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If You Enjoy Adobo (And Who Doesn’t?)—Then You’ll Love This Pork Humba With A Chinese Touch

Humba is a classic adobo-style pork stew from the Visayas with a Chinese touch—thanks to the black beans. If you happen to have a palayok or clay pot, use it to cook this dish. The moisture is locked in, the flavors permeate, and the pork belly gets very soft. For a healthier version, use leaner pork loin instead of pork belly, and lessen the sugar to your desired sweetness.


Braised Pork Humba

Serves 6


  • 5 tablespoons canola oil, divided
  • 1 1/2 kilos pork belly, skinless, cut into 3-inch cubes
  • 10 cloves garlic, minced
  • 1 cup diced onion
  • 1/4 cup black beans
  • 3/4 cup soy sauce
  • 3/4 cup cane vinegar
  • 3/4 cup brown sugar
  • 3 pieces whole star anise
  • 1 tablespoon black peppercorns
  • 3 bay leaves 
  • 4 cups water
  • 1 cup banana blossoms


1. Heat a large pan, Dutch oven or clay pot (palayok) on medium high. Add 3 tablespoons canola oil and sear pork cubes for 3 to 5 minutes on both sides until pork is completely browned. Set aside.

2. Add more oil to the pan. Add garlic, onion, and black beans and sauté for 5 minutes. Reduce heat to low.

3. Add pork, soy sauce, vinegar, brown sugar, star anise, black peppercorns, and bay leaves. Bring to a boil, then reduce heat to a simmer. 

4. Add water enough to cover pork and add banana blossoms. Braise for 1 to 2 hours or until pork is fork-tender. Serve hot with rice.


This recipe first appeared in FOOD Magazine, April-May 2015 Issue

Styling by Pixie Rodrigo Sevilla

Photography by Paulo Valenzuela