Filipino Humba

10 reviews / 5 average

Ok, so Filipino humba.

I feel pretty comfortable calling this my favorite Filipino food, although it’s a close tie between this and Pancit. It is officially my favorite favorite when it is made in that hot little kitchen half way up a bumpy mountain road by the CSC aunties, because never once did I eat a better tasting Filipino Humba than the versions from each of the orphanage houses.

Humba is really similar to pork adobo, but there’s frying involved. And pork belly. AAHHH! SCARY!!! Yes, I know how you feel. It’s unfamiliar to Westerners (except, um, bacon?) and therefore it can be a little intimidating to either buy or eat. But once you get the I’m-scared-of-pork-belly drama out of the way, you can understand this: pork belly is intensely juicy and delicious like no other meat and you should not substitute anything for it if you’re making Humba that you want to taste amazing.

The CSC aunties’ Humba was so juicy, 100% fall-off-the-bone tender, and just completely saturated with rich, sweet flavor. In that pot we’ve got the fried pork belly, a sweet and salty sauce that wants to be soaked up by steaming white rice, pineapple, black beans, and green onions. You can kind of see through the progression of pictures that by the end, this meat is like a deep caramel golden brown. That, my friends, is the color of delicious.

Filipino Humba in a pot.

My most beloved Humba recipe (although not the one used for this post) was given to me by one of the house fathers, Tarex. I’m pretty sure he noticed me harassing everyone for their Humba recipes and either wanted to help me out and/or put an end to the Humba recipe obsession. So one day when I was in the kitchen, he grabbed the only piece of paper he could find laying around which was obviously was totally crumpled and covered with crayon kid scribbles, and transcribed his own personal Humba recipe over the scribbles for me.

It’s hanging on my fridge and it represents for me the crazy sweet intersection of food and life and CSC. ♥

Homba recipe on a piece of paper.
Filipino Humba in a pot with a wooden spoon.
Filipino Humba in a pot.
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Filipino Humba


  • Author: Pinch of Yum
  • Prep Time: 30 mins
  • Cook Time: 1 hour 15 mins
  • Total Time: 1 hour 45 minutes
  • Yield: 810 1x

Description

Filipino Humba! Super juicy, delicious pork belly fried up and tossed with a sweet and salty sauce. One of my absolute favorites!


Ingredients

Scale
  • 2 lb. bone-in pork belly (the cut of pork should be part lean meat, part fat; it can also be boneless)
  • 12 cups oil for frying
  • 12 bay leaves
  • 1 onion, chopped
  • 1 tablespoons oyster sauce
  • 2 tablespoons soy sauce (more to taste)
  • ¼ cup pineapple tidbits
  • ¼ cup black beans
  • ¼ cup brown sugar
  • ¼ cup vinegar
  • 5 cloves garlic, peeled and smashed
  • 1 ¼ cup water
  • ½ cup green onions

Instructions

  1. Separate the fat from the lean meat by cutting the pork belly into medium-sized pieces (about 2 inch by 1 inch). Heat the oil in a large frying pan over medium low heat and cook the pieces of pork until golden brown, about 15 minutes. Remove from oil and drain in a bowl lined with paper towels.
  2. Transfer the pork to a large pot and add all the remaining ingredients except the green onions. Mix well and bring to a low boil over medium heat. Cover and simmer, stirring occasionally. After 30 minutes, add the green onions and stir to mix them into the pot.
  3. Cover again and simmer for an additional 30 minutes, or until the pork is very tender.

Notes

I do not recommend using any other kind of meat besides pork belly. I have tried this with several cuts of pork and they are never as good as the pork belly because they dry out much faster.

  • Category: Dinner
  • Cuisine: Filipino

Keywords: filipino humba, humba recipe, fried pork belly

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And just in case you need to watch an awesome video of my favorite kids in the world getting ready for their first day of school.

Which, you do.

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71 Comments

  1. Pinch of Yum Logo

    Never heard of this dish. Ok well, I have never heard of any of these dishes, but I love them already! This on sounds and looks awesome!

  2. Pinch of Yum Logo

    Pork belly is all kinds of trendy here in Oregon. You can get it fried as an appetizer in lots of places and it’s an ingredient you see a lot on menus. Annnnnnd, it’s amazing. Bacon, but better. I’m lucky enough to have a Filipino BIL, so he makes it for us, too. Although, he’s never made this before, so I’m gonna have to find out why he’s been holdin’ out!

      1. Pinch of Yum Logo
        Enca_Batangenyo

        Lot’s of variations in humba recipe’s but the one you posted are not the epic hehehe.???? for its really close to sweet adobo only. Ask a Filipino that comes from southern Luzon they’ll teach you the awesomely humba dishyou’ll ever taste, don’t forget to write your name first before tasting it or else you might forget :)????????????






