Tocino (Version 5)

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“Version 5”
48hrs 15mins

Ingredients Nutrition

  • 3 lbs pork shoulder (sliced into 1/4-inch thick pieces)
  • 34 cup sugar
  • 34 cup brown sugar (light or dark)
  • 1 garlic clove, peeled and minced
  • 3 tablespoons salt
  • 3 tablespoons beets, powder (you can substitute about 15 drops of red food colouring if you prefer.)
  • 1 tablespoon light soy sauce
  • oil, for pan frying


  1. Combine both sugars, the garlic, salt, beet powder (or food colouring), and soy sauce in a very large resealable zipper top bag (2 gallons) or a stain-proof container with a tight fitting lid.
  2. Close the bag or container tightly and shake to combine ingredients evenly.
  3. Open the bag or container, drop the pork slices in and reseal.
  4. If using a bag, squeeze the bag to thoroughly coat all of the pork with the sugar and salt mixture.
  5. If using a container, use your hands to move the pork around to be sure it is thoroughly coated in the mixture then close the container tightly.
  6. Put the bag or container in the refrigerator and let it cure for at least 2 days before using, but up to 4.
  7. Alternatively, you can put the container or bag directly into the freezer (letting it sit for at least a week before using) for up to 6 months.
  8. Whether using fresh from the refrigerator or directly from the freezer, remove the amount of tocino you want to cook and let it sit in a colander for several minutes to drain any excess liquid.
  9. You may either grill the tocino over high, direct heat, or pan fry in batches.
  10. To pan fry, heat about 2 teaspoons of oil in a heavy-bottomed skillet over medium-high heat.
  11. Fry the pieces until cooked through and browned with little charred bits, about 2-3 minutes per side.

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