Tocino – Filipino Breakfast Meat

Tocino – Filipino Breakfast Meat

On a family trip to the Philippines we went to the island of Cebu, we stayed at a small hotel on the beach that reminded me of previous vacations to Mexico. We went snorkeling, climbed around waterfalls, drank lots of banana smoothies and enjoyed the company of the locals. The food that sticks most in my memory from this trip was breakfast, this is were I first discovered my love of garlic fried rice and their breakfast meat called tocino.

Tocino is bacon in Spanish, but this dish is nothing like bacon, the only comparison is that they are both salty. Where bacon is smoky, tocino has a different flavor profile from it’s marinade of soy sauce, pineapple juice and garlic. Thin slices of pork belly or pork loin, are marinated for at least 24 hours and then fried. It’s not crispy, but it’s juicy, tender and full of flavor. I’m sure it would be great served along side any other breakfast foods but to me garlic fried rice and a fried egg are a must.




  • 1/2 c soy sauce
  • 1/2 c pineapple juice
  • 1/3 c brown sugar
  • 1/4 c apple cider vinegar
  • 4 large garlic cloves, smashed
  • optional: 2 drops red food coloring
  • 2 1/2 lb pork loin or belly, cut into ¼” thick slices


  1. Mix together all of the ingredients in a plastic container or large resalable plastic bag. Marinade for at least 24 hours or up to 3 days.
  2. In a large pan preheated to medium high heat add slices of pork and cook on each side for about a minute or two.

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