Humba (braised pork with black beans and palm sugar)

Main Dish
4 servings
15 min
45 min
Very Easy


Number of serving: 4
1½ kilograms (about 5 libras) of cube pork, thoroughly washed and drained. Since this involves braising, it is important to fully drain the meat of excess liquid.

The other ingredients:

1 whole garlic, peeled and minced

½ cup Kithul jaggery or palm sugar (you can also use the Philippine panotsa/panocha or even just brown sugar)

1 can or about 4 tablespoons salted black beans, drained, - 6 tablespoons natural vinegar

6 tablespoons soy sauce

2 pieces star anise

2 pieces bay leaves

1 teaspoon cracked pepper.

Additionally, we also need about 1 cup of good broth.


  • Heat a large pan or wok and place all the meat at the centre. Cook the meat with the lid on over low-medium heat until it renders some of its own juice and fat.
  • Give it a gentle mix and continue braising on medium-high heat until the liquid is reduced and it starts to sizzle in its own fat releasing an aromatic flavour while lightly frying.
  • Meanwhile prepare The other ingredients. Add in minced garlic on the sizzling meat on the pan followed by the salted black beans and continue sautéing until garlic is aromatic.
  • Add in vinegar, soy sauce, bay leaves, pepper, star anise and broth. Continue simmering on low heat. When the liquid boils, slowly place the Kithuljaggery or panocha on top and put the lid on. Let it boil then continue simmering on low heat.
  • When the meat is pork tender and the skin is gelatinous, mix gently to evenly coat the meat with the sauce. Let it simmer for another minute.
  • If you don't like the dish oily, you can remove some of the oil from the sauce at this point. Pour the sauce in a cup and spoon out the oil from the surface. Take out as much oil as you prefer.
  • Return the sauce back to the meat and continue simmering. Adjust the level and consistency of the sauce by adding ¼ to ½ cup of water, if you like.
  • Transfer the dish in a plate and serve warm along with lots of steamed rice. Be ready for a really wonderful meal.


Humba (Braised Pork with Black Beans and Palm Sugar), photo 1
Humba (Braised Pork with Black Beans and Palm Sugar), photo 2
Humba (Braised Pork with Black Beans and Palm Sugar), photo 3


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