Recipe: Braised Spinach and Leek with Pork Spek

Ever heard someone say “uhamba kukubona? (when you go out there you see things you wouldn’t normally see)….


Right now I am referring to seeing what I grew up calling “isipekre sehagu” (pork spek) on a salad at a restaurant….That was a couple of years ago…

I grew up leaving it on a plate.  For me it was hard and rather chewy.  Recently, I came across a 200g packet of pork spek going R6.00 at butchery and my instinct was to buy it and use it in a recipe.

I went with a side dish with spinach and leek dish.  Do you ever cook with pok spek?  Get to try out the recipe and let me know what you think.


Braised Spinach and Leek with Pork Spek 

Serves: 4


200g pork spek

Barbecue spice

Flaked chillies



Oil for frying

½ onion, chopped

300g spinach, shredded

1 big leek, sliced

1 carrot, cut julienne

Salt and freshly ground black pepper to taste




  1. Rub barbecue spice, chilli flakes and salt on the spek and leave for 30 minutes to marinate.
  2. Preheat oven to 180°C.  On a baking tray place the marinated spek and let it roast until it is crispy.
  3. Heat the oil in a very large pot over medium heat.  Add the onion and sauté until tender , about 5 minutes.
  4. Add half the spinach and leek.  Sauté until it begins to wilt, about 2 minutes.
  5. Add the rest of the spinach and carrot and continue cooking until it is soft.
  6. Season with salt and pepper.
  7. Slice the spek and add to the spinach.
  8. Serve.


About Author


Thuli Gogela is a Food Technologist with 8 years of experience developing products in food manufacturing. She is dedicated to discovering wholesome traditional dishes and recipes with a distinctive taste from different parts of the African continent. Thuli is well known for her food blog, Mzansi Style Cuisine which was established in 2010. She saw a gap in the traditional food market that people were hungry for. From there, it didn’t take long to build her brand. In 2013, she started writing a recipe column for the Cape Times for and has collaborated with some of the biggest brands in South Africa namely, Knorr, Nedeburg Wines, First Choice and Spekko rice. Not only does Thuli feature traditional African dishes, she’s also open to developing recipes, food consultations and brand collaborations.

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