Sweet Cured Fried Pork

Toh • SEE • noh

Preparation info
  • Serves


    • Difficulty


Appears in

By Angela Dimayuga and Ligaya Mishan

Published 2021

  • About

Tocino is bacon in Spanish, but our version is closer to Chinese char siu, sweet with a throb of sour, and redder, verging on incarnadine. The sweetness has a dark side, like Vietnamese nu‘ó‘c màu, caramel brought perilously close to burning. Its origins lie in Pampanga (where my mom grew up) and a long tradition of fermenting pork with salt and rice (burong babi)—and later with sugar (pindang babi)—to preserve it in the heat. In 1967, a Kapampangan elementary-school teacher named Lolita O.