Pork Hamonado Recipe

The combination of sweet and salty flavors in food is nothing new to Filipinos. Many foreign salty recipes have amusing Pinoy adaptations that are typically sweeter and more honeyed. Have you ever heard of spaghetti from the Philippines? However, a variety of recipes that came about demonstrate the beauty of this culinary taste duo.

The combination of sweet and salty flavors in food is nothing new to Filipinos. Many foreign salty recipes have amusing Pinoy adaptations that are typically sweeter and more honeyed. Have you ever heard of spaghetti from the Philippines? However, a number of home-style recipes, including the flavorful and meaty Pork Hamonado, showcase the charm of this culinary couple.

You may be familiar with sweet ham as a Christmas staple. And as a fan, you will most likely love Pork Hamonado over everyone else. After all, the flavors and textures of the two are rather similar.

What is Pork Hamonado?

Ever try braising pork belly with a ton of delicious pineapple juice? If the response is negative, you should put this recipe for pork sandwich on your weekly menu. This is a must-try Pinoy meal that perfectly balances the luscious pineapple flavor with the flavor of smashed garlic and soy sauce. This tropical fruit’s pieces add flavor and excitement to your pork stew. Although you may eat this dish at any time of day, I think it tastes best during lunch, especially if you have lots of rice on the side.

Regarding its genesis, multiple accounts indicate that this dish was developed during the Spanish colonization era. After all, the term “jamon,” which means ham in Spanish, is where the name originates. This might be the case since the hamonado meal originated when Filipinos were introduced to specific spices and cooking techniques by Spanish immigrants.

What does Pineapple Juice do to Pork?

We are aware that a significant portion of Pork Hamonado’s slightly sweet flavor comes from pineapple juice. However, this has an impact beyond flavor as well. In fact, pineapple juice aids in the satisfying tenderness of meat. We acquire the type of texture that makes meat more succulent and enticing when we cook our pork belly in pineapple juice.

The combination of enzymes known as bromelain gives the pork its tenderizing properties. Meat’s protein is broken down by bromelain, which causes the texture to shift. However, there are a number of additional ingredients that contribute to the flavorful stew that is pork hamonado.

Pork Hamonado Ingredients

pork hamonado ingredients
Pork belly

You will want to grab 2 lbs. from the market for our recipe. To Recipemake 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 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.

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.


  • 2 lbs. pork belly sliced into serving pieces
  • 2 cups pineapple juice
  • 20 ounces pineapple chunks
  • 6 cloves garlic crushed
  • 6 tablespoons soy sauce
  • 3 tablespoons brown sugar
  • 2 teaspoons whole peppercorn
  • 3 tablespoons cooking oil
  • Salt to taste


What is Pork Hamonado?

Pork Hamonado is a Filipino dish characterized by tender slices of pork cooked in a sweet and tangy sauce typically made with pineapple juice, soy sauce, brown sugar, and spices. It’s a popular dish often served during special occasions and celebrations in the Philippines, known for its delicious combination of savory and sweet flavors.

How do I make Pork Hamonado?

To make Pork Hamonado, start by marinating pork slices (usually from the shoulder or belly) in a mixture of pineapple juice, soy sauce, brown sugar, garlic, and other seasonings for several hours or overnight to allow the flavors to meld. Once marinated, the pork is then seared in a pan until browned on both sides. The remaining marinade is then added to the pan along with additional pineapple juice, bringing it to a simmer. The pork is cooked until tender, allowing the sauce to thicken and caramelize slightly. It’s often garnished with pineapple slices and served with steamed rice.

What ingredients are needed to make Pork Hamonado?

The main ingredients for Pork Hamonado include:

    • Pork slices (from the shoulder or belly)
    • Pineapple juice
    • Soy sauce
    • Brown sugar
    • Garlic
    • Bay leaves
    • Whole peppercorns
    • Vegetable oil Optional ingredients may include onions, carrots, bell peppers, and pineapple slices for garnish.

Can I use different cuts of pork for Pork Hamonado?

While pork shoulder or belly slices are commonly used for Pork Hamonado due to their tenderness and flavor, you can use other cuts of pork as well. Pork loin or pork tenderloin can also work well, but keep in mind that leaner cuts may require shorter cooking times to prevent them from becoming dry. Adjust the cooking time accordingly based on the cut of pork you choose.

Is Pork Hamonado suitable for meal prep?

Yes, Pork Hamonado is suitable for meal prep and can be made ahead of time. You can marinate the pork slices in the refrigerator for up to 24 hours before cooking to enhance the flavor. Once cooked, Pork Hamonado can be stored in an airtight container in the refrigerator for 3-4 days. When ready to eat, simply reheat the Pork Hamonado in a pan or microwave until heated through, and serve it with steamed rice for a delicious meal.

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