Fabada Filipino

fabada plate 500x344 Fabada Filipino

I loooove beans. I’m so glad that it makes perfect protein substitute for meat so I can have more of it, less the guilt. It makes soups and stews hearty and adds thickness and creaminess to every spoonful.

I can have cracked munggo or munggong malagkit (mung beans) with talbos ng ampalaya (bitter gourd leaf tips) for lunch all week. I tend to favor Spanish bean dishes like Fabada, lentejas con Hamon (lentil soup) and garbanzos in pochero (chickpeas in beef stew).

They say fabada is like poor man’s stew because you cook a whole lot of beans with ham bone and if you’re lucky scraps of Spanish sausages to flavor it. (Goodness, I am getting hungry just thinking about it). I thoroughly enjoy the depth of flavor that the salty pork gives, with hardly any meat in it. I do throw in authentic Spanish chorizo or fabada mix  when the budget allows.

On my husband’s side of the family, I’ve seen them serve sliced pork pata (front leg) stewed with white beans. My husband prefers more pork than beans and this becomes a viand to hot steaming rice.

My personal recipe (which I sometimes refer to as buto-buto and beans) is my take on the Fabada. White kidney beans, buto ng Hamon (Chinese ham bone) with slices of bone-in pork pata (front leg). Add a complexity of flavors with chorizo, white wine and extra dose of paprika, slow cooked till thick and chunky.

To be honest, when I’m just making it for myself, I leave out the pork altogether. Sans the pork, you can serve it as a soup with salad. Splash a little extra virgin olive oil before serving. See how the fragrance alone works up your appetite!

fabada palayok 500x335 Fabada Filipino


  • 1 pata (front leg) chopped into 6 pieces ( feet or hocks not included)
  • 2 c dried white beans (soak for at least 1 hour)
  • 2 T finely chopped garlic
  • ¼ c olive oil
  • 3 small pieces of canned chorizo or 1 good quality Spanish chorizo, sliced.
  • Optional: ½-1 c white wine
  • 1 medium size Chinese Ham Bone ( I usually use Majestic Ham)
  • 2 -3 t Spanish paprika (sweet or spicy, it’s your choice)
  • Salt and Ground pepper to taste

Boil pork leg pieces with a little salt for 20 minutes and drain.

In a pan, heat olive oil gently and sauté garlic with the chorizo. Saute till garlic is yellow and a bit of the chorizo fat is rendered. Add white wine and paprika, let it boil briskly for about 3 minutes.

In your palayok (claypot), fix the ham bone in the middle of the pot, put in the sliced pork, beans, garlic-chorizo mixture.  Add enough water to cover all the ingredients. Let this simmer over coals for 4 to 6 hours. Of course you can cook this recipe in a regular pot. Cooked over low heat–you will get a yummy yield in about 2 and a half hours.

Stir it every now and then to make sure that the beans do not burn at the bottom of the pot. The longer it simmers, the more flavor it gets out of the ham bone. The bold flavors of the chorizo and ham bone will meld perfectly with the broth which will flavor the beans. The beans will begin to break down and the starch will thicken the soup.  Serve hot.

Cook’s Tip: You can add water if you find that the mixture is too thick. And season only towards the end of the cooking process as you might find that it is not necessary to add salt because of the ham bone and chorizo.




 Fabada Filipino

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