added preservatives. Just a simple seasoning of salt, sugar, garlic powder, and pepper to bring on the amazing taste you’ll love. The red food coloring is for aesthetic purpose only and is totally optional. Although, a few drops of coloring does make the tocino decidedly more appetizing.
- For better taste and texture, use the right cut of meat. I find tenderloin (lomo) to be too lean and pork belly to be too fatty. Tocino, like our iconic BBQ pork, is best made with Boston butt or (despite the name, it actually comes from the pig shoulder) kasim which is well layered with fat.
- Although you can pan-fry this straight in hot oil, I suggest cooking first in water until fork-tender before adding the oil to brown and caramelize.
- 2 pounds pork butt, sliced to 1/4-inch thick
- 1 cup sugar
- 1 tablespoon salt
- 1 tablespoon garlic powder
- 1/4 teaspoon pepper
- 2 drops red food coloring
- 2 tablespoons oil
- In a bowl, combine 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.
- In a pan over medium heat, add pork including marinade and enough water to cover. Bring to a boil.
- Lower heat, cover and simmer until meat is tender and cooked through, adding more water in 1/2 cup increments as needed.
- When water is completely absorbed and meat is tender, add oil and cook, stirring regularly, until meat caramelizes. Serve hot.