Tocino

Sweet Cured Breakfast Pork Slices

Tocino is a one of the most popular cured meats in the Philippines, usually a breakfast treat eaten with Garlic fried rice and a runny Sunny-Side Up egg.

It is reddish, sweet, salty and a little tangy, where the best part is the overcooked fatty meat portion.

Curing the meat with saltpeter (salitre) gives it the reddish hue, but you can skip that if you it is just for home consumption.

Though for an appetizing presentation, we use a red food color to make it look authentic.

This recipe is an immitation of the cured version to mimic the taste of this favorite breakfast item, which tends to be pricey depending on the brand.

Last I checked, the cost of half a pound cured meat is equivalent to a pound and a half yield, so if you have quite a big family, might as well make your own.

But you will need to give it a couple days inside the refrigerator for flavor to meld together and the marinate to permeate the meat.


YOUR SHOPPING LIST:

  • Pork Shoulder
  • Rice Wine Vinegar
  • Fruit Juice (Pineapple or Orange)
  • Rice Wine Vinegar or any vinegar (coconut, apple cider)
  • Red food color


IN THE PANTRY:

  • Sugar
  • Garlic
  • Salt
  • Soy Sauce
  • Ground Pepper

INGREDIENTS

  • 2 pounds Pork shoulder, cut in 1/4 inch thickness

  • MARINADE
  • 1 tablespoon kosher or table salt, dissolved in 1/4 cup water
  • 3/4 cup Sugar
  • 1/2 head of Garlic, minced
  • 2 tablespoons Rice Wine Vinegar
  • 1 tablespoon Soy Sauce
  • 1/4 cup Fruit Juice (Pineapple or Orange)
  • 1/2 teaspoon Red food color
  • 1 tablespoon Ground Pepper

  • 1/4 cup Vinegar (optional - to add before frying)

  • Cooking Oil for frying

1 Mix together the marinade and dissolve the sugar completely.

2 Pour the marinade and knead it into the meat to completely absorb.

3 Cover and leave inside the refrigerator to cure for 2 - 3 days.

4 When ready to cook, mix in the vinegar, then drain excess liquid.

5 Fry in cooking oil using medium heat.

6 Serve with garlic fried rice, Sunny-side up Egg, and a side dip of vinegar and chili pepper or slices of tomatoes.


BENG'S TIPS

  • Try to cure inside the refrigerator instead of room temperature for food safety. Meats that cure outside refrigeration usually use Curing Salt or Saltpeter (Salitre).

  • No fruit juice available? If you have any orange fruit lying around, squeeze out the juice to get the required amount the recipe calls for.

  • I add more vinegar in the end to mimic the tangy cured meat taste. Just a personal preference.

  • If you use a tough kind of meat, use the back side of the knife to pound the meat after slicing to separate the grains and make the meat tender.

  • Boiling the meat in water before frying could make the Tocino lose its sticky, sweet glaze that you get from directly frying.

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