Pork belly with fennel and Chinese 5 spice

Pork belly with fennel and five spice

Pork belly with fennel and Chinese 5 spice

A great recipe for when you have friends round for food is one that takes only a few minutes of preparation and then can be left to its own devices whilst you enjoy the company of your guests, yet is still impressive in both flavour and appearance.

We’ve taken inspiration from a Nigella recipe: pork belly with fennel and chilli, replacing the chilli for Chinese 5 spice as our friends weren’t big chilli fans, but are grateful once again to this domestic goddess for such a simple dish to prepare.

We bought the pork belly slices from our local butcher and asked him to score the rind and slice this up for us too (so even less preparation work to do at home).

We served our pork belly with fried gnocchi (flavoured with salt and thyme) and steamed vegetables.

Fried gnocchi

Preparation time: 5 minutes

Cooking time: 2 hours (up to 2 hours 30 minutes)


  • 2.5kg pork belly – cut into 12 slices
  • 60ml garlic oil
  • 2 tbsp fennel seeds
  • 1 tbsp Chinese 5 spice
  • 1 tbsp sea salt


  1. Pre-heat the oven to 170ºC.
  2. Sit the pork belly slices in a large roasting tin, slightly overlapping rind-side up. Use 2 tins if you need to, but make sure there’s enough room in your oven.
  3. In a small bowl mix the garlic oil, fennel seeds, 5 spice and sea salt. The drizzle this all over the pork belly slices. Give a quick rub with your hands to make sure each slice is coated. Pork belly with fennel and Chinese 5 spice
  4. Pop in the oven and leave for 2 hours. Yes that really is all there is to it. Well almost. After 1 hour, turn the tin around (don’t turn the slices around though). After a total 2 hours the pork belly should be crisp, but if it needs a little longer give them a little longer.
  5. That really is it, just serve up being carefully of the hot fat which will have collected at the bottom of the baking tray.

One comment on “Pork belly with fennel and five spice

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