It’s safe to say that almost every Filipino in the Philippines has tried if not heard of the dish, Tocino (toh-see-noh). That’s because this pork dish marinated in brown sugar and spices is widely popular in almost any Philippine island (and we have 7,107 of them!).
I was able to veganize it for my Thanksgiving dinner last year. Our newest guest blogger, Aiza Bonus, was also able to come up with her vegan version-straight from her mom’s “cookbook”!
Vegan Tocino Recipe
By: Aiza Bonus
I was really craving for some Tocino, which is a staple Filipino dish I grew up with and I just had to figure out how to make a vegetarian/vegan version.
I first had this dish as a vegetarian a few months ago before the Filipino vegan restaurant, No Worries, closed its doors in Oakland. After having their delicious, savory vegan Tocino, I knew that it was not going to be the last time I was going have it. Sadly, since they have moved on to a food truck business, I have been waiting and craving for the taste of Tocino to enter my mouth again, so I just had to make it myself.
I came across astigvegan.com and saw that RG was able to replicate Tocino into something vegan. I read that she used Seitan as her “meat,” so I called my mom and asked her for the recipe she usually uses (and yes, I will be bias and say that hers is the best! haha. It’s what I grew up with!).
My mom’s recipe is very simple and easy… the only difficult thing about the entire process is that you have to wait 3 days with marination before you get these delicious pieces into your mouth… but it is well worth it!
(sorry I did not measure, I did the Filipino way and used my eyes.. haha)
- 2 packages of seitan (i found that westsoy strips worked the best)
- brown sugar (i used about one-third of the box)
- a dash of salt (maybe a little bit more than a dash, depending on how you want the sweet and salty to work together)
- Put strips of seitan in a container you can keep in the fridge.
- Pour brown sugar and salt on seitan.
- Use your hands to mix the sugar and salt into the seitan. Try to cover up all the seitan pieces.
- Cover container and leave marinating in the fridge for 3 days.
- Pour a teaspoon of olive oil on a pan
- Heat pan then pour in the marinated seitan
- Stir occasionally till it looks dark brown.
Veg (Pinoy) from around the world:
Aiza Bonus – San Francisco Bay Area
My name is Aiza. I’ve been vegetarian for 8 years, living in the Bay Area. I love to cook, explore delicious foodie spots, run, bike, and play with my dog “Appa”. I was born in Pampanga, Philippines and moved to the Bay Area when I was only five years old.
My parents have always supported me being vegetarian and I am so lucky to have parents who make me vegetarian/vegan-friendly Filipino dishes! When we have a family party and I go to visit them, they always make sure I eat and have my own separate batch of Filipino vegetarian goodness!
Some of the signature dishes they make me are: Kare-kare, Kaldareta, Pancit palabok, Sweet and sour tofu balls, Balatong (mung beans), and Lumpia shanghai. I will one day sit with my parents and write down all their vegetarian/vegan-friendly Filipino recipes and try them out for myself!
*I just want to mention that I am a good friend of Vegan Ilokana, Jaynee! Her passion to veganisim and knowledge has opened my mind to hopefully one day become a full vegan!