Humba is an interesting dish. This slow braised pork (could be pork belly, pork ribs or both) is cooked in a sweet glaze of sugar (panocha/palm sugar during the old days) and given depth of flavor with the addition of soy sauce, salted black beans, and star anise. Although this dish finds its local roots in the Visayas part of the Philippines just by casually perusing the ingredients listed below, it is clear that this “local” dish has origins beyond our own shores.
It is clearly related to Adobo Recipe which is handed down to us by the Spaniards.The Chinese settlers came which introduced to us the braising method of cooking and therefore a fusion recipe was created by the Filipinos in Visayas area.I read that a woman was the author of this recipe.Humba is an adobo recipe with a twist of Chinese braise.The difference between Chinese Braise and Filipino Braise is that ours has thick sauce that coats the meat as well with a very strong flavor combination of salty,sweet and sour.The thrill of it is that it does not spoil at once,the shelf life is longer even for weeks.I remember my Uncle who would cooked Humba every time we had a family affair.Humba would usually consist of all the fatty parts and unwanted parts of slaughtered pig.Going home after the event,we have a garapon or jar of Humba with us.Personally,I am thrilled about this discovery because the magic of good food really goes a long long way.
Most Asian culinary cultures have a version of braised pork,sweetened by sugar and balanced by a savory counterpoint of soy sauce,rice wine or even fish sauce.Even within every Filipino household, the preparation of this simple Humba varies greatly. Besides the usual addition and subtraction of ingredients, some recipes recommend the use of pig trotters instead of the more common pork belly.Adding to complexity of this dish,other recipes even suggest adding mushrooms,banana blossoms,rice wine,hard-boiled eggs and even potatoes into the mix.But Id rather keep my Humba relatively simple–cooking a tried-and-true family recipe but of course with some slight changes.And Yes! the most interesting part is ..I love Humba with Fried Banana slices on top. Remember the Bananas I bought the other day? well, it motivated me to cook Humba.
Now, heres my Humba recipe:
1/2 kg or 500 grams pork belly cut into large cubes
1/2 kg or 500 grams pork butt shoulder cut into large cubes
1 whole head garlic crushed
1/2 cup vinegar
4 tbsp brown sugar
4 tbsp soy sauce
2 pcs bay leaf
1 tbsp rice wine
2 pcs star anise
1/2 tsp oregano
3 tbsp tausi or fermented black beans
1 cup whole peanuts
1/2 cup olive oil
1/2 tsp paprika
2 cups water
some Fried Bananas 
In a bowl, combine these ingredients:meat,garlic,vinegar,brown sugar,soy sauce and rice wine.Marinate for about 30 minutes.Set aside in the fridge.
After 30 minutes, transfer to a sauce pan and add: water,black beans and peanuts.
Cover and bring to a boil, once its boils, turn the heat to a simmering mode and add the rest of the ingredients: bay leaf,star anise,oregano,paprika and olive oil.
Cover and simmer for 1 hour or until the sauce thickens.
You can add fried bananas five minutes before turning off the heat or serve it separately.
Here…its ready, the meat is tender, the characteristic of taste usual..a chaos between sweet, salty and sour.. lol! but thats how we enjoy our food.Something is missing and I wont eat my Humba without it…


Yes,here they are…my pretty yellow fried bananas..I love to eat these two with hot rice, some Korean Kimchi and my favorite, the refreshing,Fruit Salad.. yum yum… Happy eating to all. Take care.
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Come and join me in my blog as I discover the world of Filipino Fusion Cuisine.These are all tried and tested recipes in my kitchen, a fusion of cuisines that intrigues me and my palate.Everything I write, post and share is a product of my exploration, my research, and done in my kitchen. Please Come in. Enjoy and Have a nice stay. You are all welcome.