Pork Hamonado Recipe

Pork Hamonado Recipe
Pork Hamonado Recipe

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Filipinos are no stranger to the sweet and savory combination in food. A number of salty dishes from overseas have their own fun Pinoy versions that are usually a bit more honeyed and saccharine. Ever heard of Filipino spaghetti? But the beauty of this culinary flavor duo can be seen in various recipes that came straight from home, such as the meaty and zesty Pork Hamonado.

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You may have heard of the Christmas staple that is sweet ham. And if you’re a fan, you will probably enjoy Pork Hamonado more than anyone. The two have similar charms in terms of flavor and texture after all.

What is Pork Hamonado?

Have you ever tried braising your pork belly in heaps of tasty pineapple juice? If your answer is no, it’s time to add this Pork Hamonado recipe to your meal list for the week. This is a must-try Pinoy dish that marries the savor of crushed garlic and soy sauce with the perfect sugary quality of pineapple. The chunks of this tropical fruit also make your pork stew more exciting and tasty.  This is a dish that can work for any time of the day, but I’d say it is best to have for lunch with plenty of rice on the side. 

pork hamonado recipepork hamonado recipe

As for its origins, several sources point to the Spanish colonization period as the time when this recipe was created. After all, the name comes from the Spanish word “jamon,” meaning ham. It is possible that this is because people from Spain introduced certain spices and cooking methods to Filipinos, which may have led to the birth of the hamonado dish.

What does Pineapple Juice do to Pork?

We know that pineapple juice is largely behind the slightly sugary taste of Pork Hamonado. But this plays a role outside flavor too. Pineapple juice actually helps meat become satisfyingly tender. In the time that we let our pork belly simmer in pineapple juice, we get to achieve the kind of texture that makes meat more irresistible and juicy. 

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This ability to tenderize the pork comes from a mixture of enzymes we call bromelain. The bromelain helps break down protein in meat, which leads to the change in texture. But there are a bunch more components that help make Pork Hamonado the tasty stew that it is.

Pork Hamonado Ingredients

pork hamonado ingredientspork hamonado ingredients
Pork belly

You will want to grab 2 lbs. from the market for our recipe. To make sure that you get the best meat, go ahead and choose pork belly that is pale pink and firm. And once you get home, just slice them up into serving pieces

Pineapple juice

2 cups of pineapple juice should do the trick. Aside from making the stew a lot tastier, this ingredient is also pretty great because of its health benefits. Pineapple juice contains lots of antioxidants, which can help prevent cell damage.

Pineapple chunks

A bit of sourness helps build the overall flavor of Pork Hamonado. And we get to have this because of 20 ounces of delicious pineapple chunks.


It can be difficult to find a Pinoy recipe that does not make use of the salty and rich garlic. Crush just 6 cloves for your hamonado. 

Soy sauce

This is a component you do not want to add too much of to the pork stew. Soy sauce can easily make a dish too salty, and so we will use only 6 tablespoons.

Whole peppercorn

This spice has quite the sharp flavor too, and so we won’t be using too much of it. Just have 2 teaspoons of whole peppercorn ready.

Brown sugar

It’s not just pineapple that makes this Pork Hamonado delightfully sugary. You should prepare 3 tablespoons of brown sugar for the dish. We choose this instead of white sugar because of the depth in flavor it can bring to our hamonado. But the plus to this is that brown sugar has higher amounts of certain nutrients like iron and calcium.

Cooking oil

We can’t make our Pork Hamonado with cooking oil. Get 3 tablespoons of this for your recipe as well.


And finally, you will want to sprinkle in some salt to make our Pork Hamonado as savory as we want it to be. But just how much salt would we need? That’s up to you! Add as much salt as preferred.

How to Make Pork Hamonado

Frying the pork belly

First, we need our cooking oil to be hot. Pour this all over your cooking pot, and then apply heat. Once the oil is hot, you can place your pork belly inside. Fry this for 2 minutes, and then turn the meat over. Cook the other side for the same amount of time.

Letting the stew boil

We will now utilize our soy sauce, pineapple juice, half of the pineapple chunks, and water.

Put these ingredients in the pot. Then add your garlic, as well as the whole peppercorn to make our dish flavorful. Place the cover on top of the pot, and just wait for the mixture to start boiling.

Tenderizing the pork belly

Once the liquid boils, you can reduce the heat to a simmer. Cook the mixture for about 60 minutes, or until the pork gets nice and tender.

As you are cooking, you may pour more water inside if needed so the stew does not dry up. 

Seasoning the stew

We may now add the pineapple chunks we have left behind. Also sprinkle in your brown sugar. Then integrate the salt (only if needed). For this seasoning, it’s important that we also don’t go overboard so that the dish does not end up too salty.

Cooking the Pork Hamonado

We’re down to our final step! All that’s left for us to do is to keep the hamonado cooking for 2 minutes more.

