Humba is an interesting dish. This slow braised pork belly is coated in a sweet glaze of panocha or palm sugar and given depth of flavor with the addition of soy sauce, salted black beans, and star anise.
Like most braised meat, Humba makes great leftovers. Store the braised pork with the sauce in an airtight container in the freezer. To reheat, transfer to a heatproof serving dish and steam until warm through.
Serving this dish can be as simple as placing the braised pork in a bowl and pouring the reduced sauce over it–with bowls of steaming hot rice on hand. Or you could do it my way. I divide the pork belly into bite-size pieces, carefully pour the sauce (including the peanuts and black beans) over thin slices of pork and serve it with a side of ensalandang mangga or a simple chopped salad of mangoes, tomatoes and white onion–sharp sour flavors to contrast with the sweet fatty pork.
We may not be able to claim this dish as singularly our own. But our version, Humba, speaks to things that Pinoys love: our enjoyment of rich, vibrant and contrasting flavors, our obsession with all that is pork and our deep-seated passion for food that reminds us of home.