Tocino / Cured Pork

Tocino is Spanish for bacon or cured meat. In the Philippines, it is a red sweet pork breakfast dish that you must dip in vinegar… atoc1Just as most bacons are reddish in color, I think in the old days this was a result of adding saltpeter or potassium nitrate or is it sodium nitrate to preserve the meat. We have gotten so used to reddish breakfast pork fare that we continue the tradition today mostly with red food coloring… On the same day I made tapang baka, I decided to make my first batch of tocino as well. Take some pork loin or boneless pork chops and slice thinly. For a kilo of pork add about 2-3 tablespoons of rock or kosher salt and 4-6 tablespoons of granulated white sugar. Press the salt/sugar mixture onto both sides of the meat and put this is a clean bowl to cure in the refrigerator for at least two days before frying or freezing for future use. Use more salt and sugar if necessary but keep the proportion the same (that means, more sugar than salt).

If you want the traditional red color you can either add saltpeter tocino2if you know how to use it safely or I tried a few drops of red food coloring diluted in two tablespoons of water and added that to the meat and mixed. Some recipes on the internet suggest paprika as an alternative coloring agent. The food coloring does nothing for the flavor but it is a visual thing for some folks. After a couple of days “curing” inside the refrigerator, just heat up a pan over high heat, add some vegetable oil and fry the tocino until it just caramelizes slightly on both sides. Comfort food in our home included fried beef tapa and or pork tocino with rice and egg. Vinegar served on the side is absolutely necessary. I also like this meal for dinner as well. Anywhere in the world, these two recipes can transport you back home for a fleeting moment. The smell in your kitchen will last a little longer!


104 Responses

  1. hello marketman and everyone.

    i just have noticed a growing community of marketmanila “commenters” (commentators?). What is nice about this blog is our little anonymous reactions and relations as we react to mr. marketman’s posts and the expected comments. This has become our own version of little personal blogs, a shout page, a grafitti wall which is so addictive specially for a non-blogger like me. i think it’s time to get to know each other without really posting our names. Being anonymous is nice. lemme start…

    I’m a “blogeur”, a blog voyeur from Bacolod City. I’m newly married and I am assigned the cooking duties at home. My equipment include 1 rice cooker (wedding gift 1), a badly depreciated generic frying pan, one multipurpose kaserola for boiling pasta and cooking munggo, 1 whistling kettle (wedding gift 2), some cheap knives (wedding gift 3), an oven toaster (wedding gift of course).

    I hope this is ok with you Marketman… hitching on your blog. hehehehe.

  2. I love tocino but am concerned about the nitrates in preserved meats. This recipe is a better alternative (I’m not much into the pink tocino anyway, more that it’s tender and has that sweet/savory taste that is a perfect ride with the vinegar or achara). My only question is what does the salt/sugar cure doing to the meat to avoid spoilage? I figure that if you put any piece of meat in the refrigerator for a couple of days without salt or sugar you’ll soon see funky smells and colors. Interesting that salt just stops that from happening. I’ll probably do a wikipedia search today to find out more but just thought I’d ask.

  3. I believe saltpeter has already been banned as a commercial food preservative. The safer alternative is Prague powder. There are also pre-mixed meat cures so you wouldn’t have to worry about properly measuring and weighing to keep the nitrites or nitrates at a safe level.

  4. Wow. I never would have thought that making tocino could be so simple.

    I remember our cook using saltpeter back in the day… then at some point my aunt the kitchen whiz taught the cook how to do it using that prague powder, whatever it was. I think I’ll try your simple salt-n-sugar version one of these days…

  5. lee, you are right, there seem to be about 50-60 readers who regularly comment. I cannot emphasize how encouraging that is… on any given day there are another 400+ unique visitors to the site but they are “lurkers” who care to remain anonymous. Only on really hot or interesting issues do they come out from the dark… I strongly encourage regulars to post comments as it adds a lot to the site. Btw, this tocino recipe is easy to alter to your personal tastes, add more sugar or salt as you like…

