>> Sunday, March 13, 2011
I felt like eating humba tonight, so I decided to cook some. I had 4 pounds of pork belly in the freezer which my husband bought from the Asian store a while back. Pork belly with skin, fat, and lean meat on it makes excellent humba. Only Asian and Filipino stores sell this type of meat because the rest of the supermarkets sell only lean meat.
Humba (hoom-baa) or braised pork belly is a popular meat dish in the Philippines. Braising means to brown the meat first in its own fat, then simmer it afterwards with liquid in a covered pot. It is not healthy though to eat this on a daily basis because of the high content of fat and cholesterol, but once in while it is a tasty treat. You can eat this with rice (best choice for me) or bread.
My mom makes the best humba in our family. I tried other people's version of this dish and I didn't like them because they are greasy. I don't like eating humba with most of the fat still on. I tried to cook the recipe like my mom makes it, but still after a few attempts I could not get as close as how she makes it. I think I'll learn her technique over time.
I try to come up with the approximate measurement of the ingredients used in this recipe. I just usually estimate how much I'm going to need when I cook, but tonight I able to use measurements. The recipe is below.
Humba (Braised Pork Belly) Recipe
2 pounds pork belly, cut into 2 inch cubes
1/4 cup soy sauce
1/3 cup vinegar
2 cups water
3 cloves garlic, minced
1/2 onion, sliced
1 tbsp brown sugar or 1/2 cup pineapple juice
3 tbsp salted black beans (tausi)
1/2 cup dried banana blossoms
2 pieces bay leaves
10 pieces peppercorns
1. In this step, you will remove most of the fat in the pork and brown the meat in its own oil. To do this, place meat in a pot and cook over medium heat. Turn the meat over every 2 minutes to make sure it browns evenly. As soon as the meat has browned and most of the oil comes out, remove the meat and drain them in paper towels. This step takes about 15-20 minutes to complete.
2. Remove most of the oil in the pot (leave about 2 tablespoons) and saute the garlic and onions. Put the meat in, as well as soy sauce, water, sugar or pineapple juice, bay leaves, peppercorns, salted black beans, and banana blossoms.
3. Cover the pot and bring to a boil. Lower the heat and let the meat simmer for 10-15 minutes until the liquid is reduced and thickens. Remove from heat.
4. Serve with hot rice or bread.
This recipe yields 4 servings.