Pochero (Pork/Beef Stew with Saba/Burro Bananas)


  • 2-3 Tablespoons Cooking Oil
  • 2 medium Plum Tomatoes, diced
  • 1 medium Onion, diced
  • 4 Garlic cloves, minced
  • 2.2 lbs or 1 kilo Country-style Boneless ribs or pork belly,* cut into 1-1/2 cubes
  • 2 Tablespoons Patis (Fish Sauce) – may add another tablespoon if using water instead of Broth
  • Freshly ground Black Pepper, to taste
  • 1 can Beef or Vegetable Broth (or water)
  • 2 Medium Red Potatoes, quartered and then halved
  • 1 Large Carrot, chopped (similar size to potatoes)*
  • 3/4 cup Del Monte Ketchup (or regular Ketchup or 1 small can Tomato sauce)
  • 3-4 Ripe Saba or Burro Bananas, sliced
  • 1 bunch of Bok Choy (Baby or regular)
  • Salt, to taste
  • Brown Sugar, to taste

*Beef or even Chicken or a combo of any two or all three may be used instead.
*You can replace the Carrots with some Green Beans and/or Garbanzo Beans – which are the usual ingredients for Pochero.

Cooking Instructions:

  1. Heat the oil in a deep pot like a Dutch Oven. I used my Le Creuset.
  2. Sauté the diced onion for a minute and then add the garlic. Add the pork cubes and coat it with the oil and the aromatics. Stir in the tomatoes and continue to cook until the pork cubes have turned light brown.
  3. Pour in the Fish Sauce (Patis) and sprinkle the ground black pepper. Stir. Let it simmer for about 3-5 minutes.
  4. Add the broth or water and bring to a  boil. Simmer covered until pork is tender (about 30 to 40 minutes).
  5. When the pork cubes are tender, add the potatoes and carrots. Pour in the Ketchup or Tomato Sauce. Stir. Simmer again for about 5-6 minutes or until the potatoes and carrots are slightly tender. At this time check the flavors and adjust the seasoning to your taste by adding either salt or sugar or more fish sauce. If it’s a little sour (esp if using regular ketchup or tomato sauce) add some brown sugar to achieve a balanced flavor.
  6. Add the sliced Burro Bananas and continue to cook until it’s tender. Add the Bok Choy leaves, turn off the heat and cover. Let it stand for about 5 minutes. The remaining heat will cook the Bok Choy.
  7. Transfer to a serving dish and enjoy with rice! Yum! Some Filipinos eat this with a little fish sauce on the side mixed with a few drops of freshly squeezed Lime juice. Delish!
Source : Manila Spoon