Pork Bistek is a delicious take on the classic Filipino beef steak. With tender pork chops and a tangy and savory sauce, it’s sure to be a family favorite.
Bistek was the very first recipe I shared here on Kawaling Pinoy and, naturally, is very dear to my heart. I’ve updated the post recently but kept the old photo and some of the old text as some digital memento.
It’s been a fantastic ride, this blogging journey. I never thought when I first hit “publish” post in 2013 that the hobby would eventually become a full-fledged business that would enable me to quit work. 🙂
What is Pork Chops a la Bistek
The traditional bistek dish, which means beef steak in Filipino, is a local adaptation of the Spanish bistec made of thin slices of beef cooked with onions and spices. However, the term has evolved in recent years to describe not only beef but also any meat or fish stewed in soy sauce, calamansi juice, and onions.
Since the recipe here uses pork, it’s not really bistek per se but more accurately, pork chops prepared a la bistek. Oh, well, what’s in a name, right? It’s just as delicious and delivers all the tangy and savory flavors you love of the classic!
Tips on How to Make Filipino-style Pork Steak
- I use pork chops but thinly sliced pork butt or sirloin will work as well. Just make sure to cut the meat across the grain for a more tender chew.
- If calamansi fruits are not readily available, you can substitute lemon or lime juice.
- Do not marinate the pork for more than 4 hours as the acids in the citrus will break down the protein fibers and make the texture of the meat mushy.
- Browning the meat adds depth of flavor. Drain the pork chops well and squeeze off excess marinade so they’ll sear properly. Do not overcrowd the pan and use a wide pan or cook in batches as necessary.
- The meat will release a bit of juice when pan-fried. Spoon it off from the pan and add along with the marinade during braising.
- Use the same pan to braise the dish; those browned bits in the pan mean maximum flavor!
- 3 pounds bone-in pork chops, about 1/4 inch thick
- 1/2 cup calamansi or lemon juice
- 1/4 cup soy sauce
- 1 large onion, peeled and sliced thinly
- 1 head garlic, peeled and minced
- 1/4 teaspoon pepper
- 3 tablespoons canola oil
- 1 cup water
- salt to taste
- 1 small onion, peeled and sliced into rings
- In a bowl, combine pork, calamansi or lemon juice, soy sauce, onions, garlic, and pepper. Massage the marinade into the meat and marinate for about 30 minutes.
- Drain meat, onions, and garlic from marinade, squeezing and reserving excess liquid. Set aside.
- In a pan over medium-high heat, heat 2 tablespoons of the oil. Add pork chops and cook for about 2 to 4 minutes per side or until lightly browned. Spoon out and reserve released meat juices during frying. Remove meat from pan and keep warm.
- In the pan, add the remaining 1 tablespoon oil. Add the reserved onions and garlic, and cook, stirring regularly, until softened.
- Return meat to pan.
- Add reserved marinade and meat juices.
- Add water and bring to a boil, skimming scum that floats on top. Cover, lower heat and simmer for about 40 to 50 minutes or until meat is fork-tender and liquid is reduced.
- Season with salt to taste.
- Add the onion rings. Turn off heat, cover and allow onion slices to cook slightly in the steam. Serve hot.