Another famous Filipino dish, tocino, or in this case, vegan tocino! One of the Philippines’ best breakfast staples to choose from, next to tapa and logganisa. Always paired with garlic fried rice, fresh tomatoes, and spiced vinegar. A hearty but delicious breakfast treat.
Tocino, a Spanish term for “bacon”, and was introduced to the Philippines during the Spanish Colonization. However, it’s not the kind of bacon you would normally expect. What makes Filipino tocino different from western bacon is its red hue and sweet marinade. Different regions in the Philippines are known for their specialty dishes, and Kapampangans are best known for their tocino, tapa, and logganisa!
Pampanga is the province that my dad is from, and before heading back to Manila, my dad would always make a stop at the stores to buy tons of these meats to take with us. Then we would eat our fill in tocino, tapa, and even logganisa. No other breakfast can top a Filipino breakfast, trust me, I would choose those over any American breakfasts. Before going vegan, I would eat this with salted egg and tomatoes. Don’t ask me why, I just know that it paired well with the tocino. I don’t do that now, however, I still eat it with tomatoes. It just freshens up the dish, as tocino can get so greasy and sticky. I’ve been missing my parents a lot, and making the food that I grew up with helps me feel a bit better. Especially knowing that I can make it vegan!
Now we know that tocino is a cured meat, but how does it get its red color? Well, it’s caused by a type of food preservative called saltpeter or potassium nitrate. This helps the meat stay red as it cures for a long period. Also, this supposedly helps it to be more “appetizing”. For this recipe, I used a bit of annatto powder for this, you can also use red food dye, but this is optional. I only did it because I wanted that classic tocino look!
So, if you tried this recipe, let me know what you think in the comments below! You can also share it with me on Instagram, just tag @flouredframe. I would love to see your recreations! Happy cooking!
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