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!
TJ & RG at AstigVegan would love to hear your own unique veg adventures to share with our readers.
Whether it be with an essay, photo, video, recipe, we’re excited to feature you!
Just email us at firstname.lastname@example.org