home-made tocino (& fried rice)

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Ofcourse, tocino is actually cured pork (or bacon in spanish) but since it is not available here in Beijing, I made some alterations to my pork asado (originally roasted pork in Spanish) recipe and the end result… the taste of authentic tocino & some guys would probably wonder where I bought it.

home-made tocino

450 g. of pork rump or butt (can be pork chops, but I like them with fat, helps keep the meat moist & tastes a lot better; but for whatever reasons you are watching ur fat intake, you can always use pure lean meat)

For the marinade:
1/2 c. of dark soy sauce
2 tbsp. of oyster sauce
2 tbsp. of vinegar
2 tbsp. of finely minced garlic
2 tbsp. of onion, finely chopped
1 small tomato (in place of 1/4 c. of catsup, I ran out of it)
4 tbsp. of sugar
1/2 tbsp. of crushed peppercorns
a dash of MSG or Monosodium glutamate (u may wanna omit this but heck, I do know there’s a difference when u add this to most of asian dishes)

Cut the pork into thin slices (about 1/8in thick). (I’ve read in some blog that semi-freezing the meat before cutting will make the job a lot easier.) . Mix together all the ingredients for the marinade and pour over the pork meat. Mix in the marinade well with the meat using your hands. Cover and let stand for at least an hour, mixing the meat every few minutes or so to let the pork pieces marinate evenly.

Place it in a casserole and pour in water just enough to cover the meat. When boiling, stir a few times. Continue boiling until the pork starts to render fat. Continue cooking until quite dry and the pork is lightly browned. Add water, a little at a time, if the liquid dries up before the pork is cooked.

We still have some left-over rice so I decided to make some “sinangag” or fried rice using the sauce left from cooking the tocino. Very simple – turn up the heat, stir the rice, until it’s thoroughly heated. Golden brown garlic is the actually secret to the aroma of delicious fried rice but I was too lazy today I didn’t prepare some. Anyways, the tocino turns up to be really delicious the missing garlic flavor in my fried rice wasn’t noticed at all.

Happy and successful cooking doesn’t rely only on know-how; it comes from the heart, makes great demands on the palate and needs enthusiasm and a deep love of food to bring it to life. – Georges Blanc

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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.

8 thoughts on “home-made tocino (& fried rice)

  1. :) this is ‘my pork tocino’ cos anybody who tries it wud guess it’s the normal tocino everybody buys anywhere back home. pork adobo is different… it has vinegar as a main ingredient, definitely w/o catsup or tomato & tastes differently. unless some guys cook it the way i do w/ my tocino.

  2. i googled for a homemade tocino recipe and it brought me to your site. I’m going to try your recipe, i’m just waiting for the meat to thaw. My daughter can’t wait to eat her fave food na. Thanks!

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