Pork, Plum and Pistachio Rice Dish


  • 1 1/2 pounds boneless skinless pork belly
  • 3 tablespoons olive oil
  • 1 tablespoon fennel seeds
  • sea salt and fresh cracked black pepper
  • 1 head of garlic
  • 2 ripe plums, ripe persimmons, or ripe pears
  • 1/2 cup roasted salted and shelled pistachios, coarsely chopped
  • 1 tablespoon sesame seeds

For the Rice

  • 1 cup basmati rice
  • 1 1/2 cups water
  • 1 bay leaf
  • 1/2 of a cinnamon stick
  • 1 teaspoon cumin seeds
  • 4 whole cloves
  • 6 whole peppercorns
  • sea salt


  1. Place a rack in the center of the oven and preheat oven to 375 degrees F.
  2. Slice pork belly into 3/4-inch thick chunks. I just layed the pork belly out into a horizontal strip and sliced into vertical 3/4-inch thick chunks.
  3. Place pork belly on a rimmed baking sheet. Drizzle with olive oil, fennel seeds, salt and pepper. Toss lightly to coat. Slice the top off a head of garlic. Rub the top on a bit of the olive oil from the pan and nestle it in with the seasoned pork belly.
  4. Bake for about 40 to 45 minutes, tossing twice during bacon to brown and crisp on all sides.
  5. To make the rice, first rinse rice through a fine mesh strainer for a few minutes. Give it a good shake then add to a small saucepan with water , bay leaf, cinnamon stick, cumin seeds, cloves, and peppercorns. Add a big pinch of sea salt.
  6. Bring to a simmer, cover with a tight fitting lid and reduce heat to low. Simmer until water is absorbed, about 15 to 20 minutes.
  7. Remove from heat but don’t remove the lid. Allow to rest for 15 minutes. Remove the lid and remove the bay leaf, cinnamon stick and cloves.
  8. Remove the pork from the oven and allow to rest until cool enough to handle.
  9. Drain much of the bacon grease from the pan. Tear or coarsely chop the crisp, cooked pork. Return to the rimmed pan.
  10. Toss with plums (or whatever fruit you’re using), squeeze the softened garlic from it’s head, toss in pistachios and sesame seeds. Toss to incorporate.
  11. Heat the oven to broil and broil the mixture to sizzling and browned.
  12. Enjoy warm and store any extra in an airtight container in the fridge.