I hardly know anything about the Filipino cuisine, not to mention tasting or cooking it. I don’t even have a Filipino cookery book, so my vague idea of what the Filipino cuisine looks like is based on what I see on food blogs. Ray’s (Wok with Ray) tempting recipes and beautiful photos made me decide to prepare the very first Filipino dish in my life. Tocino, the dish I have chosen for this memorable event, was not only simple and made with easily available ingredients, but most of all was a new way to prepare my beloved pork.
Tocino is a Spanish word for “bacon” and in the Philippines it means cured and marinated meat, served grilled or fried. This preparation is apparently also popular in Puerto Rico and Cuba. I think I took decision to prepare it when I read in Ray’s post that this pork dish is traditionally served for breakfast. As someone who simply is not able to have a sweet breakfast, I started to dream about hotels where instead of the horrible and boring thing called “continental breakfast”, marinated pork is served. I suppose I have to visit Philippines in order to see such a delight served in the morning, but in the meantime I had tocino for lunch, dinner, late weekend breakfast and am very happy I have started to explore this fascinating cuisine by such a delicious and versatile dish. I don’t have a grill, so I have simply fried it, but I am sure it tastes even better prepared on a grill. The meat has a very delicate taste, it is slightly sweet and even the very lean pork loin I used was tenderised by the pineapple juice. I sprinkled it with Korean chili flakes because I love sweet and hot flavours together. Unfortunately I didn’t have necessary ingredients to make the mango salad Ray advises to serve with tocino, but the pork was also perfect with good crispy bread and my pickled sweet peppers. Thank you, Ray, for this wonderful recipe, which is my first, but not last stage in the exploration of the Filipino cuisine.
I haven’t changed anything in Ray’s recipe, but I have slightly modified the amounts of the ingredients (Ray’s recipe was adapted to 5 pounds of meat and I had only about 1 pound). Ray says cured pork freezes very well, so if you want to make a bigger batch, check his recipe and extraordinary photos.
Before I pass to the recipe I would like to invite you to visit Elin’s blog (Elinluv’s Sweet Delights) and see the beautiful savoury cake with shrimp and broccoli, modifying my Savoury Cake with Shrimp and Edamame. Thank you, Elin, for having used my recipe and for all the kind words you said about my blog.
Now let’s go back to this simple and delicious recipe.
TIPS: The meat should be marinated for at least 24 hours, but the taste improves after two-three days.
Of course slightly fatty cuts (like shoulder) will be more tender. I used pork loin because I happened to have it in my fridge and even though it was not as juicy and soft as shoulder would be, I loved it.
Preparation: 24 hours – 3 days marinating + 10 minutes grilling/frying time
500 g pork butt (a cut from pork’s shoulder; I used pork loin) cut into 1-1,5 cm slices
25 ml pineapple juice
1 tablespoon soy sauce
1 teaspoon Worcestershire sauce
1 teaspoon dry sherry
60 g sugar
10 g salt
1 teaspoon freshly ground pepper
Combine the ingredients of the tocino mix.
Take two tablespoons of the tocino mix and combine it with the marinade ingredients.
(Put aside the remaining tocino mix for further marinades).
Stir well until the sugar and salt are dissolved.
Put the pork slices into the marinade and keep on the fridge for at least 24 hours.
Fry or grill the meat.