pork humba bisaya
Asian,  Filipino,  Home Cooking,  Pork Recipes

Pork Humba Recipe (Bisaya-Style Braised Pork Recipe)

Pork humba or just “humba” is a delicious braised pork dish that is popular in the southern part of the Philippine archipelago. It is similar to adobo. Many people may have thought it to be a regional variation of adobo but it actually came from a different origin, according to wiki.

If you are thinking of some easy pork recipes you can do for the week, you may add this to your list.

Humba is one of the quick Filipino pork dishes that uses the same basic ingredients as adobo – soy sauce, vinegar, peppercorn and dahon ng laurel or bay leaves. The difference is, pork humba bisaya recipe has sweetness to it by adding sugar, pineapple juice or soda like Sprite to the ingredients. Banana blossoms or black beans is also added.

Humba is a bisaya recipe. When I say “Bisaya”, that typically covers people in Visayas and Mindanao regions. Adobo pertains to the cooking process – hence there is pork adobo, chicken adobo, adobong sitaw, adobong kangkong, etc. Humba uses pork, especially pork belly and pork knuckles.

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Some say humba is originally a Chinese dish, which probably has a little truth to it. Chinese has a dish called hong ma or hong ba, a braised pork belly. Plus, the use of black beans is not very Filipino, which gives 80% probability of that statement being true.

Glimpse of my childhood in Laguindingan, Mindanao

I grew up in Mindanao, spending most of my younger years in Laguindingan, Misamis Oriental and Cagayan de Oro City. I studied in the city but I usually spend my weekend in Laguindingan, where most of my clan are.

Life was so simple back then. I remembered playing in the farms when I was kid. Riding in a karumata, which is a two-wheeled carabao drawn cart, was a blissful adventure. And, going home dirty with bruises everywhere was normal.

Sometimes, to have an extra cash, I would look for unused bottles and irons and sell it.

Also read my blog post: Rediscovering My Hometown: Laguindingan, Misamis Oriental

However, during weekdays, I morphed into a student pretending to be a bright kid.

Humba was my favorite dish. What’s crazy, I love that jelly-like fatty portion. The more fat, the more I love it. When the humba is cooked longer and the fat kinds of melt in your mouth, that spells perfection to me.

When we say humba, what I picture in my head since childhood is that very flavorful oily dish of fatty cuts of pork meat and sticky black sauce.

How to cook humba

Unlike adobo that uses different kinds of ingredients like meat and veggies, humba recipe uses pork meat like liempo and knuckles.

There are different style of cooking humba but here, I’m using the basic and easy pork recipe that I know of.

pork meat (Creative Commons, Source: maxpixel.net)


  • 1kl Pork belly (liempo) or pork knuckles, usually cut in large chunks
  • Soy sauce (1/2 cup)
  • Vinegar (1/3 cup)
  • Peppercorn
  • Bay leaves or dahon ng laurel
  • Chopped garlic
  • Any one or two of these: Sugar (approx. 1/3 cup), or pineapple juice, Sprite or other soda (2 cups for the liquid ingredients)
  • Optional: black beans and/or banana blossoms

Cooking instructions:

  • Simmer the pork meat in a pan with water. Maybe just a cup of water for 1 kilo of pork just enough to boil and render its fat.
  • Brown the meat through its own oil. Be careful not to burn it.
  • Remove the meat from the pan.
  • Using the same pan with the oil from the pork, saute the garlic until slightly brown.
  • Add back the meat.
  • Add the soy sauce, vinegar, peppercorn, bay leaves, and Sprite (you can use sugar or juice). No need to add water if you are using juice or soda. If you are using sugar, you may add 2 cups of water. Bring it to a boil until the pork is well cooked and tender. Boil longer if you want an extra tender pork.
  • Add the black beans or banana blossoms.
  • Reduce the sauce until it has a sticky consistency.

If you want to achieve that very tender pork that the meat tends to fall off, add more juice or water and let it boil longer.

Adjust the taste to your preference. You may add more soy sauce or sugar.

The desired taste is usually salty and sweet, which makes you want to eat more rice.

So, that’s the quick and easy pork humba bisaya recipe that I love.