For those who are unfamiliar, Tocino is a Filipino breakfast staple—it is cured, sweet and savory pork. Tocino is always served with sinangag or fried garlic rice, the egg of your choice, and probably some side of fresh or pickled vegetable or fruit. And good coffee. That combination is called Tosilog (tocino + sinangag + itlog or egg) and is ubiquitous in many restaurant menus throughout the country.
Over here we’ve got a certified Tocino monster in Caroline. She just loves that stuff. But my problem has always been that the tocino we get from the grocery and in many restaurants is almost unrecognizable as meat and is made with saltpeter (potassium nitrate) to preserve it and keep the red color. It’s the same chemical compound used in sausages, bacon etc. Some major non-food uses are in fireworks and fertilizer (?!?). So obviously, I wanted a version of tocino that did not include saltpeter in the recipe.