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Tocino Recipe (Sweet Cured Pork)

Another Filipino dish that my hometown, Pampanga, is famous for is our Tocino. It is usually served for breakfast together with fried garlic rice.

Tocino is typically a cured meat, may it be pork, beef or chicken. The more popular kind of tocino is sweet, but us Kapampangan have a special kind called ‘Pindang’ which has added tanginess to it. Tocino Recipe (Sweet Cured Pork) Tocino is a sweet cured meat typically served as Filipino breakfast. Try this easy and simple pork tocino recipe for that sweet, savory and tender tocino.| www.foxyfolksy.com

The process of making tocino varies, but to achieve that soft and tender meat, Kapampangans mix all the ingredients together by hand for 3-5 hours then leave it covered overnight at room temperature before putting it in the fridge.

That is how much love and patience Kapampangans put into preparing their food, no wonder they are known to be great cooks all over the country.

This is not me boasting, just talking out of experience, I have been in so many places in the Philippines and more often than not, when people learned that I am from Pampanga, they would expect rather than assume that I know how to cook and that I am good at it! Talk about pressure eh! Good thing my Mama thought a thing or two;-)!

Tocino Recipe (Sweet Cured Pork) Tocino is a sweet cured meat typically served as Filipino breakfast. Try this easy and simple pork tocino recipe for that sweet, savory and tender tocino.| www.foxyfolksy.com

If you have the patience and time to do all that mixing, I suggest you do it sitting down, like while watching TV or reading a book.

And do not forget to use gloves! The longest that I have tried mixing a batch was for an hour and that was me being very patient! But I think it actually works! The meat was really soft and tender!   

Traditionally, Tocino is reddish in color to make it look more appetizing and this is achieved by adding Saltpeter (Salitre) which is also used as food preservative.  But this recipe does not use saltire but rather something more natural and healthier alternative. Alternatively, natural red food color may also be used or just skip it, totally up to you. 

 How to cook Tocino?

The way we cook Tocino in Pampanga is we first boil it in about 1-2 cups of water in a pan. When most of the water is gone and sauce starts to thicken, you can add cooking oil.

If your pork has enough fats on it, then no need to add oil as it will make its own but if not then add 3-4 tablespoon of cooking oil and let it cook over medium heat until the sauce caramelizes and meat is browned.

homemade tocino

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4.86 from 21 votes

Tocino Recipe (Sweet Cured Pork)

Tocino is a sweet cured meat typically served as Filipino breakfast. Try this easy and simple pork tocino recipe for that sweet, savory and tender tocino.
Print Rate
Course: Main Course
Cuisine: Asian,Filipino
Keyword: tocino,tocino recipe
Servings: 6
Calories: 257kcal
Author: Bebs
Prep Time: 1 hour
Total Time: 1 hour

INGREDIENTS

  • 2 pounds pork (butt, shoulder, ham or belly) - - cut into 1/4 inch thin
  • 3/4 cup brown sugar
  • 1 1/2 tablespoons salt
  • 3 cloves garlic - - finely minced
  • 1 tablespoon soy sauce
  • 2 tablespoons rice vinegar
  • 1/4 cup fruit juice, (pineapple, apple) - (optional)
  • 1/2 tablespoons finely ground black pepper
  • 1 tablespoon rice flour - (optional)
  • natural red food color - (optional)

INSTRUCTIONS

  • In a big bowl, combine all ingredients except for the pork slices. Mix until well blended.
  • Add the pork and mix using the hand, use hand gloves to avoid stains. Mix for several minutes to an hour.
  • Transfer to a container with a cover and let it sit overnight on the counter.
  • Mix again for a couple of times before putting in the fridge. Cure for 24 hours or up to 3 days. Can be frozen afterwards and stored longer.
Nutrition Facts
Tocino Recipe (Sweet Cured Pork)
Amount Per Serving
Calories 257 Calories from Fat 63
% Daily Value*
Total Fat 7g 11%
Saturated Fat 2g 10%
Cholesterol 62mg 21%
Sodium 1990mg 83%
Potassium 383mg 11%
Total Carbohydrates 30g 10%
Dietary Fiber 1g 4%
Sugars 28g
Protein 19g 38%
Vitamin C 2.7%
Calcium 4.1%
Iron 8.2%
* Percent Daily Values are based on a 2000 calorie diet.
Tried this recipe? Tell us how it went. Tag us at @foxyfolksy or leave a comment and rating below.

Bebs

Bebs here! I love to cook and try new things and DIY projects! And although I think of myself as a homebody, I like seeing other places from time to time.
If you are looking for a recipe and it ain't here, make a request and I will try my best to make it for you!

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  1. Bebs, We live in Oregon several hours from any Filipino store I decided to try your Tocino recipe and was very pleased. Once I started hand mixing the mixture I got tired and thought maybe I should try my mixers dough hook after 30 minutes it was very well mixed and starting to break apart. Other than that I followed the recipe to the tee it turned out excellent I will seal-a-meal the leftovers and cook on other occasions. I bought a pork roast and had my butcher run it through the saw quarter inch thick. The whole process was very easy and worth it now I have many packages of Tocino to last me a few months. Iโ€™ve tried many of your recipes and this one worked out the best maybe after a couple more years I will be able to master Pandisal. Thank you.

    1. I know the mixing part could be tiring (and boring), I usually do it while watching TV ๐Ÿ˜‰. The mixer with dough attachment is an idea, but maybe shorten the time. But it actually does not matter if the meat breaks into smaller cuts. Tocino actually have very irregular shapes, probably from all that mixing. ๐Ÿ˜‰

  2. Hi! Been following some of your recipes for awhile already. Now, this tocino way of cooking is an old stuff for me but I usually fried it immediately after being thawed. Didn’t know that you cook it with water first. My question is do you need to boil the water first before putting on the meat or boil it together? Thanks

    1. Frying after thawing also works but to make sure that meat is tender we usually boil first also to render the fat so you do not need to add too much oil. You can bring both the frozen tocino and water to boil at the same time.

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