Left Continue shopping
Your Order

You have no items in your cart

You might like
Product
$10.00
Add to cart
Promotion
Read more
Seaco-online.com completes revamp of our website to bring you a better seafood buying experience!

Chinese Humba Recipe: How to Make This Sweet and Savoury Pork Dish

Chinese Humba is a popular Filipino-Chinese recipe that combines the sweet and savoury flavours of pork belly, soy sauce, and brown sugar. Humba is typically slow-cooked to make the pork belly tender and flavourful, resulting in a dish that's perfect for special occasions or family dinners.

A large pot simmers on a stove, filled with chunks of pork belly, soy sauce, and spices. Steam rises as the rich aroma of Chinese humba fills the kitchen

Humba has a rich history and cultural significance in the Philippines, where it is often served during festivals and other celebrations. The dish is believed to have originated from the Chinese hong-bah/hong-mah, a red braised pork belly dish brought to the Visayas islands by Hokkien traders. Over time, Filipinos added their own twist to the recipe by incorporating local ingredients and cooking techniques, resulting in the unique flavour profile that Humba is known for today.

To make Chinese Humba, you'll need a few key ingredients, including pork belly, soy sauce, brown sugar, garlic, and vinegar. You can also add other ingredients like star anise, bay leaves, or black beans to enhance the flavour of the dish. If you're looking to switch things up, you could also try using seafood like prawns or squid instead of pork belly. The seafood will absorb the flavour of the sauce, resulting in a dish that's just as delicious as the original.

Key Takeaways

  • Chinese Humba is a popular Filipino-Chinese dish that combines sweet and savoury flavours.
  • The dish has a rich history and cultural significance in the Philippines, and is often served during festivals and other celebrations.
  • You can make Chinese Humba using pork belly, soy sauce, brown sugar, garlic, and vinegar, and can also use seafood like prawns or squid for a twist on the traditional recipe.

History and Cultural Significance

A steaming pot of Chinese humba simmers on a stove, surrounded by traditional Chinese kitchen utensils and ingredients. Its rich aroma fills the air, evoking the cultural significance of this beloved recipe

Origins of Humba

Humba is a dish that originated from the Chinese red-braised pork belly dish called "Hong Ba". It was introduced to the Philippines via Hokkien immigrants during the pre-colonial times. However, the Filipino version of humba differs from the original dish in terms of ingredients and preparation. In the Philippines, humba is commonly cooked with pork belly, soy sauce, vinegar, sugar, and spices.

Chinese-Filipino Cuisine

Humba is a perfect example of Chinese-Filipino cuisine. The dish showcases the blending of Chinese and Filipino culinary traditions. The Chinese immigrants who introduced the dish to the Philippines brought with them their culinary techniques and ingredients, which were then adapted to suit the Filipino palate. This cultural exchange is evident in the use of soy sauce and spices in the dish.

Cultural Impact and Variations

Humba has become a popular dish in the Visayan region of the Philippines, and it has also spread to other parts of the country. The dish has undergone several variations, depending on the region and the cook's preference. Some variations include the addition of pineapple, banana blossoms, and black beans.

The Visayan version of humba is slightly different from the Tagalog version of adobo. The Visayan version has a sweeter taste due to the use of sugar and pineapple. The dish is usually served with rice and is a staple in many Filipino households.

Proposed addition: If you want to add a seafood twist to your humba recipe, you can use shrimps or squid. Simply sauté the seafood in garlic and onions before adding it to the dish. The seafood adds a unique flavour to the dish and makes it even more delicious.

Ingredients and Substitutes

A table with ingredients: pork belly, soy sauce, sugar, garlic, and black beans. Possible substitutes: tofu, tempeh, or seitan for the pork

Primary Ingredients

The main ingredient in Chinese Humba is pork belly. It is usually cut into 2-inch serving pieces. Other primary ingredients include vinegar, soy sauce, and brown sugar. These ingredients give the dish its signature sweet and sour taste.

Seasonings and Spices

The seasonings and spices used in Chinese Humba include garlic, star anise, bay leaves, and peppercorn. These ingredients add depth and complexity to the dish. Five spice powder is also commonly used in Humba recipes.

