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Humba recipe

Ingredients:

2 kilos of pork belly,1/2 to 1 cup soy sauce, crushed peppercorns, 3 heads of garlic diced, brown sugar about 1 1/2 cups to 2 cups depending on your taste, laurel leaves, salted black beans (washed and drained) about a cup or 2 cans, 2 tbsps. tomato paste,  1 cup oil ( vegetable or corn but not olive please!), salt, black pepper and about a liter and a half of hot water on stand by.

Procedure:

Cut the pork belly to medium or big cubes, wash and drain. put about 1 to 2 tbsps. of salt and mix it well with the pork.Set aside for about 15 mins.

In a wok with cover, put the pork with a cup of water and cover. Bring to a boil and then simmer in medium heat, stirring once in a while. When the water dissipates and the natural oil of the pork starts to come out, you can add another cup of oil into the pan and then cover the pan and let the pork brown in the oil. Be careful as the pork can really get nasty at this point and would start to splatter! I suggest you use a bigger cover and use it like a shield while you are stirring the pork pieces to brown it evenly. Once done, take it out from the pan and set aside.

Using the same wok or pan, bring it up to heat again and then throw in your garlic and saute it. Then turn down the heat to minimum and then put in your brown sugar and mix it with the oil until it melts and caramelizes then put in your soy sauce and keep stirring until well incorporated and caramelized sugar starts to break up. You can put a cup of hot water at this point and bring it up to a slow boil. Add the laurel leaves, peppercorn and 2 tbsps. of tomato paste and keep stirring. Then add the browned pork and let it boil for about 5 mins, making sure that nothing sticks to the pan and gets burned. Then add about a liter of water and cover the pan and let simmer for about an hour or until desired doneness ( 2 hours max)  in low fire stirring once in awhile. Correct and adjust saltiness and sweetness towards the end of the cooking time and after you have thrown in the salted beans. The ideal Humba Bisaya is the one swimming in oil with just a bit of a sauce and not soupy at all. I suggest a deep non-stick pan with cover will be perfect for this…although the traditional humba in the barrio is cooked in “kawa” and usually just covered with banana leaves! Enjoy and good luck guys! let me know how this turns out! Check out my finished product in the attached picture!

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