Filipinos love starting their day with a heavy meal in contrast to most europeans who take a rather light breakfast of bread and jams. Filipinos adulation for rice and something fried like fish or meat is inherent to us considering that we needed a lot of energy and stamina to work in the fields as what our forefathers have been doing. And if there’s one breakfast dish that is never absent on our table it is Tocino. Tocino or Cured Pork Meat , is actually of Spanish inheritance. The word tocino itself actully means bacon in Spanish. although in other former colonies of Spain like Puerto Rico or Cuba Tocino is just like a slab of fat used in cooking to add more flavors. Filipinos version of tocino is more like of a bacon but of a sweeter version. Tocino are often served with garlic fried rice and fried egg.
The best tocino are said to be the ones made by the kapampangan’s (Province of Pampanga in Northern Luzon) they even have a fermented pork dish very similar to tocino pork curing procedures. Pork tocino is actually our family’s favorite. I remember there was a time in my childhood we had tocino not only for breakfast but also for lunch and dinner. This is not a traditional recipe for making tocino but this one is an interesting flavor to try!
Note: Saltpeter or Potassium nitrate is the traditional ingredient used in making tocino that gives this dish the reddish color. But it is quite dangerous to use too much as this is an active ingredient used in making fertilizers and gunpowder. I highly recommend using food coloring or annisseto (natural food coloring) or just leaving it as it is.
For every kilo of pork (use porkloins with good deal of meat and fat)
4 tablespoons of rocksalt
6 tablespoons of brown sugar
half a cup of pineapple juice
The proportion is always the same: for every kilo of pork you need to add 4 tablespoons of salt and 6 tablespoons of sugar. Meaning there should always be more sugar than salt. In a salad bowl put your cleaned pork, then add the salt and sugar then give a good massage to your pork. Then pour the pineapple juice. If you want to put some red color on it. Use a red food coloring give a few drops of it. Then cover it with plastic wrap and keep on the fridge for about two to three days.
The traditional way of cooking is to add a little bit of water with your tocino on a frying pan and let the water completely evaporate. Then add some oil and fry.