  6. Mila, I am not a food scientist but here is my best shot at an answer to your question re: salt and preservation. Microbes and bacteria need water and a particular temperature to survive. Salt draws the water out of the cells and gets in the way of surface microbial growth. In the past, one could simply dry the meat in the sun/air and this would get the same result as just salt but you risked some bacteria hanging on if it wasn’t dry enough. Some hams such as prosciutto di Parma and San Daniele are cured only with salt and air-dried hanging in cool dry barns in Italy. The addition of salt or sodium chloride deprives the bacteria and molds of water. While you can do all of this curing at room temperature, I am certain I will do it wrong and poison myself silly so I put the meat into the refrigerator as a second defense against bacteria growth. Saltpeter or potassium nitrate is also used to preserve meats, it has the side effect of brigthening the meat color, hence the reddish bacon. Apparently around 1900, it was discovered that the potassium nitrate was partially converted to nitrite and this nitrite was the key to the process, thus saltpeter was banished and pure nitrite was added to meats instead. Nitrites also add a flavor component of its own, hence the meats that seem to have a different taste than just pure salt and sugar added. I hope this answers your question because if you want to go deeper, you have lost me…

  7. hi me again, surely i will try your tocino recipe coz it seems so easyyy to make…. i always buy tocino from the supermarket here (uae) and the taste are really different from back home! my friend’s version is also tasty (with pineapple juice and a lot of things!)but she wouldn’t share her recipe with me?!? so if i do the marinating tonight, curing for a few days, then i will have a hearty “longsilog brunch” over the week-end! btw, thursday n friday is the weekend here! :)

  8. Thanks MM, your reasoning is word for word what I found in several food science books. Anyway, I’m going to have to do a weekend of cured meats one day with the recipes you’ve posted. And a side of the healthier stuff like the cabbage dishes to offset all the meat!

  9. ganyan lang pala ang mag gawa nang tocino salamat amigo, alam mo kaya ko di ko magawa noon dahil lahat nang recipe na nakita ko ay kailangan nang saltpeter yon pala preservative lang pala yon.

  10. I love Radioactive Pink tocino but have avoided it because of the cancer scare. Thanks for this recipe, MM!

  11. And if tocino meant bacon or cured meat, then what is tocino del cielo, the object of my swooning everytime I taste one?

    I love tocino too, especially the fatty layer with the charred sugar clinging to it dearly.

    Pampanga’s Best claims to have zero saltpeter (or salitre) in their meat products like tocino. I’m not sure what they substitute for it.

  12. Buddy, good point on the tocino del cielo, that wickedly sweet concoction… anyone out there have a logical answer? Many folks today probably have banished saltpeter and use a commercial preservative (nitrite) of some kind. Frankly, it tastes pretty good with just salt and sugar… Gigi, a little bit of food color won’t do much harm if you like the pinkish tinge… if you eat red m&m’s, certain juice drinks and other reddish food products you are already ingesting red food color…Aleth, I didn’t know pork was easily accessible in the UAE… let me know if it turns out okay…

  13. yap, pork is available here in dubai, i will certainly let you know the outcome of my “trial” with your recipe… he he he . . already have “volunteer” coming over the week-end and even requested me to try both your tocino & tapa recipe!

  14. I love tocino, but when we were younger my mom doesn’t let us have it very often because she said it’s full of food colour and preservatives. That’s probably why tocino doesn’t pop up in my head whenever I think of a list of cravings; it’s exciting how I chanced upon your site and discover how easy it is to make (sans the food colour of course). My question is, is it absolutely necessary to use rock salt instead of the usual table salt? If so, why? Thanks!

  15. Jovs, table salt is generally iodized and I find that the iodine imparts a noticeable flavor to the end product. If you are in the U.S., use kosher salt available at any grocery. If you are in the Philippines, use rock salt from the markets or groceries. If you want some pink, a drop or two of red food color is all you need, dilute in a bit of water. If you eat a lot of packaged food you are already consuming lots of food color without your knowing it! Thanks for visiting the marketmanila website.

  16. Thank you marketman. I’m in OZ… ha ha… but I’ll definitely go hunt for rock salt, I’m sure it’s available here, it’s just that I haven’t noticed. And thank God we don’t eat a lot of packaged food… always freshly baked, freshly cooked – food from the wet market here! :) Anyway, thanks much.

