Chinese Pork Belly In Air Fryer

March 12, 2023

This is our keto/ketovore take on the traditional Chinese pork belly recipe that has people queueing in long lines at the Chinese butchers for. Cooking a pork belly in air fryer works incredibly well and simplifies the process for us home cooks. Growing up as a first-generation Chinese immigrant, I remember going to Chinatown every weekend with my mom to pick up Chinese pork belly (also called Siu Yook 燒肉 in Chinese). This is one of my favourite childhood dishes and the best part is the irresistible crispy and crunchy skin, which releases juice and incredible flavour once you bite into it.

Chinese pork belly made in air fryer chopped into pieces.



You may think that this dish requires a lot of complex ingredients and cooking technique, but it is actually much easier than you think, with only a handful of ingredients.

Chinese pork belly made in air fryer on chopping board.



WHY YOU’LL LOVE CHINESE PORK BELLY IN AIR FRYER


✅ Pork belly skin comes out crackling, and is extremely crispy and crunchy

✅ Using the air fryer is a much faster and more convenient way than the traditional method of the oven

Chinese pork belly showing juices.

INGREDIENTS & SUBSTITUTIONS


⭐️ PORK BELLY – This recipe is centered around pork belly and the crispiness of its skin, so I would not recommend substituting the pork belly with any other cut of meat.

⭐️ SPICE BLEND (cinnamon stick, coriander, cloves, star anise, fennel) can be replaced with 2 tablespoons of Chinese five spice powder

Adding spices to pork belly in pot of boiling water.



Only whole pork belly or a very thick-cut pork belly works best for this recipe. Do not use bacon as it will be too thin and will not achieve the same crispiness.


HOW TO MAKE CHINESE PORK BELLY IN AIR FRYER

STEP 1: Blanch the pork belly in water.


Adding pork belly to pot of boiling water.


STEP 2: Poke lots and lots of holes in the skin


Poking wholes in blanched pork belly.


STEP 3: Blot the skin with paper towel


Blotting pork belly dry with paper towl.


STEP 4: Brush white vinegar on the skin


Brushing vinegar onto skin of pork belly.

STEP 5: Refrigerate to allow the skin to dry out so it gets extra crispy


Putting pork belly in air fryer.

STEP 6: Cook the pork belly in the air fryer


Cooked pork belly in air fryer.
Slices of cooked pork belly.

TIPS & TRICKS FOR SUCCESS


✅ When looking for pork belly, find one that has the skin-on, and has a nice combination of fat and meat

✅ After the blanching step, let the pork belly dry in the fridge for as long as possible, up to overnight if you have the time

✅ Poke as many holes as possible in the skin before air frying. Don’t worry, you can’t over-poke.

✅ Make sure the pork belly has been dried very thoroughly with paper towel and try to absorb as much moisture as possible before air frying. This helps the skin get as crispy as possible

Slicing cooked pork belly.

DIET MODIFICATIONS


🥑 KETO

This recipe is keto friendly and does not require any modifications.

🥩 CARNIVORE

If you are a strict carnivore and do not allow spices, you may skip the spice blend altogether. The cooking method of blanching then air frying will still apply and work. However, you will not achieve the asian flavour profile are targeting.

Air fryer pork belly.

FAQ FOR CHINESE PORK BELLY IN AIR FRYER


👉 WHERE CAN I FIND THE SPICES USED FOR THIS RECIPE?

They should be available at your local Asian grocer. If you are having trouble finding star anise or fennel, try looking in the international aisle. You may also substitute the individual spices for Chinese Five Spice Powder, which is available on Amazon

👉 IF YOU BLOT TOO MUCH OIL OUT, WILL THE SKIN STILL STAY CRISPY?

It will absolutely still be crispy, especially if you are working with a well marbled piece of pork belly that has fat throughout! Do not worry about overblotting any oil or moisture out of the meat, as it is a necessary step to achieve the crispy skin we are going for.

👉 HOW DO YOU STORE THE LEFTOVERS?

They can be stored in an air-tight container in the fridge for up to 3 days.

👉 WILL THE SKIN BE CRISPY THE NEXT DAY?

If you are reheating the leftovers, we recommend putting it back in the air fryer at 400F for 5 minutes. While it will not be the exact same crispiness as it is when fresh, the air fryer does a very good job at recrisping up the skin.

👉 WHAT CAN I PAIR THIS RECIPE WITH?

This dish is traditionally eaten with white rice and served with soy sauce. You may use coconut aminos if you are looking for a similar flavour to soy. If you are on the keto diet, you can substitute the rice with cauliflower rice or low carb vegetables.

Pieces of air fryer pork belly.


Chinese Pork Belly In Air Fryer

Traditional Chinese pork belly recipe with a keto/ketovore twist. Cooking a pork belly in air fryer works incredibly well and simplifies the process for home cooks.
5 from 1 vote
Prep Time 45 minutes
Cook Time 40 minutes
Total Time 1 hour 5 minutes
Course Main Course
Cuisine Chinese
Servings 2 people

Ingredients
  

  • 2 pound pork belly
  • 1 cinnamon stick
  • 1 1/2 tablespoons ground coriander
  • 1/2 teaspoon whole cloves
  • 3 tablespoons star anise
  • 1 tablespoon fennel
  • 1 tablespoon salt
  • 2 tablespoons white vinegar

Instructions
 

  • On the back side of the pork belly, use a sharp knife and cut slits into the meat. Do not cut more than halfway through.
  • In a medium sized pot, add 4L of water and turn to a boil.
  • Add coriander, cloves, star anise, fennel, and salt, to boiling water with pork belly. Turn heat down to a simmer and let the pork belly cook for 30 minutes with the lid on.
  • Remove the pork belly from the water and use a fork to poke holes into the skin, so that the oil releases from the skin.
  • Use a paper towel to blot the oil that releases from the skin. Dry the pork thoroughly to remove any additional moisture.
  • Brush a thin layer of white vinegar on the pork belly skin. Sprinkle an additional teaspoon of salt on the skin.
  • Optional – For extra crispy skin, leave the pork belly uncovered in the fridge for up to 8 hours or overnight. When ready to cook, use paper towel to blot any excess oil that releases from the skin.
  • Preheat air fryer at 400F for 5 minutes.
  • Cook pork belly for 40 minutes.
  • Chop into bite-sized pieces and serve.

Video

Keyword chinese pork belly, pork belly in air fryer

One response to “Chinese Pork Belly In Air Fryer”

  1. Marcy says:

    5 stars
    I’m mostly carnivore, but I appreciate the possibility of using up some of the spices that you mention, which I happen to have on hand from days of old! Thank you for your excellent recipe!

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Hi! Nice to meet you! We're Alice and Kevin. Together, we’ve experienced a life transformation with a ketogenic and carnivore diet, and our goal is to inspire others to do the same with simple and delicious recipes.

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