  3. Pinch of Yum Logo

    First of all, I love the light in your pictures!!! Secondly, this recipe sounds so good. Thank you for posting so many Philipino recipes. It is a cuisine I know very little about and would like to becom more familiar with. Thanks again!

  4. Pinch of Yum Logo

    wow my stomach just growled looking at your pictures! It looks delicious! Filipino food is so flavorful and hearty! Filipino food is SO good! My friend’s mom always makes the best adobo dishes and macaroni salads that I always ask for the recipe…but it all comes from their own common sense of the culture’s food so there’s no real recipe! Amazing! This recipe is definitely worth a try.

    1. Pinch of Yum Logo

      It was the same with the aunties… they didn’t really have any recipes so I just had to watch and photography and write them down!

      1. Pinch of Yum Logo
        Jill

        That’s what we call “tancha” no definite measurements just feeling the ingredients by taste and texture, it’s really hard! When I ask my dad about his recipes that’s what he’ll tell me “make tancha” lol and that’s one of the reason why it’s hard to get / pass down traditional family recipes. 😀

          1. Pinch of Yum Logo
            DAD

            “Tantsa”, loosely translated is like to guess. The traditional Filipino method of measuring ingredients in cooking relies more on the sense of smell. You would know if the pepper is enough, the salt, the vinegar, etc. That and/or tasting in-between. You cook any recipe regularly or if you have been watching your mother and any of the home cooks all the time, and you learn. In the end, each family and/or individual has his/her own version of the same food. I cook that way. My parents did, too. My son cooks that way now, “tantsahan”. And so I struggle to write my food book because of the measurements :). I had a classmate who was trying to make my adobo. She always got confused as to when I actually add the bay leaves because she noticed that I did not have a particular time as when to put it – while there is still a lot of liquid, mid-way or when almost dry; and how much of the other ingredients I use since I did not make any great effort to use exact measurements. And she could not quite get it when I replied, “when the smell is right”. And so I struggle to write my food book because of these measurements. Hahaha…. Anyway, thanks for appreciating our food. Have a good day.

  5. Pinch of Yum Logo

    Oh… my… heavens. This looks incredible! I’ve been looking for an excuse to try out some pork belly. Not even sure they sell it at my local grocery store, but I’m always up for a trip to the butcher! Thanks for sharing, the photos are incredible (as always).

  6. Pinch of Yum Logo

    Hi Lindsay,
    I’ve never heard Humba dish. I come from Quezon City a suburb of Manila. I googled it and at Panlasang Pinoy, a very good blog for Filipino dishes, says, it is a dish from Cebu, Davao and Gensan, southern parts of the Philippines and is considered one of the delicacies of the region. Pork belly is nothing new to Filipinos and Chinese, roasted pork belly is a popular one in Manila or Tagalog region or in take out counters of big Chinese grocery stores here in the USA. Thanks for featuring this Humba.—Jean-The Chew Inn-NoVA.com

      1. Pinch of Yum Logo
        Kymie

        “HUMBA” is a dish from visayas and mindanao. I grew up in Davao and my late mom alwats cooked it for us. I so loved it and now I am grown up, i cooked it for my kids. ☺

  7. Pinch of Yum Logo
    dirtgirl

    Great recipe, will give this a go. Pork Belly has always been widely available and extremely popular here in Australia, plus so cheap!! We have large population of Filipinos, Asians etc, hence its availability.
    Love the scrap of paper with the recipe on, that’s what memories are made of! It was wonderful to read of your time working overseas, an awesome experience that can only make you a far better person because of it. Well done.

  8. Pinch of Yum Logo

    Thank you for sharing this recipe! I am half Filipino but have never been to the Philippines. I grew up eating somewhat “Americanized” Filipino food because my Dad was American. I can’t wait to try truly authentic recipe!






  9. Pinch of Yum Logo

    Oh my goodness! I am so excited that you are making this. I remember when I was in PI that we always make this. Even here in the US, we still cook it. Right now, as I am commenting, I am cooking lechon kawali.

