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Humba (Filipino-style Red-braised Pork Belly)

Recipe by Connie Veneracion
To make slicing easier, and to ensure that the pork slices are uniform, the slabs of pork belly are initially simmerd in the sauce for about twenty minutes then scooped out. The partially cooked pork, still on the tough side at this point, is sliced and slid back into the sauce where it simmers until the fat literally melts in the mouth.
Prep Time 15 minutes
Cook Time 1 hour 45 minutes
Total Time 2 hours
Course Main Course
Cuisine Filipino
Servings 6 people
Humba garnished with sliced scallions


  • 1 kilogram pork belly
  • 2 tablespoons cooking oil
  • 2 shallots or 1 onion, peeled and sliced
  • 5 cloves garlic peeled and sliced
  • 2 star anise
  • 1 bay leaf
  • 2 tablespoons black bean sauce
  • 2 tablespoons ketchup
  • 3 tablespoons soy sauce
  • 2 tablespoons vinegar
  • ½ cup unsweetened pineapple juice
  • ¼ cup sugar
  • ½ teaspoon black pepper
  • sliced scallions to garnish (optional)


  • Pat the pork belly dry with paper towels.
  • Heat the cooking oil in a wide thick-bottomed pan. Lower the pork in the hot oil, skin side down (watch out as the oil will spatter) and sear on all sides.
    Searing pork belly in oil
  • Add the sliced shallots and garlic to the pork, and cook, stirring, until the vegetables soften a bit.
    Adding shallot and garlic to seared pork belly in pan
  • Throw in the star anise and bay leaf.
    Star anise and bay leaf
  • Add the black bean sauce and ketchup.
    Fermented black beans and ketchup
  • Pour in the soy sauce, vinegar, pineapple juice and about a cup of water.
    Pouring in soy sauce, vinegar and pineapple juice
  • Stir in the sugar and black pepper.
    Adding sugar before braising pork belly in sauce
  • Bring to the boil, cover the pan, lower the heat and simmer for 20 minutes.
  • Scoop out the pork and transfer to a cutting board.
    Sliced pork belly braising in sauce
  • Cut the pork into one-fourth inch slices then slide back into the simmering sauce.
  • Cover the pan once more and continue cooking the pork over low heat until tender.
    Cooked humba in pan
  • Serve your humba with rice. Optionally, garnish liberally with sliced scallions.
Keyword Pork Belly