We had been away for two weeks traveling to the west coast. When we returned home, we yearned for the familiar everyday dishes our palates were used to. But I was too tired from the trip to whip up a banquet. So I checked my freezer and there was uncooked pork tocino in zip lock bags, ready to be cooked.
If you’ve never had pork tocino or cured pork slices which Filipinos love, then this is a good recipe to start with. You can either buy preserved and packaged pork tocino slices from Asian markets or Filipino groceries here in the USA. Or you can make your own homemade cured meat like I often do.
Cured pork like these are often found in the Pampanga and Tarlac (my home province) region in the Philippines. In my personal opinion, this can be attributed to the vast land areas in these parts which are used for piggery and livestock businesses. My dad preferred it when mom made pork tocino from scratch and we often had it for breakfast.
I took a cue from what mom used to do and cure my own pork tocino ahead of time, around 2 to 3 days before cooking. This has always been a lifesaver for me. I pack the cured slices in pre-portions inside zip lock plastic bags then freeze them. When I’m in a crunch and need to put food on the table quickly on weeknights, I cook tocino and serve it with leftover rice made into sinangag (garlic fried rice).
I really relish watching the dark red slices of pork sizzle in the skillet. My family starts drooling when they catch a whiff of the sweet garlicky aroma from the pork tocino cooking. Sometimes this aroma wakes up my sons if I am making this for brunch.
Once our pork tocino and garlic rice were ready, I plated them in individual serving bowls, topped with an egg and slices of fresh Jersey tomatoes.
It’s always so good to be home when there’s a good bowl of tocino and rice ready for us to devour.