Thursday, March 8, 2012

Filipino Style: Humba Recipe (Braised Pork Belly with Sugar)

HUMBA: Pinoy Style Braised Pork Belly w/ sugar
This is a very popular dish in my country, we call this HUMBA. I am pretty sure that there is a similarly good recipe in different parts of the world and is named differently. Generally, Filipinos are naturally sweet, it reflects onto the things we prepare at home especially our food.
In some countries, they would like to spice it up! In the Philippines, we would like to sweeten things up! (cheesy line, i know!) 
Allow me to sidetrack a bit, I just remembered a mall experience I had a few days ago at a local pastry shop. Okay! I'll admit, I was eavesdropping this one guy, European maybe, he was looking for a loaf of bread. He asked the attendant to give him varieties of the sliced bread, so the attendant did as she was told and presented him with 3 different kinds. Well,the European knew just the right question to ask for each bread "is this sweet?". The attendant responded, with a "yes" on all 3 questions. I was simply amused and seriously impressed at how adept he is with the Filipino culture. You could see in his face that he was quite frazzled, I could just imagine him on the hunt for bread that is w/ less sugar. 
Going back to this dish, I've cooked this several times and I usually just eyeball the ingredients. It also depends if you want the sauce to be rich in flavor and thick. So here 's a rough estimate on how to do this. I usually use a deep pot and fill the water level right above where the meat is. 

Ingredients :
  • 1 lb. pork (other recipes might use hocks but i used belly here), cut into serving pieces
  • 1 whole head of garlic, peeled & crushed
  • 1/2 cup vinegar
  • 1/4 cup packed brown sugar
  • 1/4 cup soy sauce
  • 1 bay leaf
  • 1/4 tsp. pepper or 1 tsp. peppercorns
  • water
  • salt to taste

  • hard-boiled eggs (optional)
  • potatoes, peeled and quartered (optional)
  • spring onions, bulb peeled

Cooking Procedures:

Combine first 9 ingredients in a deep pot and bring to a boil.  Put in low-med heat and simmer for about an hour or until pork belly or hocks is tender. Use a fork to test out the tenderness of the meat, the fat part usually tenders first so make sure to test out the meatier parts. Halfway on your cooking, adjust the taste according to your preference and put in the bay leaf and eggs. If you want to add some potatoes,they usually cook about 15 minutes.  It’s up to you when you'd add them, whether you like it very soft or just tender to bite.  You may add it halfway of the cooking time or later. Let it simmer and finally, add in a few stalks of spring onions, cover the pot and let it rest a bit. Serve. 

This makes my mouth water just looking at that bony part.
Leave a comment and let me know if this worked for you. =)


  1. In Taiwan,they have the same version of this but I think they are adding star anise. Going local, what you call Humba in Cebu is quite the exact Adobo viand by the Tagalogs. It is just we call it Adobo. Either way, I'd like to believe that it taste better in the Philippines.

    1. that's interesting Ne, some people include anise in their recipe. And yeah, adobo in Cebu is fried and w/less sauce. "It taste better in the Philippines" sounds like another tag line for tourism hahahah

  2. That looks delicious, though it's a little fatty :D, nice to see a Cebuana food blogger, keep up the good work :)

    1. It isn't just a little, it is very fatty hehehe. Thanks for dropping by =)