Toyomansi Pork Chops

Toyomansi Pork Chops are a Filipino-style dish seasoned with soy sauce, calamansi juice, and garlic. They’re quick and easy to make yet pack amazing flavor perfect with steamed rice!

If there’s one thing I’ve learned in the many years I worked in a kitchen is that food doesn’t have to be complicated to be delicious. You don’t need elaborate preparations or fancy ingredients to have something spectacular.

Take for instance these toyomansi pork chops. Juicy, flavorful, and amazing, all they take is a simple marinade of soy sauce, calamansi, minced garlic, and pepper. The hardest part of making these pork chops for lunch is waiting for them to marinate!

What is Toyomansi

Toyomansi is a classic Filipino condiment made of soy sauce (toyo) and calamansi (mansi). For more flavor, aromatics and spices such as fresh garlic, shallots, ground pepper, and chilies can also be added to the basic mixture.

Although mostly used as a dipping sauce for grilled or fried meat and seafood, it can double as a marinade, as in this pork chop recipe.

Three ways to cook

Drain the pork well, pat dry, and choose from the three different cooking methods below. I use 1/2-inch thick pork chops; make sure to adjust the cooking time depending on thickness.

  1. On the Stovetop-In a wide pan over medium-high heat, heat about two tablespoons of canola oil. Add the pork chops in a single layer and pan-fry for 2 to 3 minutes, depending on thickness, until nicely seared. Flip and cook for another 1 to 2 minutes or until juices run clear and a thermometer inserted in the center reads 145 F.
  2. On the grill– Drain the pork chops well, pat dry, and rub all sides with olive or canola oil. Place the chops in a single layer on the hot grates and grill on direct heat for about 2 to 3 minutes on each side or until nicely seared. Transfer the meat to indirect heat, cover the grill, and continue to cook for another 5 to 7 minutes or until juices run clear and a thermometer inserted in the center reads 145 F.
  3. In the oven- Position an oven rack about 6 inches from the heating element and preheat to high broil for about 10 minutes. Arrange pork chops in a single layer in a cast iron skillet or on the broiler pan. Broil for about 2 to 3 minutes, depending on thickness, and then carefully turn to the other side and continue to cook for another 2 to 3 minutes or until both sides are nicely charred and a thermometer in the center reads 145 F.

Cooking Tips

  • Use bone-in as they tend to stay juicier and don’t overcook as quickly as boneless.
    If the chops have a thick band of fat around them, make small slits on the fat to keep them from curling or buckling during cooking.
  • Do not swap lemon or lime juice for the calamansi! Although these citrus fruits are used interchangeably in some recipes, such as bistek, the distinct flavor of these pork chops does depend on the calamansi’s sweet and tangy taste. If you haven’t ready access to this tropical fruit and must substitute, use a mix of freshly squeezed orange and lemon juice.
  • Do not marinate the pork chops for too long, as the acids in the marinade might break down the protein fibers, affecting the texture of the meat.
  • Marinate in a plastic or glass container, not a metal container, as the acids might interact with the metal.
  • Cook on medium-high heat and do not overcrowd the pan during frying so the meat will sear nicely and not cook in their steam.
  • Let the pork chops rest before slicing to allow juices to redistribute.

Serving suggestions

  • This Filipino-style recipe is my favorite way to season pork chops. It’s a quick and easy method yet brings tons of flavor to any meal of the day!
  • I usually pair the pork with garlic fried rice or country potatoes and sunny-side-up eggs for breakfast. For lunch or dinner, a heaping plate of steamed rice and grilled eggplant salad or ensaladang kamote tops make a great accompaniment to the citrusy, savory flavors of the meat!
  • These pork chops are a great weeknight dinner option and an addition to outdoor BBQs or boodle fights!

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