Fennel and Five Spice Pork Belly

written by Nixi Sandhu 23rd April 2019

I love the crackle and pop of crispy pork crackling combine this with a layer of tender pork beneath. Pair it with delectable fennel and mustard gravy and you have a family meal with strong, vibrant flavours fit for anybody’s’ Easter table. We enjoyed it with creamy mashed potatoes and a purple cabbage and apple coleslaw which paired perfectly.

Photography by Dipen Popat


  • 1.5 kg Pork Belly (ask your butcher to score the skin in diamonds)
  • 2 teaspoons Korean Rice Wine (Soju)
  • 1 ½ teaspoons Salt & 1 teaspoon Sugar
  • ½ teaspoon 5 Spice powder & ¼ cup coarse Sea Salt to rub over the skin
  • 2 bulbs Fennel, sliced
  • 3 cloves Garlic, roughly crushed when whole
  • 4 teaspoons Fennel seeds, divided (2 for the skin and 2 for the gravy)
  • 3 whole Star Anise
  • 5 Cardamom pods crushed open
  • 1 cup of a Stock of your choice
  • 1 cup Dry White Wine
  • 1 teaspoon Whole Grain Mustard
  • 3 tablespoons Olive oil



  1. Rinse your pork belly and pat dry with Fay Kitchen Towels. Place it skin side down on a tray and rub the rice wine onto the skin.
  2. Mix together the salt, 5 spice powder and sugar and rub this too all over the meat.
  3. Flip the meat over so it is skin side up and rest in the fridge for 12-24 hours, uncovered so it dries up.
  4. Preheat oven to 190°C.
  5. Place a sheet of Fay Foil about one and a half lengths of your meat on a baking tray. Put your pork meat side down onto this foil and fold it around the meat skin side up.
  6. Rub the coarse sea salt over the skin and press in 2 teaspoons of the fennel seeds.
  7. Bake this for 45 minutes and reduce the oven temperature to 180°C.
  8. In a roasting pan, heat the olive oil on high heat. To this add the fennel and crushed garlic and sauté till fragrant. Add the leftover 2 teaspoons of fennel seeds, cardamom and star anise and mix well.
  9. Remove the pork and sear it on top of the fennel mixture skin side down till some parts of the skin turn a beautiful caramel brown.
  10. Turn the meat over and rest it on top of the vegetables and then pour in the white wine and let it bubble away and burn off the alcohol. Add in the stock and allow it to boil. (Pour the wine and stock over the side of your roasting tin, instead of over the skin of the meat, else you will not get crispy crackling).
  11. Cook the meat in the oven for 2 hours.
  12. Once the meat has cooked remove it from the pan, add in mustard and stir to combine. Remove this gravy into a gravy boat.
  13. Slice up your meat as thin or as thick as you like are serve.


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