  10. Pinch of Yum Logo

    I’m happy and proud of you guys doing this cooking lesson, and did the charity works in my home country. You two guys are blessings for kids in CSS. I’m waiting for “Adobe” and “Kare-Kare” those are most Filipinos favorite “Pinoy Foods” 🙂






    1. Pinch of Yum Logo
      Jean @ http://thechewinn-nova.com

      Anthony,
      I have the basic chicken adobo on my food blog—http://www.thechewinn-nova.com/pulled-filipino-chicken-adobo/—which I made as a pulled chicken adobo sandwich. Hope you enjoy the dish. I’ll try Lindsay’s Humba dish bcuz I’ve never heard of this, I come from the Northern Luzon area, Quezon City (suburbs of Manila)—Jean @ http://thechewinn-nova.com






    1. Pinch of Yum Logo

      This belly pork humba is soooooooo delicious. Though so bad for your heart, my family ignore our hearts sometimes, just to get our fill with this dish. Oh my, as I am writing this, I am drooling. Try this and you will be hooked. As Jean says , this is menu is originated from the Visayas and Mindanao region in the Philippines. My husband who came from Luzon, ( different island) had no idea what humba was until he married me. They have their own way of cooking in their island 🙂

  11. Pinch of Yum Logo

    I believe you, but I don’t know if I can do it. I barely eat bacon. I know. It’s one of those dumb things that if you just called it pork I could probably do it, but once you added the “belly,” my mind started messin’ with me. I know. Dumb.

    Looks fabulous, though! I love reading about your experiences in Cebu!

  12. Pinch of Yum Logo

    I’m all caught up on the pork -belly drama. . . hesitant, you know? But it’s true – all the cool kids are doing it. I can tell it must be mouth watering though, just from the pics. And quick question – why do you spell it hUmba, but Terex spells it hOmba? Is there a difference? Ooo – also, love the cake-pan deep dish dessert pizza! 😉

    1. Pinch of Yum Logo

      Good question – I have always seen it spelled Humba and then he wrote Homba for some reason. Spelling in the Philippines is funny because it kind of just depends who you ask… I found that there weren’t always set spellings for words.

      1. Pinch of Yum Logo
        Trina

        Hi Lindsay!

        I’m from the Philippines as well, Batangas City is my hometown. My family also make this recipe minus the pineapple. And it’s a staple during fiestas. 🙂

        It is spelled Humba. Most Cebuanos and other Filipinos from the Visayas and Mindanao Region sometimes spell and pronounce words spelled with U (“ooooo” sound) as an O (“o” sound in ostrich). That’s why they sometimes spell and pronounce HOmba instead of HUmba. It’s a regional accent thing. 🙂 Hope this helps.

        Thank you for featuring Filipino food. It’s about time the world knows our delicious food. Btw, have you tried Cebu lechon? I hope you did. It’s the bomb!

        1. Pinch of Yum Logo

          We definitely spelled it with a ” u ” in it. Yup, Lindsay, have you tried our Cebu Lechon. It is the best in the country. Also, how about dinuguan . The blood stew ( i am not sure if that is the English name for it, but my Filipino friends said it is), one with pork blood? I am going to post dinuguan in my blog before Halloween. And balut? Had you tried it? I am missing PI so badly. Btw thanks for the good work you do for the CSC kids. blessings.

          1. Pinch of Yum Logo
            Filipinas

            BEST IN THE WORLD! Ask Anthony Bourdain 😉 proud Talisay, Cebu Native over here.

            Lindsay, yummy pointed me to your blog . thank you so much. GREAT PHOTOS 🙂

      2. Pinch of Yum Logo
        Rei

        Could be because of which part of the region you are living. There are over 100 languages in the Philippines. There are words that are have the same meaning, sounds the same but spelled differently.

      3. Pinch of Yum Logo
        Dan D Man

        Regarding the spelling of the Humba and Homba, it depends on which region the speaker comes from. Usually from the Visayas or Mindanao region, O is sometimes pronounced as U, as U is sometimes pronounced as O.

        In Luzon or the Tagalogs, they jokingly say that you are “Bisaya” if you do that. Actually, even Ilocanos from the Northen part of Luzon do that sometimes. By the way, I am from Mindanao and can speak Bisaya or Cebuano.

        Anyhow, I like your blogs on Filipino recipes.

  13. Pinch of Yum Logo

    This looks absolutely delicious! Love that you share recipes of authentic Philipino food. Pork belly doesn’t sound so bad. At least you KNOW which part of the animal you’re eating. 😉

  14. Pinch of Yum Logo
    Sealdi

    Of course there are many variations of this dish in different parts of the Philippines (especially Visayas and Mindanao). But it actually has Chinese origins, similar to braised style of cooking meat. Marketman (one of the Filipino food bloggers actually has several variations, of which this is more similar to my mother’s side of cooking Humba >> http://www.marketmanila.com/archives/humba-or-umba-braised-pork-with-palm-sugar-and-black-beans while another recipe of his on Humba is almost similar to yours, and what we mostly see in fiesta tables across Visayas and Mindanao >> http://www.marketmanila.com/archives/chinese-style-braised-pork-a-la-marketman