LP7: Tosilog for Almusal

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Almusal means breakfast and it’s an essential part of every Filipino’s day. At least before life sneakily speeded up its pace to breakneck and McDonald’s had a drive-thru. It’s the fuel we need to start a day of hard work… whether it be tilling the fields or trudging through the corporate jungle.

almusal na!When we were kids, with the exception of pandesal, champorado and oatmeal, almusal (breakfast) was always heavy and hearty with sinangag so as not to hear your stomach growl before lunchtime. Ulam (main dish) would either be tuyo (dried fish can be dilis, hawot, daing, squid,etc), tinapa, scrambled eggs, corned beef, hotdogs, tortang talong or any other canned goods like sardines and complemented by hot chocolate, milk or orange juice. Over the years, new ulam were added such as longganisa, tocino or even daing na bangus.

iska's longsilogTruth is, I’ve never heard of those 3-syllable terms used for combo breakfasts such as tapsilog, tosilog, longsilog and the likes before my bro/sis went to the city to study. In the province where we grew up they were unfamiliar to us unlike today when almost all restaurants, fast food outlets and cafeterias serve them. iska's longsilog3-syllable names that end in silog.  ‘Si’ for sinangag (fried garlic rice) and ‘log‘ for itlog (egg, fried sunny-side up). Tapsilog (beef or pork tapa), longsilog (longgonisa – Philippine sausage), tosilog (tocino), bansilog (daing na bangus or milkfish, butterflied and fried), tuyosilog (dried fish), hotsilog (hotdogs), cornsilog (corned beef). They even created one for pandesal (the country’s breakfast bun), kape (coffee) and itlog  pakaplog. The list doesn’t seem to end there. Check out EssenCes’ pusitlog.

These were served at home for lunch or dinner but seldom for breakfast as our idea of it is a meal that is easy to prepare as much as practical. Of course, nowadays when one thinks of almusal (breakfast) he/she thinks of those mentioned above which, in my opinion, has also become Filipino breakfasts staples.

So here is my tosilog for LP7. My homemade version of tocino, which one may prepare anytime of the day, store in the ref overnight and cook the next day for breakfast.

iska's tocilog


Ingredients for my Tocino:
1/2 kilo pork rump or butt with fat, sliced thinly
1/2 c. of dark soy sauce
2 tbsp. of oyster sauce (optional)
2 tbsp. of vinegar
2 tbsp. of minced garlic
2 tbsp. of chopped onion
1/4 cup of ketsup
1/2 cup of sugar
1/2 tbsp. of crushed peppercorns

Ingredients for Sinangag:
Left-over rice
1 tbsp of crushed garlic
salt and pepper

Mix the above ingredients for tocino and marinate overnight.

In a casserole, pour in water just enough to cover the meat and cook over medium heat. When there is little water, turn down the heat and continue cooking until the pork starts to render fat. Add few tablespoons of oil and fry until the pork is lightly browned.

Cook your sinangag using about 2-3 tbsps of oil left from cooking the tocino. Saute the garlic until golden brown. Add the rice, season with salt and pepper, and stir until thoroughly heated. You may cook your sinangag a bit crispier depending on the texture you prefer.

Tosilog is ready! Pardon me if I like ‘em w/ cherry tomatoes.

Note: The above is not cured meat and the recipe is merely an attempt (a successful one i believe) to imitate the taste of authentic tocino; a post for Lasang Pinoy 7.

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I am not a professional cook. My only claim to having a culinary background is a short stint as my dad’s teen ‘sous chef’ in his carinderia ages ago. Dad ran small eateries since I was a young kid - serving standard ‘turo-turo’ food ranging from the likes of menudo, adobo, pritong isda, dinuguan, binagoongan, bopis, munggo, pinakbet and giniling to merienda fares like goto, ginataan, pancit bihon, halu-halo and saging con yelo.

My father, a farmer in his hometown before working his way to becoming an accountant, definitely influenced my cooking in a lot of ways than I thought. My siblings and I were raised in a backyard full of fruit trees and vegetable garden. We spent weekends and the summer breaks running around with ducks, chickens, goats and pigs. I had wonderful memories of gathering eggs, butchering chickens, selling vegetables and the sweet aroma of preserved fruits. But my love for art led me to a degree in Architecture. Just few months after getting my license, I went abroad and lived independently at age 23. Definitely no maid, no cook, and a totally different food culture. Along the way I met lots of friends and spent what seemed a lifetime learning new tricks and recipes.

Now living in Auckland, I am a work-from-home mum who juggles time between work, fun and family - in pursuit of work-life balance. No matter how busy I am, I love the idea of cooking for my family. My blog chronicles home cooking greatly influenced by life outside my home country from Southeast Asia to Beijing and Auckland. And most of the time, being busy also means easy (sometimes quick), affordable meals.

9 thoughts on “LP7: Tosilog for Almusal

  1. hi,
    am reading your post just before cooking breakfast. now this gives me an idea.
    Yup, the silog combinations are mainstays during the college years. there is one that i never fail to visit everytime i am at the UP Diliman campus.
    ok, off to the kitchen I go.

    nice site by the way.

  2. I have never made Tocino from scratch so your attempt is definitely impressive to me! :arrow: Yes, the ‘silogs’, hehe, very popular :) Great entry!

    Thanks for joining Lasang Pinoy 7!

  3. Iska I have attempted a home made tocino few weeks ago
    but it has only sugar and salt…
    about time to upgrade w added toya bawa etc

    We didnt have this silog what so ever combo while growing up in Cebu.
    but its really amazing that there is a new combo of all breakfast sa pinas

  4. hey add in my pusitlog there! haha. ako rin, i haven’t attempted making my own tocino..tapa, yes… i’ll get there soon. teka gutom nko talaga..breakfast muna..

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