  17. This may be a silly question, but here goes. Is tocino another word for Spanish bacon? I mean, I know it’s a word for bacon in Spanish, but I am looking for the bacon that is used to wrap around figs. The bacon in bacon-wrapped figs in Spain (and in many European Spanish restaurants) is amazing, and I’ve search for Spanish bacon on the web for months now but have never come across anyone that sells it in America (I am in Canada), nor have I come across any recipes to cure it myself. So when I finally saw that tocino is spanish bacon, I started to wonder if perhaps I had been searching for the wrong thing. If anyone out thee is a lover of Spanish bacon and knows where to get it or how to make it, please let me know!

  18. lise, not such a silly question. Yes, tocino in spanish means bacon or cured meat I suppose. In the Philippines, tocino refers to this pork preparation that is wickedly red and meant to approximate “bacon” from our colonizers way back when… Using any well cured bacon around figs works wonders…it is the saltiness and fat of the pork combined with the intesified sweetness of the fig that makes the combination fantastic. In the brilliant cookbook a Return to Cooking by Eric Ripert he describes such a recipe…

  19. I will definitely try your recipe, I hope i’ll do it right.. I always crave for tocino here in the US. There are lots of tocino products here but they don’t taste good. Looking for original Pampanga’s best tocino here, bu no luck. Thanks for your recipe.

  20. jen, I hope the recipe works for you. I don’t like the really red version of tocino but others do…food coloring does wonders when you let it…

  21. im planning to sell tocinos in our place but i want to make it the natural way without those preservatives now what can you suggest so that my customers will surely love the taste?is there any difference if i use white sugar or brown sugar? what is the best one to use anyway?one thing more why they add pineapple juice is it necessary?Thanks and More power!

  22. lizzie, I haven’t tried this with pineapple juice but I suspect it is for the sweet/sour taste of the pineapple. I suppose the biggest thing to consider is the quality of your meat. If it is particularly tough you will have a problem so make sure you find a good supplier. Using preservatives was common before so that the tocino would last, it isn’t necessary if you are selling it fresh…

  23. I am from Pampanga and tocino is a reegular business in Pampanga and our family makes it too. I have some secrets to tell you to come up with a delicious tocino on your table.

    When boiling your tocino before frying add 2 tablespoon of vinegar (any kind) to your 1/2 cup of water, depending on the amount of your pork tocino to be cooked, let the water and vinegar evaporates then add some cooking oil.It will be better that a regular tocino.

  24. hi marketman! u said table salt or iodize salt imparts a noticeable flavor to the end product. what is the noticeable flavor when using table salt? is it good or not to use table salt? is sea salt good to use too? which salt makes more good tocino? can i use your recipe of tocino with chicken as well?
    any changes in recipe when using chicken? thanks for the wonderful ideas here in your blog! it was really helpful esp. for me and i’m alot of people too out there abroad!

  25. lemonade, table salt is typically iodized salt, which means it tastes like iodine. Rock salt or kosher salt does not have iodine so I find that it works better. Also, table salt is “more concentrated” than rock salt so you would use less. Look up when is a tablespoon of salt a tablespoon in my archive for a detailed discussion on salt. I suppose you could use chicken for the tocino recipe but frankly I haven’t made it that way yet…

  26. Michael, HELLO?!!! Did you read the post above. There is NOTHING more irritating than someone who asks for something that is right in front of their face…

  27. hi there! i’m new to your site and cooking too! as a kid, i really loved tocino! even here in australia, my mum still buys it from a lady from pampanga. so delicious! if i used normal table salt instead of using rock or kosher salt, how will it affect the taste? and by using your chemical-free recipe, will the taste of tocino be the same as the original? thanks

  28. MM
    Here in the philippines, it’s required n kasi that we use iodized rock or fine salt. haaay.. too hard to find good old rock salt these days. Any other processed meat recipes you might have? what’s your say with curing salt?

