Fennel seeds and sausages


Sausages are one of my favorite things. In the Philippines, there are towns that specialize in sausages and I guess I could divided them into two kinds- those that are preserved with salt and garlic or those with vinegar and sugar. Now, I am partial to the garlicky, salty ones such those that come from Lucban, Quezon – the towm famous for a farmers’ festival each May 15. We call it Longganisang Lucban to denote that it comes from Lucban.


Longganisa Lucban

Longganisa means sausage. So you always know where it comes from. Like we have Longganisang Laoag, Longganisang Vigan, etc… I never really like them sweet so Longganisang Lucban is still a favorite. Luckily, we live near the origin so I can enjoy it as much as I can. It has lots of garlic which I really like.

Well, this post is about herbs but I’m not writing about garlic. This post is about fennel. Fennel seeds, to be exact.


Fennel seeds

I’ve tasted Italian sausages perviously and immediately like the flavor. I was trying to guess the herbs that went with it, especially some seeds that I’ve bitten and burst out all its flavors. I’ve read a lot about herbs such as fennel though I have not tasted it yet. I have my suspicion that the seeds were fennel seeds based on what I have read. And I’ve looked at recipes of Italian sausages and that was the only ingredient I am not familiar with. Finally I got the chance to buy fennels in Manila. There’s a shop in Manila that sells all sorts of spices you wouldn’t think you were in the Philippines once inside.

So I made my own sausages with fennel seeds and other herbs. I don’t think this recipe is unique, as I’ve read a lot of recipes for Italian sausages and I just mixed up what I had from our kitchen.

Before the recipe, some fennel facts:

– the scientific name is Foeniculum vulgare
– flavour is similar to that of anise and star anise
– India, it is common to chew fennel seed (or saunf) as a mouth-freshener
– it is an essential component in Chinese five spice powder

Now for the recipe:

Homemade Italian Sausage

500 grams ground lean pork
1 tbsp fennel seeds
2 tbsp mixture of dried basil, oregano, thyme and sage
1 tsp chili flakes
1 tsp ground black pepper
salt to taste

Mix all ingredients very well. Since I couldn’t get any sausage skins, I just shaped them into 3-inch sausages. Let it marinate for at least an hour in the refrigerator. You can fry them or store them in the freezer. Enjoy them with fried rice, too. We enjoyed eating these sausages in a picnic right in the garden, where we’ve also installed an outdoor lighting. Can’t wait to try this out again.

Now, if I could only get the recipe for Longganisa Lucban!


Astrid of Paulchens Food Blog is hosting Weekend Herb Blogging # 113. Please send your entries at foodblog@paulchens.org.



  1. says

    I love Italian sausage, and the fennel seeds in them are one of the important reasons why — they combine with the pork so well, especially when you add chili flakes (as you have done!) Combined with rice, this kind of sausage makes a good filling for stuffed vegetables like peppers or zucchini. And since you aren’t using casings, you won’t even need to break the sausages apart to use them this way. Nice post!

  2. says

    I really love the taste of fennel. It’s one thing I always want to add to tomato sauce, and I love Italian Sausage too. Very impressive that you have made your own sausage, I bet it is delicious!

  3. Jem says

    Hi there! Can i ask where you bought the fennel seeds? I’ve been looking for them for a long time now! Could you point me to the right direction? Muchos thanks!

  4. Dan says

    Hello there!

    Awesome recipe! may i ask where this “a shop in Manila that sells all sorts of spices” is?

    Thank you so much.

    I’ve been trying to look for a lot of spices and SM Malls haven’t been really helpful to me.

    Thanks again.

  5. says

    If dried herbs, I just rely on McCormick. For fresh herbs, perhaps the bigger supermarkets in Metro Manila. I’m Los Banos-based (soon to be GenSan) kasi so not so sure. I plant herbs also so I get my supply here at home. Hope this helps.

  6. says

    Stumbled on your page. Would you happen to know if the store you mentioned that sold fennel seeds still exists and where it’s located? Thank you.


  1. […] Well, almost.  But not from scratch as I bought a pack of ready-mix Lobo (brand) Northern Thai sausage. The pack comes with the pre-mixed spices and 5 pieces of collagen casing to make the sausage. I must admit, I am more interested in the sausage casing than anything else. I’m not a fan of Northern Thai sausage. However, I want to check out the casing, and maybe I can make my own Italian sausages. […]

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