My Pork Estofado Recipe (Filipino Pork and Saba Banana Stew)

Pork Estofado Recipe

Pork Estofado

A sweet and savory pork stew featuring soy sauce and vinegar sweetened with caramelized sugar, fried saba (plantains) and banana blossoms.
Prep Time 5 minutes
Cook Time 1 hour
Total Time 1 hour 5 minutes
Course Main Course
Cuisine Filipino
Servings 4 servings


  • 3 tablespoons oil
  • 4 pieces saba bananas (each cut into 3)
  • 1 kilo pork hock (pata) (cut into smaller sections, about 2 inches thick)
  • cup soy sauce
  • 1 cup vinegar
  • 1 ½ cups water
  • 1 teaspoon peppercorn
  • 6 tablespoons granulated sugar (adjust to preferred sweetness)
  • 1 tablespoon water
  • 1 cup banana blossoms


  • Heat oil in a large pot over medium heat. Fry the slices of saba until both sides are nicely browned. Once done, remove from the oil and set aside.
  • Add the pork hock slices to the pot and sear all sides until they get a beautiful golden brown. Then, pour in the soy sauce, vinegar, water, and peppercorns. Bring it all to a boil over high heat.
  • Once the mixture is boiling, reduce the heat to low and cover the pot. Let it simmer for about an hour or until the meat is tender enough to be easily pierced with a fork. Feel free to add more water if needed during cooking.
  • In a separate saucepan, combine the sugar and 1 tablespoon of water. Heat over low heat until the sugar melts and turns into a gorgeous golden caramel. Carefully pour this caramel into the simmering pot of pork hocks. Be cautious, as it may bubble up when you pour it in.
  • Now, add the banana blossoms to the pot. Throw in the fried bananas as well and let everything simmer together for another 5 minutes.
  • Serve your delicious stew while it’s warm

Details Behind My Pork Estofado Recipe

Pork Estofado Recipe – As described above, pork estofado is a type of pork stew. But there is plenty more to say about it. Estofado, also known as ‘Estufado,’ is a popular Filipino dish resembling adobo, featuring pork simmered in a mixture of vinegar and soy sauce. The vinegar and soy sauce mixture is complemented by fried plantains for a burst of flavor.

Notably, it carries a slight sweetness, often enhanced by added sugar. The term “Estofado” originates from the Spanish word “estofar,” meaning “stewed” or “braised in a covered pan,” reflecting the cooking method employed in preparing this dish. Because of its mixture, it is comparable to adobo and paksiw na pata.

Estofado VS Adobo VS Pata Tim: How are They Different?

Estofado, Adobo, and Paksiw na Pata share a base of vinegar and soy sauce for stewing, yet each dish boasts its own unique characteristics. While Adobo tends to lean towards a savory profile, both Estofado and Paksiw na Pata incorporate sweetness through the addition of sugar, with Estofado generally being slightly sweeter.

What sets Estofado apart is the inclusion of fried plantains (saging na saba), offering a distinct flavor and texture. Regional variations further diversify Estofado, with some regions substituting pineapple for plantains, adding carrots and potatoes, or opting for overnight meat marination.

Additional Notes for My Estofado Recipe

When preparing Estofado, pork is a common choice of meat. Opt for cuts rich in fats and collagen, as leaner cuts may become tough and dry during stewing. Recommended options include Pork Pata (hocks or knuckles), known for their gelatinous texture and rich flavor after lengthy cooking. Pork Shoulder is another excellent choice, offering a balance of fats and connective tissue ideal for stewing. Pork Belly, prized for its tenderness and flavor, is also well-suited for slow cooking or stewing.

In addition to the choice of meat, there are plenty of tips for cooking the dish. Cooking Estofado involves several key steps for optimal results. Begin by slicing the meat uniformly to ensure consistent cooking. When incorporating saba bananas, opt for ripe yet firm ones, lightly browning them before adding to the stew to maintain their integrity. Searing the meat beforehand adds color and enriches the flavor profile. Prior to introducing soy sauce and water, allow the vinegar to boil uncovered for several minutes to mitigate its strong acidic taste.

Other Similar Dishes

If you want to check out other similar dishes, there is bistek, specifically pork bistek. This Filipino dish offers a unique twist on the classic beefsteak, distinguished by its savory and tangy sauce with an acidic depth. Typically featuring pork chop cuts, some recipes allow for leaner pork options. Regardless of the cut chosen, the sauce remains the focal point of the dish, imparting its distinctive flavor profile.

Another option is hamonada. Hamonado, also known as Pork Hamonado, is a classic Filipino dish cooked by simmering pork in pineapple juice. When preparing Hamonado, various pork cuts like belly, knuckles, legs (ham), or shoulder are suitable, provided they have enough fat for tenderness and flavor. The dish’s key components are pork, pineapple, and soy sauce, with cooking times adjusted according to the meat’s toughness.

Other Dishes with Saba Bananas

Do you want to try other stews with saba bananas in it? Then you should try pochero. Pochero, a hearty stew from Bulacan, is known for its rich flavors and textures. Typically made with beef chunks, saba bananas, and a savory mix of potatoes, sweet potatoes, chorizos de Bilbao, bok choy, leeks, chickpeas, cabbage, and tomato sauce, it offers a satisfying meal. While beef is common, chicken or pork variations are also popular.

You’ll find there is a variety of ways to enjoy pork in Filipino cuisine, especially dishes with unexpected ingredients like saba.

Pork Estofado Recipe

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