    Keep it up

  29. Chill, a quick trip to any nearby wet market should yield you some good old fashioned sea salt or rock salt that is not iodized. I just bought some in the Nasugbu market for PHP10 a kilo. They also have it in Manila markets as well. I have never used curing salt per se…just kosher salt for things like tapa or tocino…

  30. hey guys!i’ve noticed that many of the questions are the same and repeatedly asked, i think you should follow the instruction use ROCK SALT ok….
    anyway, i made my pork tapa just right now and tomorrow maybe i will make pork tocino because i really craving for it specially now that im pregnant, im very tired of eating korean food,just that i dont know how to make my favorite breakfast in a simple way, thanks a lot it makes a big difference in my dinning table.

  31. Its nice i got hold of your website, my babes wants me to know how to make a home made tocino. Thanks a lot! I’ll try it.

  32. tnx kau….i am really longing for tocino and i found this site very helpful…..

  33. I am planning to start a small business at home and i am thinking about tocino. Can you help by sending me a simple tocino recipe and the simple/common names of the ingredients. I don’t know much of other ingredients aside from what i commonly have in my kitchen. thank you very much…

  34. My version of making tocino is with pineapple juice. Before frying, boil it in a little water then add a little oil. I also use brown sugar, to answer one of the questions above, if its ok to use brown sugar.

  35. thanx for the tip on how to make a tocino, I havent tried it yet but im sure it’l taste good.

  36. hi, good day! im browsing the net for me to search for a simple recipes of tapa, tocino and other food that i can make for a small paglilibangan na business.then i ssae ur site and red comments bout foods, and u know pla how to make a tocino and tapa, can u help me to have this recipe, i wanna have an income xe khit pno, pra din sa pang araw araw and for my kids.thanx a lot, hope u can help me…..

  37. here is my simple recipe of tocino:

    basic (dry) ingredients: brown sugar(wag yung masyadong dark), asin (ROCK SALT), paminta at pineapple juice (canned). of course dont forget the pork or chicken.

    kailangan tikman nyo ang mixture ng dry ingredients nyo para makuha ang consistency ng alat at tamis. but its better kung lamang ng konti ang tamis ng asukal, but it will always depend on you. I like mine medyo matamis kesa maalat.

    balutan nyo lang ang meat nung dry ingredients and put it in a container. and then pour some pineapple juice — make sure na nakalubog ang karne.

    give it some time para sumipsip ng flavor at mag “cure” ang meat tapos pwede nyo ng iluto, better if you store it in the fridge until cooking time. I usually have it with spicy vinegar as a dip para hindi nakakasawa.

  38. MM,
    What are the ingredients for tocino??? JK…lol. I read it already but just wanted to say thanks for the recipe and I’ll be sure to let you kow how it turns out. BTW, can you tell me what is the name and recipe of a filipino soup that has cabbage, beef, celery, and i don’t remember what else but it sort of smells like vinegar? I know that its usually ate with rice.

  39. You MM is the answer to all my kitchen’s question! I am thinking of curing meats these days since fresh pork is rare here. I didn’t expect that making this is simple. :) You save me again.

    Btw, thanks also to jonathan for the tip. I used to boil it in water but not to improve taste but to avoid sticking to the pan. ;p It helps really..

  40. no, this is not a post asking about tocino recipe. LoL

    i wanted to ask where, if you know, i can buy kosher salt here. how is that different from our regular rock salt? i found some sea salt in santi’s, but are waaaayyy very expensive. the salt flakes are interesting though. i’m tempted to buy a bag for when i attempt to make salted butter caramel ice cream.

  41. Kindly send me good preservatives to make my tocino life’s longing even eithout freezing.thanks!

  42. Can anyone help me where to buy Prague powder here in philippines? I’ve been to farmers market but no luck. Do I need to have permit for that? .. thanks

  43. Hi Marketman.
    How is it that in some tocino there is a sour taste. how they make it without any sour ingredients? They say it comes out during curing time. How is it done? Thanks

  44. Cesar, maybe they add a little vinegar to the ingredients? Or worse, it is fermenting a bit? I don’t typically have sour tocino though…

  45. halu marketman
    kindly explain me why is it there are some bubbles on the marinade/sauce of my tocino when thawed out? which one is better putting my tocino in the chiller to avoid the bubbles or should i put ’em in the freezer for longer shelf-life and to stop curing process?

