Toyo-Bam (Pork Braised in Soy Sauce)

Toyo-Bam | Pinky's Pantry
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.
Toyo-Bam | Pinky's Pantry


  • 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)
  1. Place the pork in a large stockpot. You can use bone-in or boneless pork, whichever you prefer. I usually buy bone-in.
  2. Add the soy sauce, water, brown sugar and chopped onions to the pot.
  3. 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.
  4. Remove the cooked pork from the liquid and transfer to a serving platter with a lip.
  5. Dissolve the cornstarch in 2 tsp. water and slowly pour into sauce in pot, stirring constantly.
  6. Continue to cook the sauce until thickened.
  7. 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.)
  8. Pour the thickened sauce over the pork in the serving platter.
  9. 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.
  10. This dish is best served with hot, cooked white rice to pour the sauce over.