Recollections - Humba

Mom and I were trying to reminisce the old times and the conversation ended up with how Grandma and Tita was able to cook really well. One of these dishes was Humba - a sweet and salty concoction for pork belly or pata mixed with banana blossoms. So this is the recipe version that I tried with adjustments that passed our taste buds. It was nothing close to my aunt's but it is a working progress :)

1 k. pork liempo (belly), cut into big cubes
1/2 head garlic, crushed
1/2 cup vinegar
1/4 cup soy sauce
3 tbsp. muscovado sugar
2 pcs. bay leaf
1 star anise
1 tsp. peppercorns, crushed
1/2 cup banana blossoms 

Sear the pork pieces until all sides are brown in a thick sauce pan. Add garlic, vinegar, soy sauce, sugar, bay leaf, anise and peppercorns. Add water enough to cover the meat and bring to a boil. Remove all scum that rises, add more water if necessary. Set to medium heat and simmer until pork becomes tender for about 1 1/2 to 2 1/2 hours. When pork skin turns to gelatine like texture, adjust the saltiness and sweetness according to taste. Add the blossoms. Set heat to low and continue to simmer until all the liquid has evaporated and pork start to render fat. Now cook the pork on its own fat until brown on low heat stirring occasionally to avoid burning the bottom.
Serve over hot rice.

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