Tocino means “cured meat.” Back in the old days, people used to cure meat because refrigeration wasn’t available and folks have to resort to preservation by using salt, herbs, and spices. How do I know this? I looked it up on “Google.” No, I’m just kidding. I know because of living with generations of meat traders and cooks from both isles of the family. Nowadays, we don’t cure meat anymore—we just throw it in the freezer, never to be seen again.
Pork tocino is one of the favorite comfort food Filipinos love to cook because it’s easy to prepare. It is usually part of a breakfast meal often served with fried eggs, garlic rice, and concoction of vinegar and garlic as a condiment. Speaking of condiments, I also like serving pork tocino with mango, onion, and tomato salad spiced with, salt, cilantro, and Sambal Oelek or Sriracha.
I usually make a large batch of pork tocino, divide it in smaller-one-batch servings, then keep it in the freezer. Pork butt is what I use because it is tender and more succulent than other meat parts. I also recommend marinating the meat for at least 24 hours. By the way, you can also use chicken or beef if you prefer.
My ingredients for pork tocino have the same basic ingredients that you will find in any tocino marinades like salt, sugar, and pepper. However, I do add one another thing — pineapple juice. Pineapple juice not only enhances the flavor, but it also serves as tenderizer.
Left over tocino mix can be used for later use.