H umba is a Bisayá recipe (Bisayá refers to the people residing in the Visayan Islands as well as on most parts of Mindanao, in the Philippines) and is a common dish found on most tables during special occasions in a Bisayan household and during town fiestas in the southern parts of the Philippines. Ask any Bisayá for his top favorite food and, most often than not, humba will be one of the things he will mention. In fact, this is my favorite Filipino dish and will recommend this dish to anyone who wishes to have a taste of authentic Bisayá comfort food.
Humba is the Visayan counterpart of the more mainstream adobo but although these two pork stews do share the basic beginnings of soy sauce, vinegar and garlic, the Southern humba is further characterized by the addition of palm sugar, tausi and banana blossoms. Just like adobo, there are many cook’s ways in making humba and in my version, I add pineapple juice to the braising liquid to achieve my preferred balance of sweet and salty. Give it a try and let me know what you think.