How to Serve Pork Hamonado 

What to serve with hamonadoWhat to serve with hamonado

Your tasty Pork Hamonado is all ready! Simply transfer this to a bowl or container of choice. And as I said earlier, this dish works great with some rice. You can mix in your rice with the hamonado, or pour some of the stew over your side dish. And another thing we can’t forget is that temperature matters when it comes to serving the Pork Hamonado. It is best to have this while it is hot and fresh out of the pot! I would recommend reheating the hamonado if you have left it out for a bit, and has cooled.

Pork Hamonado Alternative Ingredients

Pineapple juice

Who said you can’t make Pork Hamonado without pineapple juice? Of course, this plays an essential role in making the dish simultaneously sweet and sour. But you can actually recreate this recipe with other fruit juices.

It may not taste exactly the same, but apple juice can provide a similar sugary taste. This can even have the same tenderizing function! But if you are unable to get your hands on apple juice, another great alternative is grape juice.

Pork belly

Succulent and juicy, pork is definitely a great ingredient for our hamonado. But you can easily replace this with another type of meat– chicken! Utilizing white meat instead of pork belly is also the healthier choice. Chicken notably has less fat than pork, and possesses more protein. Of course, the texture will be different, and pork may taste richer than chicken. But since we use the same seasonings, the end result would still be flavorful, and worth the trip to the kitchen! 

Cooking oil

Talk about an ingredient you don’t want to be running out of! Cooking oil is a component you use in practically every recipe. But thankfully, we can use other things you may already have in your kitchen to get your pork belly cooked well. This includes the ever simple and useful butter. Simply let this melt in your pot, and this would already work great for frying! But if butter is unavailable, you may even turn to bacon grease to make the recipe work.

How to Store Pork Hamonado

If you’re too full to finish your Pork Hamonado, you have the option of eating this at a later date. Just store this in your airtight container once it is at room temperature, and then place that in the fridge. Refrigerating the Pork Hamonado this way will make it last for a maximum of 3 days.

sweet hamonado recipesweet hamonado recipe

Can you Freeze Pork Hamonado?

You could make this dish in big batches, and consume it even months later so long as you do your storage right. And so the answer is yes– Pork Hamonado is one dish you can freeze! The process is almost exactly the same as I mentioned earlier with refrigeration. But this time, after you have sealed the lid on your airtight container, you can place the hamonado in the freezer. Now your food can remain safe for eating for a maximum of 2 months.

However, we have to be extra sure that this is in good quality before we start preparing our hamonado again. The first indicator for spoilage would be a foul smell. Your pork’s color also says a lot about how safe it is for consumption. If it is starting to look green or gray, it may be time to toss out your food. The risk of stomach problems is really not worth the money you might save by reheating your meal. 

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I hope this taught you all you needed to know about the gloriously tasty Pork Hamonado. But if that’s not the case, go ahead, and write your queries in the comments below. And are you searching for more sweet and savory recipes like this? Panlasang Pinoy is the place for you! Take a look around the website, as well as our social media platforms, to find your next recipe.

Did you make this? If you snap a photo, please be sure tag us on Instagram at @panlasangpinoy or hashtag #panlasangpinoy so we can see your creations!

hamonadong baboyhamonadong baboy

Pork Hamonado

Pork belly stewed in soy sauce and pineapple juice

Prep: 5 minutes

Cook: 1 hour


  • Heat the oil in a cooking pot. Fry each side of the pork belly for 2 minutes.

    3 tablespoons cooking oil, 2 lbs. pork belly

  • Pour-in the soy sauce, pineapple juice, and half of the pineapple chunks.

    2 cups pineapple juice, 6 tablespoons soy sauce, 20 ounces pineapple chunks

  • Add the garlic and whole peppercorn. Cover and let it boil.

    6 cloves garlic, 2 teaspoons whole peppercorn

  • Reduce the heat to a simmer. Continue cooking until the pork tenderizes. Note: This should take around 60 minutes. You can add water as needed.

  • Add the remaining pineapple chunks and brown sugar. Season with salt as needed. Cook for 2 minutes.

    3 tablespoons brown sugar, Salt to taste

  • Serve warm with rice. Share and enjoy!


  • Note that you can skip the first step (frying the pork) and simply combine all the ingredients together and simmer until done. This will still give you the same flavor, but I like you to try frying the pork first. You can try this suggestion on your next attempt and then compare what works for you. I personally like to fry the pork because of the texture that it brings.
  • This is a basic recipe. Feel free to experiment by using other ingredients. I tried adding oyster sauce and it works too.


Nutrition Information

Calories: 1478kcal (74%) Carbohydrates: 50g (17%) Protein: 26g (52%) Fat: 131g (202%) Saturated Fat: 45g (225%) Polyunsaturated Fat: 16g Monounsaturated Fat: 63g Trans Fat: 0.04g Cholesterol: 163mg (54%) Sodium: 1588mg (66%) Potassium: 865mg (25%) Fiber: 3g (12%) Sugar: 41g (46%) Vitamin A: 112IU (2%) Vitamin C: 27mg (33%) Calcium: 80mg (8%) Iron: 3mg (17%)

© copyright: Vanjo Merano

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Written by bourbiza mohamed

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