Tocino – Filipino Bacon

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When I was growing up, one of my favourite Filipino foods was Tocino.  Tocino is like a type of Filipino bacon, made of thin sliced pork shoulder in a sweet red cure.  It was always one of my favourite things to eat, especially on top of some steamed rice.  When I first tasted this recipe, it took me back to my childhood (and made me wish I had some rice ready to eat it with!)

While brainstorming ideas for our food cart, I thought back to Tocino and came up with the idea of using it in a slider.  We can’t just use some store bought Tocino for this, so we’ll be curing it ourselves using the recipe below:


  • 1 pound of boneless pork shoulder
  • 4 tablespoons cane sugar
  • 1 tablespoon salt
  • 1 teaspoon annato powder
  • 2 teaspoons granulated garlic
  • 2 teaspoons rice wine vinegar
  • 1/4 teaspoon prague powder #1


  1. Take the pork shoulder and slice it thinly into 1/8 – 1/4 inch slices – this is easier to do if you partially freeze the shoulder firstrz_2014-02-05 21.51.11
  2. Mix all of the remaining ingredients together to form the curing mixture
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  3. Mix the sliced pork into the curing mixture and mix well
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  4. Place the mixture into a ziploc bag or non-reactive container and put in the fridge for 3 days, mixing the meat around every day to keep the cure distributedrz_2014-02-05 22.01.20-1
  5. Once cured, the Tocino will be good in the fridge for at least a week because of the vinegar, salt, and prague powder helping to preserve it
  6. Cook by frying or grilling over medium heat for a couple of minutes a side – the pork is thin so it will cook quickly and you don’t want to use a high heat to avoid burning the sugar in it

Here’s how we’ll be serving it as a slider on the cart, on a Filipino Pandesal bun with some tangy green mango slaw on top – so far everyone that’s tried it has loved it and we can’t wait to bring it to the streets of Hamilton this summer from the MeatVentures Meat Wagon!

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