Balbacua Pork Recipe

Discover the perfect Balbacua Pork recipe! Dive into rich flavors, step-by-step guide. Elevate your Filipino cooking with this savory masterpiece.

Balbacua Pork

    Balbacua Pork

  • Cuisine: Filipino
  • Category: Main Dish
  • Prep Time:
  • Cook Time:
  • Servings: 6
  • Calories: 200 calories

About Ingredients Instructions Video Servings Tips Substitutes

Balbacua Pork is a savory and robust Filipino dish, deeply rooted in the country's culinary traditions. Its distinctive taste and hearty nature make it a favorite among those seeking comfort food with a touch of complexity. The dish typically features succulent pork hocks or belly, slowly simmered to tender perfection.

The magic of Balbacua lies in its rich broth, crafted from a blend of roasted ground peanuts, aromatic star anise, and bay leaves, infusing the meat with layers of flavor. Dried banana blossoms add a unique texture, while sweet corn kernels and string beans contribute a delightful medley of tastes.

Preparing Balbacua is a labor of love, requiring patience as the ingredients meld together during a slow simmer. The addition of achuete oil not only imparts a vibrant hue but also enhances the overall visual appeal of the dish.

Served steaming hot with a side of rice, Balbacua Pork brings people together, embodying the warmth of Filipino hospitality. Whether enjoyed on a rainy day or during festive gatherings, this dish encapsulates the essence of Filipino cuisine – a perfect blend of tradition, taste, and togetherness.


Dive into the aromatic world of Balbacua Pork – a Filipino culinary masterpiece! Uncover the secrets of this savory delight and elevate your home cooking experience.


  • 1 kg pork hocks or pork belly, cut into serving pieces
  • 1 cup peanuts, roasted and ground
  • 1 cup dried banana blossoms (bulaklak ng saging), soaked in water
  • 1 cup sweet corn kernels
  • 1 cup string beans, cut into 2-inch lengths
  • 1 medium-sized onion, chopped
  • 1 head garlic, minced
  • 2-3 pieces star anise
  • 2-3 pieces bay leaves
  • 2-3 tablespoons achuete (annatto) oil
  • Fish sauce and pepper to taste
  • Water for boiling

Method Instructions

  1. In a large pot, combine pork, peanuts, onion, garlic, star anise, and bay leaves. Pour enough water to cover the ingredients.
  2. Bring to a boil and then simmer until the pork is tender. Add more water if necessary.
  3. Once the pork is tender, add the banana blossoms, sweet corn, and string beans. Simmer for another 10-15 minutes until the vegetables are cooked.
  4. Add fish sauce and pepper to taste. Adjust according to your preference.
  5. Stir in achuete oil for a rich color. You can make achuete oil by heating annatto seeds in oil until it turns red.
  6. Serve hot with rice.

Recipe Video

Balbacua Pork

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Recipe Tags: Balbacua Pork, Balbacua Pork Recipe, Recipe


Serving Balbacua Pork is a delightful experience that brings the rich flavors of Filipino cuisine to the table. Here's a simple guide on how to serve it:

  • Rice Accompaniment: Balbacua pairs exceptionally well with steamed white rice. The rice serves as a perfect canvas to absorb the flavorful broth and complements the hearty chunks of pork and vegetables.
  • Garnishes: Enhance the visual appeal and taste by adding fresh garnishes. Chopped green onions or cilantro provide a burst of freshness, while a squeeze of calamansi or lime adds a citrusy zing.
  • Condiments: Place condiments on the side for those who enjoy an extra kick. Fish sauce or soy sauce with crushed red pepper can be offered to cater to varying taste preferences.
  • Side Dishes: Consider serving Balbacua with a side of sliced fresh vegetables, like cucumber or tomatoes, to balance the richness of the dish.
  • Sharing Style: Balbacua is often served family-style, placed at the center of the table for everyone to dig in. It's a communal dish that fosters a sense of togetherness.
  • Hot and Fresh: As with many stews, Balbacua is best enjoyed when served hot. Make sure to ladle the piping hot broth over the rice and let the warmth envelop your senses.


  1. Choose Quality Ingredients: Opt for fresh, high-quality pork and vegetables. This will significantly impact the overall taste and texture of the dish.
  2. Peanuts and Banana Blossoms: Roasting the peanuts before grinding them enhances their flavor. Additionally, make sure to soak the dried banana blossoms adequately to soften them before adding to the dish.
  3. Slow Simmering: Balbacua is all about patience. Allow the pork to simmer slowly to achieve maximum tenderness and to let the flavors meld together. This slow cooking process is key to the dish's richness.
  4. Adjust Seasoning: Taste the broth periodically and adjust the seasoning accordingly. Balbacua should strike a balance between savory, nutty, and slightly sweet. Add fish sauce or pepper gradually to suit your taste.
  5. Achuete Oil: For a vibrant color, make sure to prepare achuete oil by heating annatto seeds in oil until it turns red. This not only adds visual appeal but also contributes a subtle flavor.
  6. Vegetable Timing: Add the banana blossoms, sweet corn, and string beans towards the end of the cooking process to ensure they maintain their texture and don't become overly soft.
  7. Garnishing: Fresh garnishes like green onions or cilantro add a burst of flavor and freshness to the final dish. Don't skip this step as it elevates the overall presentation.
  8. Communal Dining: Consider serving Balbacua family-style. The shared experience of ladling the hot broth over rice and enjoying it together enhances the communal aspect of Filipino dining.

Ingredient Substitutes

If you find yourself missing a few ingredients for Balbacua Pork, here are some potential substitutes:

  1. Peanuts: If peanuts are unavailable, you can use peanut butter as a substitute. Start with a few tablespoons and adjust based on your taste preference.
  2. Dried Banana Blossoms: If you can't find dried banana blossoms, you can substitute with fresh ones. Alternatively, use bamboo shoots or water chestnuts for a similar textural element.
  3. Sweet Corn: Corn is often a flexible ingredient. If fresh sweet corn is not available, you can use frozen or canned corn as a substitute.
  4. String Beans: Substitute with green beans or snap peas for a similar crunchy texture.
  5. Achuete Oil: If annatto seeds are not on hand, you can use paprika or turmeric to add color. However, keep in mind that this may slightly alter the flavor profile.
  6. Star Anise: Anise seeds or Chinese five-spice powder can be used as alternatives if you don't have star anise.
  7. Fish Sauce: Soy sauce can be a substitute for fish sauce, though the flavor profile will be slightly different. Adjust the quantity based on your taste.
  8. Vegetable Variations: Balbacua is versatile, so feel free to incorporate other vegetables you have on hand, such as potatoes, carrots, or bell peppers.


As you savor the last spoonful, may the flavors linger in your memory. Balbacua Pork – not just a recipe, but a journey through Filipino culinary bliss. Happy cooking!

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