Pork hamonado is a tender and juicy pork belly marinated in with soy-sauce, pineapple juice, coconut vinegar, sprite, brown sugar, and more seasoning. Perfect and more flavorful when left consumed a day after being cooked.
Hamonado is the native spelling of Spanish jamonado, which means prepared like ham. Although it should not be confused to the usual ‘ham’ that we have during our Noche Buena, but they have the same sweetening and tenderizing ingredient, which is the pineapple.
Pineapple not only makes the dish sweet, but it also is a good tenderizer of meat because of its enzyme called Bromelain. However, you do not want too much of the pineapple or marinate it for too long, otherwise, the meat will fall apart. That’s how potent the enzyme is, and that’s what makes pineapple juice a great ingredient for making hams and hamonado.
Filipino hamonado ingredients also vary from chicken, to beef, pork, and all kinds of meat there is available that Filipinos can get their hands on. This is especially popular in the Luzon area, although the Visayas and Mindanao regions have their own take on the Hamonado, which is the Humba.
- 500 g pork belly thick cube cut (with ribs is okay, too)
- 1 cup pineapple juice
- 1 cup water
- ¼ cup soy sauce
- 3 tbsp coconut vinegar
- 1 tbsp Worcestershire sauce
- ½ cup Sprite lemon
- 2 tbsp freshly ground black pepper
- 3 tbsp brown sugar
- ½ tsp Ginisa mix
- 1 medium size onion finely diced
- 3 cloves minced garlic
- 3 bay leaves
- Cooking oil
- Marinate the pork belly. First, clean the pork belly cuts by massaging sea salt into the pork belly for 30 seconds, then washing them under running water. Put them into a clean mixing bowl, and add the soy sauce, pineapple juice, sprite, vinegar, Worcestershire sauce, and freshly ground black pepper. Using your clean hands, mix them all until well-combined. Marinate for 20 to 30 minutes.
- Cook the Pork Hamonado. Heat up a big pan or pot under medium fire, and add 2 tbsp of cooking oil. Add the marinated pork belly cuts one by one. Fry each cut for 5 to 8 minutes, until the juice comes out. Let the acidity of the vinegar evaporate and cook through, and the fat rendered. Set aside cooked pork belly cuts. Using the oil from the fried pork belly, sauté the onions and garlic for 30 seconds. Add the cooked pork belly. Add more black pepper and 1 tsp of salt, and cook for another 3 minutes, stirring occasionally. Add the marinade into the pan/ pot, and bring it to a boil for 1 minute. Add the sugar and ginisa mix, and water. Stir until well combined to the sauce. Add the bay leaf, and let it simmer under medium low fire for another 20 minutes. Check the pork belly by using a fork. It should be fork tender, and the fork should cut through the meat effortlessly. Once you’ve reached that tenderness, turn off the heat.
- Serve! Once the Pork Hamonado is cooked, you can serve it right away. If you want a more flavorful Pork Hamonado, let it rest for at least 15 minutes before consuming.
Just like Adobo, this Pork Hamonado only gets tastier the longer it sits in the fridge (only if you didn’t devour all of it yet. Lol), waiting to be consumed. If you cooked a huge batch, try leaving some in the fridge for two days, then reheat and consume. You can definitely tell the significant difference!