Crispy Pork Belly with baked Couscous and a Moroccan Harissa

Baked couscous Pork Belly and Herby Harissa

The soft chilli & onion infused couscous with the crispy, fatty pork and refreshingly sweet and herby pesto combination took me by surprise!

I decided to add a simple but effected rub to the rashes – smoked paprika, pepper and salt. Couscous is a popular household item for some and others have rarely cooked or even eaten it. I LOOOOVE couscous but baked couscous is still something I want to explore. It can be a vehicle for multiple different flavour and texture combinations and this recipe definitely reminded me of wanting to push those boundaries.

Now, the Moroccan-inspired Harissa is a whole lotta greatness, full stop. When I made this the firat time I realized how versatile it is… imagining this harissa as an accompaniment to various proteins, dishes, tapa platter and even marinades.

When i decide on this specific dish I saw it as a celebration of various African-inspired techniques and flavours… I’ve made these components separately but this was the first time I tried them together and I was blown away. Easy, simple, feel-good food!

Crispy Oven Bake Pork Belly Rashes

  • Servings: 10 Thick Slices
  • Difficulty: Intermediate
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  • 10 pork belly strips (2cm thick)
  • 1 tsp smoked paprika/li>
  • 1 salt
  • 1/2 freshly ground pepper


  1. Preheat the oven to 200 degrees celsius.
  2. Add the spices and the pork belly rashes to a large bowl and thoroughly mix the spices and ensure the rashes are evenly coated. Add a baking sheet to a baking tray and place the slices evenly across the tray. I didn’t line my baking tray with a baking sheet, so I baked them off without using a baking sheet and it came out perfectly. I just needed to do a little bit more scrubbing than usual 🙂
  3. Roast until the rashes are brown and crispy. 30 mins on the first side, and 30mins on the other side. If it isn’t crispy enough then continue baking the strips, turning them every 5-10mins until desired crispiness has been achieved. TIP: Remember to drain the fat from the tray as you turn the rashes. You can keep the rendered fat in the fridge and use it in other dishes if you wish. Filled with loads of flavour. Oven Baked Pork Belly Slices

Always been a fan of this harissa recipe. Harissas is a thing of beauty as there’s no real boundary when it comes to what flavour profile you’re aiming for. A little sweeter, a little more acidic, spicer, or even a little smoother or chunkier – sounds silly but these type of things really do excite me! Point being this recipe is the bomb because it has the fat, the acidity, the sweetness, the freshness, and the creaminess all in one.

Moroccan-inspired Harissa

  • Servings: 1 Cup
  • Difficulty: Easy
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  • 60g of coriander stems included
  • 1/4 cup roasted peanuts, unsalted
  • 1/4 cup raisins
  • 1/4 cup oil, preferably vegetable oil
  • 1 tsp sesame oil
  • Juice of 1 medium lemon
  • 2 tbsp of peppadews, the jarred variety
  • 1 clove of garlic
  • 1/4 cup of water
  • 1/4 cup of sundried tomatoes
  • Half a red chilli
  • 1/2 tsp salt


  1. Add all the ingredients together and blend. I prefer the harissa to not be too smooth – the chunkiness adds to the texture of the dish.
  2. If the harissa is too thick then you may add more water. Keep a jar in the fridge for up to 4 days. Coriander Harissa

Baked couscous is a revelation as it’s soft and fluffy yet has the beautiful crust at the bottom of the pan. Something we all need in our lives! Please note that I didn’t add salt to the couscous recipe as I used salt on the pork belly and the spices in the couscous can add a lot of salt on their own but as always, taste as you go and add salt if needs be.

Baked Couscous

  • Servings: 4-6
  • Difficulty: Intermediate
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  • 1 1/2 cups of couscous
  • 2 cups of chicken stock
  • 1 large white onion, finely diced
  • 2 large green chillies, roughly chopped
  • 2 tsp garlic powder
  • 2 tsp onion powder
  • 1/3 cup of olive oil
  • Zest from a medium lemon
  • Salt, optional


  1. Preheat the oven to 200 degrees celsiusAdd the couscous and chicken stock together and cover. Allow the couscous to soak up all the liquid. Place to once side.
  2. Add the olive oil, finely diced onion, green chillies, onion powder and garlic powder to a large pan, on medium-high heat, and cook until caramelized – about 15mins.
  3. Add the lemon zest and couscous (and any residual stock, if there is) to the pan and mix well. Evenly flatten the couscous mixture, you want the mixture to be quite dense. Place back on the heat but this time cook on HIGH for 5 mins and remove immediately. TIP: Remember to not stir the couscous one you’ve flattened it as you want that crust to form.
  4. Place in the oven for 10-15mins at 200 degrees. The rim of the couscous will become a dark golden brown and it’s ready. Baked Couscous with green chili and onion

Pork belly with couscous and Harissa

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