Pork Humba

When I first started this blog, the idea is to be able to contribute a little to the Pinay Expat moms in Qatar. Pinoy Expat families are growing in population here in the Middle East, Qatar specifically as evident in the growing population in now 3 Philippine Schools in the country.
Now, what I attempt to do is to assist Pinay moms like me to be able to serve pinoy food to their families even when we are so far away from home. One thing I notice here in Qatar is that the Filipino restaurants are very commercial and that the food they serve does not really meat my expectations when it comes to traditional Pinoy recipes. Of course I understand that the industry is circumstances driven and most of the authentic ingredients are not readily available in the market. Also, I'm not sure if the cooks in these restaurants are actually Pinoy themselves, because most of the foods does not actually taste as what they claim to be! I have even tried one Adobo dish that does not in any way resemble an adobo! A chicken tinola which is actually sauteed chicken with cabbage and green beans, so how's that for a tinola?!

Fortunately we are a big family here and with the steady all-year round schedule of family members going on vacation annually, we are able to keep a steady stock of ingredients not found in the Qatar Market. A few of these are of course include pork, pork broth cubes, Reno liver spread, Purefoods hotdog and bacon, ham (during Christmas season), salted eggs, tuyo, danggit, and of course "Tahure". 
For those of you not familiar with tahure, it is fermented tofu. Compared to tofu it is brown and color, soft and moist unlike tofu which is more on the rubbery side. Tahure is the main ingredient in Batangas Humba and is readily available in Batangas wet market. I'm not sure if it is called other terms in other parts of the Philippines, but one time when we were in our Aparri home, i tried to look for it in the Aparri market but nobody knows what I was looking for. I don't know if the Ilocano's have call it by another name, or if it's really not available in that part of the Philippines. So as a personal favorite dish not only of me but the rest of the Fam, we keep a year-long supply of tahure in our Doha refrigerator so that when there's an opportunity to cook humba, we wouldn't be disappointed. Humba can be made of either pork belly, pork leg (pata), or pork head (which is our favorite!). I had a chance to use pork head this time as my sister in law just arrived with frozen pork head sent by my father. The hubby requested for it to be made into humba to serve his friends on Lauren's birthday. Well, what can I say, he's very proud of my humba! lol!
Pork Humba is very easy to prepare but calls for marinating and slow cooking so cooking time would at least be 2 hours depending on the amount of meat and which cut you are cooking. 
1/2 pork head about 2kg. chopped to serving sizes (you can also use, pata or liempo)
1 cup soy sauce
5 tbs cane vinegar
1/4 cup tahure, crumbled
1/4 cup brown sugar
2 cups water
2 large onions, finely chopped
6 cloves garlic, finely chopped
5 bay leaves
1 tsp black peppercorns, coarsely ground
salt to taste
In a large casserole, mix all the seasoning ingredients except water and salt. Stir to evenly distribute flavors. 
Add in the pork and toss with your hands to distribute the seasoning mixture evenly through all the meat pieces. 
Set aside let stand for an hour for the meat to absorb the marinade. Again tossing from time to time to distribute flavors evenly.
Turn on the stove and set to high heat and put on the casserole. Cover and bring to a boil. 
Once boiling, adjust the heat to low. Let simmer for about 15 minutes then add 1 cup of water. Cover and let simmer.
Check from time to time stirring once in a while to ensure the meat does not stick to the bottom of the casserole and the sauce is not drying up. Add the rest of the water gradually. Add more water if necessary.
After an hour of slow cooking, check if the meat is tender, it is about cooked if the meat is fork tender. 
Tip: I would recommend to cook a little bit more until the fat is melt-in-your-mouth tender. That would be the perfect humba, when the meat actually melts in your mouth :)
Turn off heat and transfer into a serving plate. Serve hot with steamed rice! Enjoy!
More tip: This dish is also perfect as a day after dish, reheated for breakfast and served with garlic rice and fried egg :)

Update (Sep 2011): Two more Humba recipes have been posted, the Non-Traditional Humba and the Humbang Pula, which you may also want to try :)


Nonoy said...

This is one of my favorite Pinoy food. I like more the pork legs, with Banana blossoms. Mmmm; I'm hungry again. Thanks for this recipe. :-)

Friday, June 24, 2011
My Expat Mommy said...

This recipe is "Batangueno" style, I'm also thinking of doing the version with pork legs and banana blossoms... but i think how i'll do it would be leaning towards pata tim.. i stll have to wait for the pata though :)
thanks for your comment nonoy!

Friday, June 24, 2011