My aunt, Tita Tinggay, was a wonderful cook who turned out delicious dishes for her family and friends. At one point, she even owned a restaurant in the Philippines where they served delectable Filipino food. I learned to make Toyo-Bam from her. How the dish got its name, I have no idea. Sadly, I never thought to ask Tita Tinggay. She’s passed away now or I would find out for you guys. There’s probably an interesting story behind it. I know that “toyo” means soy sauce in Filipino. Maybe the “bam” is just a descriptive adjective sort of like Emeril’s “Bam!” Who knows? Certainly the dish is delicious. The pork comes out falling-apart tender and the sauce is wonderful served over hot, white rice.
- 1 pork butt or pork shoulder
For every 2 lbs. of pork, you will need:
- ¾ cup dark soy sauce
- 1 cup water
- 6 Tbsp. packed brown sugar
- 1 cup chopped onions
- 2 tsp. cornstarch dissolved in 2 tsp. water
- calamansi or lemon juice (optional)
- Place the pork in a large stockpot. You can use bone-in or boneless pork, whichever you prefer. I usually buy bone-in.
- Add the soy sauce, water, brown sugar and chopped onions to the pot.
- Bring mixture to a boil; then lower the heat, cover, and simmer pork in sauce, turning occasionally until the meat is falling-apart tender. This can take anywhere from 2 to 4 hours or more, depending on how large your piece of pork is.
- Remove the cooked pork from the liquid and transfer to a serving platter with a lip.
- Dissolve the cornstarch in 2 tsp. water and slowly pour into sauce in pot, stirring constantly.
- Continue to cook the sauce until thickened.
- If desired, squeeze a little calamansi or lemon juice into the sauce. You can add as much or as little as you like. (I usually just omit this step.)
- Pour the thickened sauce over the pork in the serving platter.
- Pull pork apart into chunks or slice it into neat slices if you prefer. If using bone-in pork, remove the bone and discard it.
- This dish is best served with hot, cooked white rice to pour the sauce over.