Oh my Humba!

This post is for my family in Michigan and New Jersey who loves Humba.

If you are from my part of the Philippines (in Cebu), then  you have probably eaten this dish everyday. Okay, that’s probably too much 🙂 More like, you’d wish you can eat it everyday. Well, at least that’s how my father feels about Humba. I remember when I was younger, this dish would always be on the table during birthdays or fiestas or whenever my father gets an excuse to eat it. In Guizo where I grew up, this dish never misses to be part of the family get togethers. Sometimes it becomes the reason to get together, haha! I have very fond memories of my papa and my uncles. They would devour this dish with no guilt. This dish is up there on my food memories that will last me a lifetime.

Humba is braised pork. Cebu’s answer to Chicken adobo of the North. It’s eaten with rice and shrimp paste. This is one of our comfort foods and will always remain that way, until we decide to become vegetarians. Yeah, like that’ll ever happen 🙂

There are so many variations to this dish. This Humba that I made is the simpler version and I think is the Cebu Humba. No banana blossoms, no dried mushrooms, no black beans. This is no fuss, good ol’ Bisaya Humba I like.

Note to self: I can only eat this occasionally. The pork fat will all go down to my hips and thighs!

On to the cooking.

Here’s what you’ll need:


  • a kilo of Pork belly or hocks, chopped in serving pieces
  • 4 cloves garlic
  • an onion or shallots, chopped
  • red bell pepper
  • 3 bay leaves
  • spring onions
  • a liter of clear soda like Sprite or 7-up
  • 3 tbsp vinegar
  • 3 tbsp soy sauce
  • salt and pepper to taste


  1. In  a skillet, lightly brown the pork until they look like these. Remove from heat and set aside.

2. In a pot, combine the vinegar, soy sauce and soda. I used soda instead of plain water to tenderize the meat and it adds flavor to your Humba. No need to add sugar. For a kilo of pork, you may or may not add in a liter of soda. Here’s the mixture before adding the pork.

Add all the ingredients in the pot: pork, onions, red bell pepper, garlic, bay leaves, spring onions, salt and pepper (pepper corns if you wish).

Simmer this for an hour or until the meat is tender. I cook this the old-fashioned way. You may opt to use the pressure cooker and saves you more than half the time. But, I’m more comfortable cooking it this way.

This Humba took me about an hour and a half. You need to stir it occassionally. After an hour, your Humba will have reduced to more than half of its soda mixture and will begin to have a thick consistency. Season with salt and pepper if necessary.

Here’s my Humba! It’s great with shrimp paste. Enjoy!

How about you? Can you share some of your food memories?


4 thoughts on “Oh my Humba!

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