Humba is a braised pork dish that is similar to the popular Filipino adobo dish. The difference is that humba is sweeter and fermented black beans are added to the sauce thus, giving the dish a pungent taste. Pork belly is normally used but other parts like shoulder and hocks may also be used. Brown sugar is used to sweeten the sauce but some versions will use pineapple juice or 7-up. The pork pieces are slowly simmered with the sauce until it is melt-in-your-mouth tender. For this dish, I added a personal favorite, dried lily flowers, which I believe makes this dish more tasty and delicious. No matter what variation is used to make this dish, one thing is for sure, humba is a dish that is loved by many!
- Pork shoulder, pork belly or pork hock – The main protein in this dish. Pork belly is a fattier cut of pork, so if this is not to your taste, you can use pork shoulder.
- Marinade: Garlic, vinegar, soy sauce, ground pepper, brown sugar and bay leaves – the perfect blend of sweet, salty and sour.
- Fermented black beans – Gives the sauce a distinct pungent taste.
- Optional: dried lily flowers
How to make pork humba:
To make this pork humba, first soak the dried lily flowers in hot water for one hour. After draining, tie a knot in each lily flower. Set them aside.
Next, marinate the pork pieces in a mixture of garlic, vinegar, soy sauce, ground pepper, brown sugar and bay leaves for 30 minutes. Then, boil the sauce and add the water and simmer the sauce on medium heat for 50 minutes. The black beans and knotted lily flowers are added afterwards and the mixture is simmered for another 5 minutes.
- Rinsing the canned fermented beans helps to remove the extra salt from the beans
- Knotted lily flowers add an extra taste and texture to the dish.
Humba (Filipino Braised Pork with Black Beans)
- 2 lbs pork shoulder, pork belly or pork hocks , cut into serving pieces
- 2 cups hot water plus more as needed
- 3 tbsp canned fermented black beans , rinsed and drained
- 1 oz dried lily flowers , optional
- 4 cloves garlic , smashed and peeled
- ¼ cup vinegar
- 1/3 cup soy sauce
- ¼ tsp freshly ground black pepper
- 2 tbsp brown sugar
- 2 bay leaves
- If using dried lily flowers, soak the lily flowers in hot water for an hour. Drain and then tie a knot in each piece of lily flower. Set aside.
- In a Dutch oven or heavy pan, combine all the ingredients of the marinade. Add the pork and mix well. Cover and set aside for 30 minutes.
- Uncover and place the pan on the stove. Bring the mixture to a boil over medium high heat. Add 2 cups hot water, bring to a boil again and then lower the heat to medium. Cook, covered for 50 minutes or until the meat is tender. Check every 15 minutes, stirring and adding ¼ cup of water each time, if running low on liquid.
- Add the black beans and lily flowers, if using. Simmer for another 5 minutes or until the preferred consistency is reached.
- Serve with steamed rice.