  46. glace, I have never experienced “bubbles” in the marinade, and I am not knowledgeable enough about food science to even guess. Make the stuff a few days before you want to use it. Deep freeze for any meat is not a good thing overall.

  47. Just wanted to ask you about this Santi’s bacon. Any idea on their claim that their bacon shrinks less and looks bigger and better shaped after cooking

  48. Marketman,
    I didnt know that making tocino would be this simple , but Im definitely gonna try it . I’ll let you know the outcome:)

  49. Hi MM:

    May I ask about some tocinos from the supermarts having a gel-like marinade? Looks to me it is really gelatine they are using ,maybe like some form of preservative? Any idea what it rally is? And there is one brand of tocino i regularly buy because of the delicious taste but i noticed that once it is cooked, it shrinks as much as half amount before it was cooked. Parang puffed-up lang… Anyway, thanks for this simple recipe… my kids will love this just the same. It is obviously more safer to have which will keep me from being so suspicious of the contents all the time…:D Thanks again!

  50. lieka, I am not sure if prague powder is the same as saltpeter… but I haven’t used either in my tocino, though others seem to do so… Girlie, not sure what the gel-like marinade is? Maybe sugar with something? And perhpas the pork is brined or soaked in water to increase the weight? Not sure on any of this, just speculating, really.

  51. hi. what kind of container do you use to cure the meat in? does it matter? can i just use a ziplock bag or a hard plastic one like tupperware?

  52. the salt and sugar will help preserve the meat because high amounts of salt/sugar can prevent the growth of certain microorganisms.

  53. what is prague powder one of the main ingredients of tocino?
    im interesting about tocino making..
    hope you could help me to find out.

  54. prague powder is a mixture of nitrites and salt. its a preservative so if you’re planning to use it, please make sure you put the right amount of the powder depending on the wt of meat or else you can poison someone. for those looking where they could buy this, you can try the nutrition foundation near Quezon Institute or Lemon Square Bldg along EDSA near Munoz Mkt.

  55. What do you guys know about the Mama Sita tocino mix? It’s really easy to use but I wonder what’s in there, aside from “spices” as it states on the package. I need to cook for a fundraiser next week and was planning to go the Mama Sita route but I found your site while searching for recipes and I might use your recipe instead.Thanks

  56. hello there.. marketman.. im currently here in hongkong.. and im planning to build a simple business..
    my father runs a pig farm and he’s having problems in terms of dispaching his hogs.. im planing of taking his pigs and build a canteen busness and selling cured meats(tocino,etc.) at the same time.. but i hav no knowldge about meat processing.. can you please send me information about how to make tocino or any recipe i can cook or sell?? and can i ask how long is the shelf life of a cured meat?

  57. noemie, it would be hard to start a meat based business without any knowledge to begin with… perhaps a quick course on food preparation? I do have a simple recipe for tocino above but nothing commercial in nature.

  58. mr marketman!
    i salute you for all the patience you have in YOU in replying to all these quieries, may the question be for real or just for making “kulit”…anyways, your site, i think will be a very big help. i have not tried any of your recipes yet, but this wkend i will try your tocino thing since its my son’s favorite ulam ever since, lalo na when we were still there in the philippines… yan lagi request nya baon sa school for his lunch… god bless you po esp your site… for sure madami ka pang matutulungan… pag nagawa ko na po ito, i’ll leave you my comment…

  59. Hi Marketman,

    Good Day!

    This is Mr. Mark Ancog of Cebu City. While browsing the net for tocino ingredients, i came up on a site wherein phosphate and prague powder are among the ingredients. Being new to both ingredients, I am curious on their uses.

    Hoping for an answer, I decided to ask for help on this site for I think that you are also in line in entrepreneurship and perhaps you have encountered these ingrdients. I am fervently and ardently hoping for a positive response regarding the matter..

    Thank you..

