This dish is actually called Tocino, pronounced “Toe-see-no”.
Mary dished this up one day for breakfast, announcing it was very popular in the Philippines. In my head I’m thinking rice and pink bacon with an egg – how can that be popular? But two bites in and boy did I change my mind. This is just amazing. The bacon is savoury but sweet. It’s actually pork belly, cut thinly in to rashers. It is accompanied by garlicy rice that’s been fried in margarine. And then you fry a bloody egg and put that on top. The yolk oozing all over when you pop it. I mean come on who could not love this dish. It’s just gorgeous. Now apologies to those outside Asia, as getting your hands on THE key ingredient, the actual Tocino seasoning powder may be really tough. Er hold on then actually I don’t care if you can get it – more for me, ha ha ha!
To serve a brekkie for 4 you’ll need:
- 3-4 cups of plain white rice, steamed and kept warm for frying (warm because then it won’t stick together)
- 3 pork bellies – try to get the leanest ones you can, and slice them in to rashers
- 4 garlic cloves
- 1 knob of margarine
- 1 egg for each person
- 1 pack of Tocino seasoning or you can buy packs of already prepared pork in seasoning (makes it a darn sight easier of course)
Place all the rashers in to a bowl and sprinkle over the Tocino seasoning, and mix well to ensure full coverage of the meat. Now if I were you I would be doing this the day before and leaving in the fridge to marinade for as long as possible. But if you are strapped for time please leave for at least an hour.
I am now going to take you through the traditional way, but you can cheat and simply fry the meat, as if it were bacon, in a little oil. Not me though. Here’s to tradition I say – “God Save the Queen.
So, take those belly rashers and place them in a wok and pour some water in (about 1/2 cup) until the rashers are just covered. Bring the water to a boil, and then lower the heat so you have a simmer, cover and leave.
Whilst it is simmering, take another pan and fry off the garlic in the margarine until softened. Add in the still warm rice and mix, frying this a little until all the garlic is mixed up and the rice is glistening from the margarine.
Push the rice down in a small bowl and turn over on the plate – sandcastle style for serving. Repeat for all plates.
Fry the eggs, over easy and place atop the rice.
Take out the finished bellies that should now have been sizzling away with no water – literally frying now in their own oil. They should have become beautiful shiny and pink.
Lay them next to the rice.
Get in there.