When we say “food” the first thing comes up with our mind are pizzas, tacos, hotdogs in buns, steaks from Americas and etc. Food is a diverse entry that every country in the world has their own signature dishes to offer. When we heard about Italy, the food that we imagine is all about pasta and pizzas. How about Japan, we can imagine about ramens and sushis. Mexico is known for their best tacos.
But how about the Philippines? The first thing we got in my mind is great beaches, great cities, and Filipino hospitality. How about the Filipino food? Does it ring a bell to you? Well, with over 7 thousand islands and over a dozen cultures and tribes in the Philippines. The Philippines has a widespread of local delicacy and entree that can be setting foot in the international culinary scene. Even the well-known American Chef, Anthony Bourdain said that Filipino food will be the next big thing. As he is very thrilled with the local food he tasted during his tour in the Philippines for his tv documentary, “Parts Unknown.”
Humba a sweet and savory dish
Aside from the well-known Lechon, a roasted whole pig that was carefully roasted for almost 4 hours, the Philippines was also known for its sweet and savory dish called humba. Each region has their own take on this delicious dish. Adding some spices that enhance the flavor of this sweet and sour dish. In the southern part of the country, humba is a delicacy that in every Filipino party and fiestas it is always on the table as the main dish.
How do make the best southern style humba? Well, it’s all in the ingredients itself. From freshly butchered pork meat with some pork fat up to the best beef stock. This how you do it. First things first, you need to cut up the pork meat with fat into bite size pieces. Then, you need to sear the meat just to get that brownish texture. Browning the meat will help in getting full flavors from the meat itself. Once the searing is done, put the seared meat into a large pot together with some chopped onions, generously crushed garlic, some vinegar, soy sauce, brown sugar for that sweet texture, slices of calamansi just to give that citrusy taste, dried bay leaves, crushed peppercorns, add some salted black beans and add some beef stock and stir them up. And put it to medium heat until boil. Now, the secret here is cooking it slowly with low fire.
Cooking the humba in low fire is a great way to avoid burned crystallized sugars. Cook the humba in low fire for about 45mins to 1 hour until it is fork tender, stirring occasionally. Add some salt and adjust the taste to your liking. Once it is ready, you add some pineapple chunks to get that southern texture together with some dried chilies to heat up the humba. And served it with hard boiled egg.
Cooking this local entreè is pretty simple yet it involves great passion to pull out the best of this simple yet extraordinary food. Filipino food is all about the passion and the love you gave to every single dish that is created.