    Truly yours,
    Mark Ancog

  60. hi marketman!

    im a fan to this site and i would like to share with you my products, our home made business like tocino, longaniza, corned beef, luncheon meat, native chorizo, skinless chorizo, bacon and fiesta ham during christmas season and also we have cooked ham. for orders you can contact me at 09295040032 or to this site im always opening this site before my friendster or my yahoomail. we are based here in cebu and i can assure you that you guys will love it…

  61. Any idea if air/sun drying the tocino using your recipe ABOVE on thin slices of pork will yield to the chinese pork tapa/jerky (sans the MSG and other preservatives) that are often available in chinese groceries? Thanks…

  62. praque powder is a pink powder used to cure preserved meats like tocino & longganisa. it fixes the color of the meat &
    gives a pronounced effect on the flavor. SPICES & FOODMIX
    HOUSE calls it curing salt. u can buy it in their store located at 107 E Rodriguez Sr. Ave. Q.C.

  63. Good day, additonal to your suggestions, may i suggest to those who want to try making tocino to massage the meat with those ingredients. it would penetrate deeply the meat and become more juicy when cooked. tyvm

  64. Hi there…I’m in American Samoa,and planning to have a small business, like tocino, longganisa making,but my problem is how can I buy and where can I buy the ingredients for the tocino,if its in the Phils.what store do I go and where.The Samoans love to eat filipino foods, so I wanna try this.We can buy some ingredients for the tocino here but not all the ingredients,no saltpeter,no prague powder,or its there any substitutes for that.Or can you please give me a simple recipe of tocino and longganisa.Thanks and have a good day.

  65. What wine should I use for the tocino? My teacher told me before to use Mallorca but I cant find it here abroad… HELP ME PLEASEEEEEEEEEEEEEEE

  66. Hi there, how can I make my tocino looks like that of pampanga’s best, you know that “pasty”(best description I can give) and shiny texture. Anyone please!

  67. we tried this recipe and the beef tapa recipe and found both too salty. we were wondering if the use of sea salt (vs kosher or rock salt as indicated) made the difference. any info would be appreciated.

  68. jon, its actually not so much the type of salt, it is the weight of the salt used. Now that I have received a few comments, I think the variety and density of different salts affects the amount that should be put in. Let me look for my post on the salt, and put a link here. Try the same recipe with 1/2 the salt and experiment from there with whatever salt you use. DO NOT by any means use iodized salt or the table salts as they are finer grained and as such, more of it goes into the same measuring cup…

  69. Commenters should READ previous posts before asking. Hahaha…you are so patient MM!! Some questions just keep on repeating itself. Teehheeee…please read from top to bottom.

  70. Hi Marketman,
    Thank God I came across your website. I have been searching the net looking for Praque Powder. I want to make my own ham and this powder is one of the ingredients.Am really at a lost. Don’t know what praque powder is and where to buy it. Is praque powder the same as salitre.Is it true you can buy praque powder at a drug store? Sorry for the numerous questions, am really out of time since christmas is just around the corner. Pls. answer soon. More power and a blissful Christmas to you.

  71. From what ive been reading saltpetre is potassium nitrate while prague powder is a mixture of salt, sodium nitrite and/or nitrate. They are used for preservation, color enhancing and most importantly to prevent botulism (a deadly toxin) which is rare but could kill or maim people very quickly. However, those mixtures can produce carcinogens in meat including fish and usually linked with leukemia in children and is very dangerous when used in higher amounts than recommended.

  72. I was able to get Prague powder in the old Divisoria Public Market four years ago. In the section where they sell rice,dried beans and palm oil. Angkak powder for burong dalag was available too. Not sure if the same market is still there.

    On pineapple juice, the last time i used it as a marinade, it broke down the meat too much (nalusaw). a few mins or hours in it maybe before cooking, but not overnight. just my 2 cents on tocino.


  74. Greetings from Saudi Arabia!
    Hi Mr. Marketman. I am currently here in KSA and I am planning for tocino business.
    We have a pig farm and I am planning to invest into cured meat products but i have no knowldge about meat processing.. Can you please send me information about how to make tocino and I would like to take this opportunity to ask how long is the shelf life of that cured meat?

    (Tarlac Phils.)

  75. I remember when I was in high school (almost a decade ago) we had a project which needed for us to make a ‘Xmas ham’ but it turned out to be tocino. Just an honest mistake because I didn’t care about preparing food before but I’m trying to build my ‘foundation’ in culinary arts with these recipes that you post and I must say I am learning a lot. I’ll try my luck again, this time with your recipe.

