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.
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.
Truth 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. 3-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.
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:
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.