We’ve done a couple of hamonado recipes but this one is a little special because we’ll be using pork pata, one of the most sought after pork cuts in the Philippines. You probably already have some idea of what entails when doing a hamonado recipe. For those who don’t, hamonado is not just a single Filipino recipe, but its a more general term for a Filipino cooking technique.
Previous Hamonado Recipes:
This technique has the meat marinated in a sweet pineapple sauce that usually consists of pineapple juice, soy sauce, sugar, and spices to bring out the best flavors out of the dish. The sweet pineapple sauce is a very delicious glaze-like consistency and makes the dish very savory. The most typical hamonado recipe uses fatty pork cuts and makes the meat very juicy once cooked.
It’s very similar to adobo which is also a type of cooking technique rather than a specific Filipino dish. And I know that some people tend to get confused by the two. The main ingredient to look out for when it’s a hamonado recipe is the pineapple juice. Hamonado dishes usually have some pineapple chunks served with it, just like vinegar is a defining ingredient for adobo. And hamonado dishes are a lot sweeter in flavor than adobo dishes.
Pininyang manok is also a Filipino dish that tends to be confused as a hamonado recipe. Pininyang manok is a braised chicken recipe made that has the chicken also marinated in pineapple juice before cooking but the key difference is that pininyang manok doesn’t use soy sauce in its marinade. Plus, it’s also a coconut milk-based dish.
Now back to hamonado. It’s a very popular Filipino recipe that’s prepared specially during Christmas celebrations. It’s what ham is during Christmas celebrations for Americans. It’s one of my favorite savory dishes to eat during parties and it sucks that we don’t have hamonado as an everyday dish.
But now that I think about it, that’s probably the reason why it’s such a special sought after dish. I love hamonado recipes and I also love the different variants of it from different parts of the Philippines. Before when we’re still free to travel wherever we want whenever we want, it was such a treat to discover different versions of hamonado from different places.
I never outright sought hamonado recipes out in the places I traveled because remember, it’s a dish that’s only typically served for Christmas celebrations, parties, and the like. So it makes it just that much special when I stumble upon a carinderia or certain restaurants serving their the region’s hamonado recipe.
I learned to cook hamonado in college, the process is very similar to how we cook adobo recipes and I think that hamonado can be just as versatile as adobo. Case in point, we’re using pata for this hamonado recipe, something I’ve never seen with adobo before. I’m sure there’s some out there but I’ve never encountered it personally. Maybe we can get experimenting with that in the future.
But first, I want to mention that I have no idea where hamonado came from. I tried to do some research but nothing came up. Its name is a Filipino version of the Spanish Jamonado which just means “prepared like ham.” That doesn’t really explain anything. Maybe because it’s also a staple Christmas recipe like ham? But hamonado can be prepared with different types of meat, not just ham.
At least in Zamboanga, hamonado is called endulsado. Also a Filipino version of the Spanish word endulzado, which means “to sweeten.” That makes more sense. Also, pineapple, hamonado’s defining ingredient, isn’t native to the Philippines. In fact, it comes from South America where it’s been cultivated for centuries.
So there’s a possibility that hamonado was introduced by the Spaniards but there’s no Spanish dish that I know of that we could’ve taken inspiration from to result in the hamonado that we know of today.
Okay, so my theory is that ham and pineapple were introduced to us by the Spaniards but they didn’t introduce us to hamonado. No, hamonado was an innovative invention of Filipinos during the Spanish Colinialization Era. Maybe as a means to recreate the ham or just as experimentation using a method that they know like adobo.
So hamonado is a Spanish influenced, original Filipino dish. At least, that’s my theory. Write in the comments to tell me yours or enlighten me if you have the facts of this dish’s origins.
Enough about the origins of hamonado, the fact is that its a delicious well-loved dish that you can find just about anywhere in the Philippines. Now back to our pata hamonado recipe. We’re not going to marinate the pata like a traditional hamonado recipe. That would probably take days just because of how big the pork leg is.
Instead, we’re going to do it pata tim style with some modifications. It’s been some time of experimenting to get to this recipe and a friend of mine recently requested I cooked it for them for their birthday. Who am I to refuse, so I thought to share this recipe with you guys as well. I’m sure you’ll love it.
No need to wait until Christmas! Although the ber months are fast approaching, I think that’s enough of an excuse to recreate this hamonado recipe.
All the ingredients that you’ll need are listed down below as well as a step by step guide on how to prepare this delicious pata hamonado recipe. Serve hot with a plate of white rice and enjoy.
Pata Hamonado Recipe
- 2 lbs. ham hock pata, sliced or whole
- 3 cups pineapple juice
- 1 medium yellow onion diced
- 1 teaspoon minced garlic
- 3 tablespoons soy sauce
- 3 tablespoons brown sugar
- 3 pieces dried bay leaves
- 2 cups water
- 1 teaspoon salt
- 1 teaspoon whole pepper corn
- 2 tablespoons cooking oil
- In a pot, brown garlic in oil.
- Add pork leg and brown on all sides.
- Now add all of the remaining ingredients, apart from the sliced pineapples.
- Bring to a boil and slowly simmer for 2 hrs.
- Add the pineapples then simmer for additional 15 minutes. Serve.