Alternative Ingredients

If you don't have all the primary ingredients on hand, there are some substitutes you can use. For example, you can use pork fat instead of pork belly. You can also use muscovado sugar instead of brown sugar. And if you don't have star anise, you can use cinnamon instead.

In addition, you can add some seafood to the dish to give it a unique twist. For example, you can add shrimp or squid to the recipe. Just make sure to adjust the cooking time accordingly to ensure the seafood is cooked properly.

Finally, some recipes call for banana blossoms or tausi (salted black beans) to be added to the dish. These ingredients add texture and flavour to the dish. If you can't find these ingredients, you can leave them out or substitute them with something else.

Preparation and Cooking Techniques

Ingredients being chopped, marinated, and simmered in a pot with soy sauce, garlic, and spices for Chinese humba recipe

Marinating the Pork

To achieve the perfect flavour and tenderness, it is important to marinate the pork before cooking. For this recipe, you can marinate the pork belly in soy sauce, rice vinegar, and brown sugar for at least 30 minutes before cooking. This will help to infuse the pork with a sweet and salty flavour and make it more tender.

Braising for Tenderness

Braising is a cooking technique that involves searing the meat first, then cooking it slowly in a liquid. For this recipe, after marinating the pork, you can sear it in a hot pan with cooking oil until it is browned on all sides. Then, add the garlic and Chinese sausage and cook until fragrant. Next, add the rest of the marinade and the star anise or five spice powder, and let it simmer for about an hour until the pork is tender.

Achieving the Perfect Balance

The key to a good humba is achieving the perfect balance of sweetness and saltiness. To achieve this balance, you can adjust the amount of brown sugar and soy sauce used in the recipe to your liking. You can also add some pineapple juice or pineapple chunks to add a hint of sweetness to the dish.

As a suggestion, you can also add some seafood to the recipe to give it a unique twist. For example, you can add some prawns or squid to the dish during the last few minutes of cooking to add some extra flavour and texture. Just make sure to adjust the cooking time accordingly to avoid overcooking the seafood.

By following these simple preparation and cooking techniques, you can create a delicious and tender pork humba that is sure to impress your family and friends.

Serving and Pairing Suggestions

A table set with steaming Chinese humba dish, accompanied by rice and bok choy. A pair of chopsticks rests on the side, ready for use

Accompaniments

Humba is a versatile dish that can be paired with a variety of accompaniments to enhance its flavour. Here are some suggestions:

  • Steamed Rice: Humba is traditionally served with steamed rice. The fluffy texture of the rice complements the rich and savoury flavour of the dish.
  • Hard-boiled Eggs: Some people like to add hard-boiled eggs to their humba. The eggs absorb the flavour of the sauce and add a nice texture to the dish.
  • Pancit or Mami: If you want to add some noodles to your meal, try pairing humba with pancit or mami. The noodles provide a nice contrast to the soft and tender pork.
  • Lumpia: If you want to add some crunch to your meal, try pairing humba with lumpia. The crispy texture of the spring rolls complements the soft and tender pork.

Wine and Beverage Pairings

When it comes to pairing wine and beverages with humba, you want to choose something that will complement the rich and savoury flavour of the dish. Here are some suggestions:

  • Sprite: Humba has a sweet and savoury flavour, and Sprite is a perfect beverage to pair with it. The carbonation in the Sprite helps to cut through the richness of the dish.
  • Red Wine: If you prefer wine, try pairing humba with a red wine. The tannins in the wine will complement the rich and savoury flavour of the dish.
  • Bok Choy or Other Vegetables: If you want to add some vegetables to your meal, try pairing humba with bok choy or other vegetables. The fresh and crisp flavour of the vegetables will provide a nice contrast to the rich and savoury flavour of the dish.

If you want to try something different, you can also add seafood to your humba. Shrimp or squid are great options that will complement the flavour of the dish. Simply add the seafood to the pot during the last few minutes of cooking, and let it simmer until cooked through.

