Get this easy recipe for Pork Hamonado that has a perfect balance of sweet and savory and with meat so tender, it melts in your mouth.
What is Hamonado?
Pork Hamonado is a Filipino dish that involves cooking the meat in pineapple juice.
It is or was a kind of food that is only served at special occasions like for Christmas or Fiestas. Understandably, not only because most ordinary people from earlier years could not afford to eat pork every day but, also, such rich food should be only eaten occasionally.
But nowadays, it's become common to see it on the lunch or dinner tables on any regular day.
What cut of pork to use?
Different kind of pork cuts can be used as long as there is some fat in it. This is because this dish involves slow cooking the meat in the sweetened soy sauce. This process will bring out the pork's flavor. For this Pork Hamonado recipe, I used pork belly. Other cuts that can be used are pork ham, neck or shoulder.
What I like about this recipe is it is fairly simple and easy. The hardest part, for me at least, was the waiting while the meat is cooking which might take some time to get that tender melt-in-your-mouth meat, but it was definitely worth it!
Some Q&A about cooking this Pork Hamonado Recipe
What pork cuts to use?
I used pork belly for this recipe but Pork knuckles, pork legs (ham), pork shoulder, or any part that has fat attached should be good for this recipe. Cooking time may vary though depending on the toughness of the meat.
What kind of soy sauce to use?
I know that this would not be a question if you are in the Philippines as we only know one kind of soy sauce. The others go by a different name for us (usually we call them by the brand).
In other countries, however, there are different soy sauces in the market and they have different flavors and render different outcomes. If you can find a regular soy sauce from the Philippines, then that would be perfect, otherwise, look for the all-purpose or dark variety.
Sweetened pineapple juice or not?
You can use any of the two actually. But if you are going to use sweetened pineapple juice, skip the sugar first as it may be already too sweet if it is added.
Easy Pork Hamonado
- 2-3 pounds Pork belly - cut into 2 inch long and about ¾ inch thick
- 6 cloves garlic - crushed
- 1 cup soy sauce
- 2 cups water
- 2 cups pineapple juice
- 1 tablespoon brown sugar
- 2 teaspoons peppercorn
- 1 cup pineapple chunks
- salt -if needed
- a dash of ground pepper
- Place the pork belly slices in a pot or deep pan.
- Mix all the rest of the ingredients in a bowl until well blended and salt and sugar are dissolved.
- Pour the liquid mixture to the pork belly and bring to boil over medium-high heat.
- Once it starts to boil, lower down the heat to medium-low and cover with a lid then let it simmer for 40-50 minutes or so or until the meat is fork tender.
- Remove the cover and continue to simmer until fat quite literally melts in your mouth. By then, the liquids would have been reduced to a thick sauce.
- Serve while hot with steamed rice.