For the first time in foreveeeerrr... *insert music here* ...there'll be a recipe on my blog!

After experimenting a lot in the kitchen, I finally plucked up the courage to post a recipe. Google for recipes here and there and you'll see hundreds of ways on how people do their version of a dish. So here I am, about to show you my own version of the all-time Visayan favorite -- humba. (Hey, I am a beginner, don't you dare expect too much.) ^___^

Humba is a popular dish in the south. Its presence in every table is default regardless of occasion. Saying humba in Bisaya is as good as saying adobo in Tagalog. That popular! Both are often compared due to their similarity in appearance and main ingredients. You can add eggs on humba just like you do your adobo. However, humba usually goes with black beans and banana blossoms.

Humba has always been my favorite. I grew up watching my Lolo and everyone else in the family do humba. So I made sure I master this one. If you're curious how an authentic Bisaya does her own version, read on... 

What you need:

1 kg pork belly
5 cloves garlic, crushed
4 pcs dried bay leaves
1/2 tsp pepper corns
1 tbsp black beans
2 packs banana blossoms
155 g (1 pouch) crushed pineapple or 1/2 cup pineapple juice*
1/2 cup soy sauce
2 tbsp vinegar 

*You can use sugar instead of pineapples to incorporate sweetness. In our region in Mindanao, we use sugar. Sugar undergoes caramelization upon cooking which gives humba a darker color. But I prefer to use pineapples to give the dish a flavorful kick. For those who might ask, adding canned/processed pineapples while you cook won't aid in tenderizing the meat. The enzymes responsible for tenderizing is heat-labile and is destroyed in processing/cooking pineapples. So this one bit you should take note, if you want to tenderize the meat in any dish, add fresh pineapple juice on your marinade. 

Here's what to do:

1. Heat the wok and add the fatty parts first. Don't add oil, our purpose here is to let oil come out, this we refer to as "pakupsan". Stir occasionally to prevent it from burning. Since I don't like my humba too greasy, I drain the excess oil. My Lolo used to store the excess oil in a jar so we can use it in cooking other dishes instead of buying oil.

2. Add the lean meat and let it brown. 

3. Add the garlic. Careful not to burn the garlic, you don't want a bitter aftertaste.

4. Add the soy sauce, pepper corns, bay leaf and bring to a boil.

5. Add the beans and the pineapple juice/pineapples. Make sure you drain the beans of brine. Cook until meat is tender.

6. Add vinegar and let it boil again. 

7. Lastly, my favorite part, add the banana blossoms. Simmer for 8-10 minutes and voila!  

Easy, right? You can do it too! Happy cooking!

Conquering the world one recipe at a time,

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