Sometime ago, I mentioned an interest to do a tocino tasting to compare store-bought cured tocino to the homemade marinated tocino I tried at home. The recipe was adapted from a basic recipe I found online. My homemade version was obviously different from the lack of food coloring that the commercial tocino makers use. I also didn't add any kind of curing agents or ingredients. Even without those ingredients, the homemade tocino came out pretty good and with the right balance of flavors from salty to a little sweet. Although the store-bought tocino had a distinctive flavor and texture that they're quite known and loved for, my homemade version, minus all the artificial additives, passed the test in my book : ) A popular breakfast food in Manila, tocino may be served with scrambled or sunny side up eggs, steamed or fried rice, sliced tomatoes and cucumbers on the side with a garlic and vinegar dip, just like the way we like it in Manila.
PORK TOCINO (marinated pork)
1 1/2 lbs pork loin or pork butt, sliced thinly
1/4 cup soy sauce
2 tablespoons minced garlic
1/3 cup white or cider vinegar
2 tablespoons calamansi or lemon juice
3 tablespoons to 1/4 cup brown sugar
1/4 cup 7-up or sprite (optional)
1/4 cup apple juice (suggested substitute to the soda)
salt and pepper to taste
The basic tocino flavors are supposed to be a good balance of salty, slightly sweet and sour. The measurements given in the recipe above as well as the ingredients may be adjusted according to taste and preference. Marinate the pork overnight up to 2 days in soy sauce, lemon juice, vinegar, any lemon-lime flavor soda (7-up or sprite), minced garlic, brown sugar, salt and pepper. Pan-fry in oil until well-browned. Slice into smaller pieces. Serve with steamed or fried rice, sliced tomatoes and cucumbers. A dip or dressing may be made by whisking together garlic, vinegar, salt, pepper and a little sugar.