Variations and Related Dishes

A steaming pot of Chinese humba sits on a rustic wooden table, surrounded by bowls of pickled vegetables and steamed rice. The rich aroma of soy sauce and pork fills the air

Regional Twists

One of the great things about Humba is that it can be adapted to suit different regions and tastes. In the Visayan version of the dish, the pork is simmered in a sauce made with soy sauce, vinegar, brown sugar, and a variety of spices such as garlic, bay leaves, and black pepper. The dish is then topped with banana blossoms, and salted black beans. This version is similar to the classic Filipino adobo, but with a sweeter and richer taste.

In some parts of the Philippines, Humba is made with pork belly, while in others, it is made with pork hocks or pork shoulder. Some people also add pineapple or lemon soda to give the dish a slightly sweet and tangy flavour.

If you want to try something different, you can also use seafood instead of pork. Shrimp or squid are great options, and they can be cooked in the same way as the pork, with a soy sauce and vinegar-based sauce.

Similar Dishes in Chinese Cuisine

Humba has its roots in Chinese cuisine, and there are many similar dishes that you might enjoy. One of the most popular is Hong Ba, which is a red-braised pork belly dish. This dish is made with soy sauce, sugar, and a variety of spices such as cinnamon, anise, and Sichuan peppercorns.

Another dish that you might enjoy is called Hong-Ma, which is a Chinese soy sauce braised pork dish. This dish is made with pork belly, soy sauce, sugar, and a variety of spices such as cloves, cinnamon, and fennel seeds.

If you enjoy Chinese-Filipino cuisine, you might also want to try other Pinoy dishes such as Adobo or Pancit. Adobo is a classic Filipino dish made with chicken or pork, vinegar, soy sauce, and garlic. Pancit is a noodle dish that can be made with a variety of meats and vegetables, and is often served at parties and special occasions.

Overall, there are many different ways to enjoy Humba and other Chinese-Filipino dishes. Whether you prefer pork or seafood, sweet or savoury flavours, there is something for everyone to enjoy.

Frequently Asked Questions

A steaming pot of Chinese humba simmers on a stovetop, surrounded by various ingredients like soy sauce, garlic, and pork belly

What's the simplest way to make Chinese humba at home?

The simplest way to make Chinese humba at home is to start with a few basic ingredients such as pork belly, soy sauce, brown sugar, rice vinegar, and Chinese cooking wine. You can also add garlic, onion, and other spices to enhance the flavour. Once you have all the ingredients, you can cook them in a pot or a slow cooker for a few hours until the pork is tender and the sauce is thick and flavourful.

Which cut of pork is typically used for a traditional humba?

The traditional cut of pork used for humba is pork belly. This cut of meat has a high fat content, which makes it perfect for slow cooking. However, you can also use other cuts of pork such as pork hock, pork legs, or shoulder.

Can you cook humba in a slow cooker, and if so, how?

Yes, you can cook humba in a slow cooker. Simply add all the ingredients to the slow cooker, including the pork belly, soy sauce, brown sugar, rice vinegar, Chinese cooking wine, garlic, onion, and other spices. Cook on low heat for 6-8 hours or on high heat for 3-4 hours until the pork is tender and the sauce is thick and flavourful.

What's the secret to the most flavourful Chinese humba dish?

The secret to the most flavourful Chinese humba dish is to use high-quality ingredients and to cook the dish slowly over low heat. You should also use a combination of spices such as star anise, five spice powder, and black peppercorn to enhance the flavour. Additionally, you can add seafood such as shrimp or squid to the dish to give it a unique twist.

How does humba differ from adobo in terms of taste and preparation?

Humba and adobo are similar in terms of their ingredients and cooking method. However, humba is sweeter than adobo due to the addition of brown sugar. Humba is also typically cooked with pork belly, while adobo can be made with various cuts of meat such as chicken or beef.

Are there any health benefits associated with eating humba?

While humba is a tasty and flavourful dish, it is not particularly healthy due to its high fat and sugar content. However, you can make the dish healthier by using leaner cuts of pork and reducing the amount of sugar used in the recipe. Additionally, you can add vegetables such as bok choy or green beans to the dish to increase its nutritional value. If you are looking for a healthier alternative, you can also try cooking seafood such as shrimp or fish instead of pork.