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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.|

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.|

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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4.8 from 30 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


  • 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)


  • 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*
Fat 7g11%
Saturated Fat 2g10%
Cholesterol 62mg21%
Sodium 1990mg83%
Potassium 383mg11%
Carbohydrates 30g10%
Fiber 1g4%
Sugar 28g31%
Protein 19g38%
Vitamin C 2.2mg3%
Calcium 41mg4%
Iron 1.5mg8%
* 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 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. 5 stars
    Hi Ms. Bebs! First of all thank you so much for sharing so many of your recipes. I am excited to try this one and the longganisa too. I just wanna ask if I can use dark brown sugar instead of light brown sugar? Thank you so much.

  2. Hi,
    I substitute the salt into curing. Is this going to be a problem. I saw the label of the salt that 1 tsp can cure up to 5 lbs after I already mixed all my ingredients.

    1. Oh, yes, I would be careful and not use so much curing salt in a recipe. You can add more meat and other ingredients so not to put the meat into waste,

  3. 5 stars
    dear foxyfolksy, my mixture of tocino turned to be a little bit salty, how will I neutralize it if it's already cured? can I add a small amount of sugar while cooking it?

  4. Thank you for this reciipe! Been a long to not be able to eat tocino because of the unhealthy ingredients!
    This one definitely is the best alternative to a traditional Filipino tocino recipe!
    We Love It! It taste really good!


  5. Hello dear. Can I substitute rice vinegar into an ordinary white vinegar? Also, can I not use any flour in the process? Thanks a lot.

    1. Hi Tara, yes, you can use most kinds of vinegar. But it has to be rice flour, other kinds of flour will not work the same.

  6. Hello! I am trying this recipe right now. I don’t Have rice flour so I just sub it with bread flour. Is the marinade Supposed to be saucy when mixed with the meat? Mine is a little dry.

    1. Hi Divine, it is because you used bread flour instead of rice flour. They do not work the same way and cannot be used interchangeably. Rice flour will also help with the fermentation.

    1. Hi Neilbryan, I think you misunderstood the instructions. It says to let it at room temperature overnight then cure for another 24 hrs up to 3 days (or even longer) in the fridge. After that, you can freeze it too for later consumption. Curing is a process of food preservation that starts, in this case, as you let it rest in the counter (like fermentation) and will continue in the fridge for some days.

  7. 5 stars
    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. I’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 😉. 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. 😉

    1. Not really, Natalie, since the amount is really too less. Unless your vinegar is really strong, but it still should be gone after cooking.

  8. 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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