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How To Cook Tocino: Best Way for You

Tocino is a type of cured meat that is popular in the Philippines. It can be made from pork, beef, or chicken and it is usually flavored with soy sauce, brown sugar, garlic, and black pepper.

In this article we will show you how to cook tocino using pork belly. This recipe is simple and easy to follow, so read on and start cooking!

How To Cook Tocino

What is Tocino

Cured pork is a particularly popular dish known as Tocino in the Philippines and other Spanish-colonized nations like Puerto Rico and Cuba. Tocino originated from the same word of Spanish that translates as “bacon.”

To produce this meat traditionally, they slice tender cuts of beef into thin strips and then cure in a combination of salt, anise wine, water, annatto, and a generous amount of sugar for many weeks.

This dish is generally served at breakfast, together with Salted Duck Eggs with Tomatoes or fried eggs and fried rice. And the entire meal is now referred to as “Tocilog” (salted duck eggs with tomatoes).


  • Pork shoulder or loin: 1 kg
  • Table salt: 2 tbsp.
  • Ordinary vinegar: ½ cup 
  • Brown sugar: ½ – 1 cup 
  • Minced garlic: 4 cloves 
  • Onion powder: 3 tbsp.
  • Soy sauce: 3 tbsp.
  • Food coloring: 1 tsp. (optional)

How To Cook Pork Tocino

IMAGE: travelfoodatlas.com

How to Prepare Pork Tocino

  • Cut the meat into thin slices. Using a sharp knife, chop the pork loin or shoulder into pieces that are 14 inches (0.6 cm) thick. If you wish it to be even thinner, you can chop it into 18 inches (0.3 cm) pieces if you wish it to be super skinny.

Make sure that you have removed all of the bone. Putting the pieces in the freezer until they firm up will make it much easier to chop them later if you would like to make things easy on yourself.

  • Make the curing mixture according to the directions on the package. To make the dressing, combine the food coloring, garlic, soy sauce, brown sugar, vinegar, onion powder, and table salt in a large mixing bowl until the ingredients are thoroughly blended.

If you choose, you may add a tsp of red beet powder for the food coloring if you prefer. Place all ingredients into a large mixing basin so that you can easily massage the pork in the mixture. You may add pineapple juice (about 1/2 cup) to the recipe for a more delicious flavor before mixing it.

  • The curing mixture should be applied to the meat. Put that pork into the curing mixture until it is completely covered and uniformly coated with the curing mixture. Flip that meat to ensure it is completely submerged in the curing liquid.
  • Place the pork in the refrigerator for three days. Make a sealable bag or use a closed plastic container to store the pork in the fridge for up to three days at a time. This activity will guarantee that the pork has been completely cured before cooking in the oven.

Please don’t be discouraged if the pork does not appear to be the brilliant, colorful color you were expecting when you take it out of the fridge; it may appear gray and dull at first, but the colors will appear as your meat is cooked.

Cook Meat Pork Tocino

Prepare the pork by pan-frying

To pan-fry this cured pork, you should perform the following:

  • Place your cured pig flesh in a pan with a small amount of oil and cook until browned.
  • Heat this oil over medium-high heat until shimmering, then sear each of these pieces from 2 to 3 minutes on each side, turning halfway through. Consider it as if you were frying bacon: fry all pieces until it reaches a beautiful crispy and golden brown color. 
  • Put slices on a plate once you’ve finished frying them. Repeat the process with the rest.
  • Even better, if you would like to remove some oil, you may set them on some paper towels. To have a more Caribbean taste, you should slice up your pork into small squares and then fry them until it is crispy before serving it over white rice in a classic meal.

Cook the meat on a grill

You may also utilize a grill instead of a stovetop. Follow these instructions to ensure that your Tocino is perfectly grilled:

  • Preheat the grill and cook all pieces for about 2 to 3 minutes per side. It is the same way you do in a frying pan until it is cooked through.
  • Take each piece off the grill when it is crispy and burnt and you are finished.
  • Allow the pork to sit for about 5 minutes before serving it to allow the flavors to blend.

Put the pork on a plate and serve it

After being done, you place the pork on a plate and serve it. And it is often served as part of a classic meal called Tosilog, which includes a fried egg, garlic rice, and Tocino.

How to Cook Tocino FAQs

Can You Cook Tocino From Frozen?

You may defrost the package or cook them directly from the freezer, allowing them to thaw while cooking. Take the Tocino out from the container and place the meat in a pan on medium heat. This time, there isn’t a need to add cooking oil.

When Is Cooking Tocino Done?

Make sure the stove is on a medium heat setting. Place the frozen beef (375g) in a skillet and bring it to a simmer. Turn the meat over and set it aside until the water has evaporated. you should use one tablespoon of cooking oil. Fry the meat for 10 to 15 minutes, or until the flesh is red, evenly cooked, and the edges have caramelized. Note that you should turn the meat regularly during the cooking.

Can Tocino Be Cooked In An Air Fryer?

Place the Tocino in the basket of your air fryer, close it, and adjust the temperature to 180°C. Set the timer for 10 minutes and let your Tocino air fry until it’s cooked soft with blackened sugar spots on top.

What Is The Shelf Life Of Tocino In The Freezer?

After the pork has been coated with sugar and spices, it may be stored in a freezer bag for up to 6 months before grilling or frying it.


If you’re looking for a delicious and easy-to-follow recipe, look no further than our how to cook tocino guide. This dish is perfect for any occasion, and with just a few simple ingredients, you can have a mouthwatering meal that your friends and family will love.

So what are you waiting for? Start reading now and get cooking!


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