Pork humba is a comfort food of the Cebuanos. The glossy, golden brown meat dipped in a pool of oil, vinegar, sauce and spices entices the palate of those whose adventurous taste appreciate the mixture of flavors of this Visayan specialty.
Many don’t mind the saturated fat and the artery-clogging properties of pork humba. There’s the comfort in knowing that a culinary specialty like this brings a sense of gastronomic enjoyment, most specially when oily-and-saucy meat is mixed with white rice on a bowl or plate. Eating the mixture temporarily brings relief to those who crave. When a spoonful of the meat hits the tastebuds, there’s a dance of various flavors– from sour, salty to sweetness– to be tasted and experienced.
Experiencing the flavorful variety of pork humba is surely a hit among the Filipinos who dare to defy the possible consequence of eating something meaty where the leading meat is surrounded by a pool of embellished oil.
Humba is a portmanteau of Visayan words, humot and baboy. When you smell something nice, that’s humot in Visayan. Baboy, on the other hand, is the Cebuano for pork. That also explains the unnecessary addition of pork in “pork humba” because humba already refers the pork dish. Grasping this bit of culinary information helps in levelling up one’s pork-eating intelligence. At least, when you are asked why it is called humba, you have the ready answer to share, to point out or to even argue with.
It may be disputable to recognize pork humba as a recommended dish. There is a health defiance to it. But, along with pizzas, burgers, doughnuts and other comfort food, pork humba is at the top of the list of favorite dishes of many Filipinos. It is a close contender to pork adobo, which, in the culinary distinction, is closely akin to the highlighted dish.
The Visayan-derived recipe, however, is distinguishing itself to another Filipino favorite, which is the adobo, even though many would say that both dishes have similar ingredients.
Humba resembles like the adobo that is sweet as opposed to the salty-sour flavor of those found in the latter and which was also made due to the need of meat to last longer.
Humba lasts for several days without spoiling due to the vinegar present and especially if it is immersed in oil. Also the appearance is close to each other and most of the ingredients used like soy sauce, vinegar, garlic, black pepper are also used in adobo. Surprisingly, this dish tastes even better the longer that it’s stored.
One reason why this is a favorite among Filipino dishes is because it can assure the diner, the craver and the loyalist of its tasty combination; the richness, delectable flavors of the humba mixes very well with the ingredients. When the hard-boiled eggs are infused, one can assure of a protein-rich and oil-rich meal.
But let’s not drool on the humba with the hard-boiled eggs. What should be pointed out here is the technique in cooking pork humba, which will help clear the questions and skepticism of its similarity to pork adobo.
The Escooped team have been fortunate enough to be educated by a famous Cebuano chef whose technique in cooking this Filipino fave dish was so profoundly clever despite the seemingly complex process.
After our encounter with the chef, bringing a new slew of culinary knowledge, we painstakingly produced a video to impart a certain technique in cooking pork humba.
Things to take note in following this technique of cooking humba:
Frying first for 2 minutes to bring the marinated pork to golden deep brown appearance.
Using the hard orange claypot in cooking the fried pork is somewhat traditional.
Wrapping the fried meat along with the spices with banana leaves inside the claypot is really Visayan.
Use of rice water doesn’t have to be followed. But it sure can do wonders.
Many things were grasped and were being taken notes in the cooking of humba. The virtue of patience should be applied because it would take over an hour to cook something that would bring a few or many to gastronomic cloud nine.
And another thing to take note is the addition of sugar, vinegar and soy sauce should be done when the humba is almost cooked.
Adding a spoonful of sugar near the end would help retain the sweetness and would prevent the crystallization process that would affect the taste of the dish.
So here is the final product: humba mixed with white rice in a presentation that can make anyone drool.
Craving? Try cooking it.
And learn more dishes at Escooped Food.