Pork Humba Image
Heirloom Recipe,  Ulam | Main Dishes

Humba Recipe | Braised Pork

Humba (whom BAH) is a braised pork dish from the Eastern Visayas provinces of Samar and Leyte, where pork belly is used. In the Tagalog provinces, however, Humba is predominantly pata, pork hock.

At first glance, Humba and Paksiw na Pata look alike. The former uses tausì (salted black beans) and tajurê (fermented beancurd) and peanuts; the latter, bananas and banana blossoms. As a little girl, the distinction was completely lost on me, and I called them both Humba. This is one of my father’s favorite dishes.

Humba surely originated from the Chinese settlers because of the use of black beans, fermented beancurd, and peanuts—as well as the name which includes “ba,” Chinese word for pork. It is traditionally cooked in a clay pot.

Humba Pata image

Humbâ (Braised Pork)

Humbâ (whom BAH) is a braised pork dish from the Eastern Visayas provinces of Samar and Leyte, where pork belly (above) is used. In the Tagalog provinces, however, Humbâ is predominantly pata, pork hock (below).
Servings 6


  • 2 k liempo whole pork belly, cut into four slabs
  • water to cover pork
  • ¾ c vinegar
  • ¼ c soy sauce
  • ¾ c brown sugar
  • 2 T tausi salted black beans
  • 2 cubes tajure fermented beancurd
  • 8 cloves garlic crushed
  • ½ t peppercorn crushed
  • 2 star anise
  • 1 bay leaf
  • ½ c shelled peanut skins on


  • In a saucepot, bring water to boil. Add pork and par-boil for 10 minutes. Set aside the broth.
  • With a sharp knife, score the skin side of each pork slab, making criss-cross slits about 1-inch apart and 1/8-inch deep.
  • In a big bowl, combine vinegar and soy sauce. Add sugar and stir to dissolve completely. Add tausi, tajure, garlic, peppercorn, star anise, and bay leaf; mix well. Add pork and marinate at least two hours, preferably overnight in fridge.
  • About hour before cooking, remove mixture from fridge. Bring to room temperature.
  • In a clay pot or any heavy saucepot, place pork with the marinade, the peanuts, and enough of the reserved broth to cover the pork. Bring to a boil, covered.
  • Reduce heat to a simmer and cook until fork-tender, about 2 hours. The pork should be very tender, the fat should jiggle, and the sauce should be reduced till sticky and oily.
  • When ready to serve, remove pork from the sauce. Cut across the grain into ¼-inch thick slices. Place on serving platter and pour sauce over.


* Serve hot with rice, steamed greens, and a Pinot Noir.
* Choose pork belly with a thin layer of fat, not thicker than 1½ inches. Or use a whole pork hock.
* Adjust the taste of the marinade before adding the meat. Marinating overnight in a zip-lock bag in the fridge allows a more intense flavor to develop.
* To keep pork from sticking to the pot, place an inverted plate—porcelain or china—in the bottom of the cooking pot.
* Humbâ takes hours to prepare, so the recipe is meant for a large batch. Leftovers may be frozen for later use—store each piece in an airtight container with some of the sauce. Reheat by placing the pork, whole or sliced, with the sauce, in a bowl and steam for about 30 minutes or heat in the microwave.


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