  76. The reason why some people said the tocino turned out salty is that the dry ingredients can be very different depending on the salt and sugar you use. I have experimented with brown sugar and table sugar. There are actually many different types of salt that people use, that is also a significant factor.

    Brenda in her comment above has it right. Taste the dry ingredients mix before using it. It should taste more sweet than salty. BTW we also add a small amount of vetsin(MSG) for a fuller taste and it makes a difference. It is not true that MSG is bad for you. This is just one of the myths/ health scares that have since been disproven.

  77. Sorry if someone already mentioned this, but thats a lot of comments to go through.

    I have never straight fried Tocino. It should be cooked like Longanisa. Heat the pan and put the meat and add water to cover the meat half way. Let it boil then put to simmer. Turn the meat to let it cook properly. As the water evaporates you are left with a goowy (yummy) coating. At this time you can turn up the heat as needed to get the right texture you desire (or slightly burnt like others had mentioned).

    My family is from Pampanga and thats how I learned.


  78. Hello MM. I was missing the TOCINO here where I am in America because I really got tired eating thesame food at breakfast everyday like sausage then bacon, biscuit and egg, so I wanna something different breakfast like where I came from. One time I keep serching a “TOCINO RECIPE”and can`t fined nothing. I accross a lot of story but not recipe, but I never give up on looking so finally I found your site and I was so happy that somebody had an Idea about TOCINO recipe and believing on posting on the net.Thank you so much MM I am on my way now to cured the meat for breakfast yehe..he.. I finally found it..Thank you so much may God Bless U.

  79. MM, thank you so much for sharing this simple recipe…im with my sister now in NJ and i just tried your version of tocino…my sister and her gf love it….. :)
    Tomorrow im doing your tapa version.

    Life is easier in the kitchen now, thanks to you MM.

  80. fern, glad the recipe worked for you. Mary, there are other recipes that might bring you back “home” in the archives of this site…


    To marinade:

    *1 Cup of Pineapple Juice (DOLE is highly recommended)
    *half a kilo of pork meat
    *3 tsp of salt (It’s really up to you how much salt you put in, but obviously not too much as it is BAD FOR YOU)
    *1 1/2 tbs of brown sugar

    Put all the ingredients into a bowl. Using gloves, work the ingredients together with your hands until all of the meat are completely covered.

    Leave to marinade overnight, or two days i guess is ok.

    Now the crucial part:

    Put the mixture (after a day or two) into a pan. Add 2 cups of water, bring to boil and then simmer. Let it simmer until the meat is tender and keep adding a bit of water everytime it dries up. When the meat is tender let it dry up and the liquid evaporate. Then its ready for frying!

    This is my grandmother’s recipe and she was known for her cooking.. May she rest in peace! Love you Nana!

  82. Hi MM, thanks for the tocino recipe. I was looking for salitre-free tocino and this is perfect. I’m one of the lurkers who reads your blog :) I agree, iodized salt gives food a slightly bitter taste so I do not use it for cooking. Adding iodine to table salt was a cheap and effective way to address iodine deficiency (and the resulting goiter) on a massive scale, especially in landlocked areas such as the Cordilleras. But I think because of it we forgot the true taste of salt. Maybe we can do without iodized salt for cooking if we eat lots of iodine-rich seafood. The use of pineapple juice in tocino as a natural meat tenderizer is interesting. I’ll try that for my second batch of pork.
    For those who want to make tocino as a business, please contact the Department of Science and Technology or check out their website. It might surprise you to find that DOST has many tested recipes used for cottage industry-scale production of cured meats, daing, canned sardines, atchara, tomato ketchup, ubeng halaya, etc. I learned about this back in gradeschool HE class. The recipes are available online. Some are written in Visayan, English and Filipino. Here’s the link to their tocino recipe in Visayan (?): You can request brochures in English/Tagalog from your local DOST office. They might be able to provide food production safety guidelines as well. Hope this helps.

    Keep up the great blogging MM! Thanks for sharing your experiences and tips.



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