Crispy Pork Belly Air Fryer Recipe (Lechon Kawali)

Last modified on February 28th, 2021 at 3:11 pm

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As technological advancement arises during the pandemic season, many have discovered using an air fryer like the Emeril Lagasse air fryer to create delicious and healthy fried dishes without breaking a sweat in the kitchen.

An air fryer is a small convection oven that circulates hot air at the highest speed to produce delicious and crisp food without the need for deep frying.

The real question is, can you cook anything in the air fryer? YES, from pork belly to broccoli stalks!

Table Of Contents

What Is Pork Belly And Is It Bad For Your Health?

Pork belly is a fantastic ingredient to cook with. It is such a versatile ingredient used in different cuisines, especially in Asia, as the main ingredient. Pork belly provides a high quality of protein and minerals beneficial to the body.

crispy pork belly and rice on spoon

How To Make Crispy Air Fryer Pork Belly?

Airfryer and a slab of pork belly is the perfect combination. The real deal about cooking a slice of meat in the air fryer is it gets so crispy and tender as it cooks.

The cooking process of the pork belly has two parts in this recipe. The first part is getting the belly as tender as possible by simmering it in a pot with a combination of spices and aromatics.

The second part is cooking it in the air fryer to achieve the crispiest pork belly ever.

air fryer pork belly ingredients

Depending on your flavor choice, you may want to incorporate different routes of herbs and spices. You can integrate aromatic lemongrass, ginger, star anise, and even black vinegar for an Asian-inspired pork belly: dried thyme, parsley, and celery — for a European-inspired flavor combination.

Once you have already selected the flavor you want to incorporate, then start simmering the pork belly for at least an hour or until it is fork-tender. The real trick of a crispy pork belly skin with tender meat is how long you simmer the meat.

The simmering time depends on the pork belly’s quantity, but you can simmer it for 1 hour to 1 and ½ hours for a kilo of pork belly.

crispy pork belly on rice bowl

Crispy Air Fryer Pork Belly

Yield: 4-5 SERVINGS
Prep Time: 1 hour 15 minutes
Cook Time: 1 hour
Total Time: 2 hours 15 minutes

Airfryer and a slab of pork belly is a perfect combination. The real deal about cooking a slice of meat in the air fryer is it gets so crispy and tender as it cooks.

Ingredients

  • 1 kg pork belly
  • 4 cups water
  • 2 tsp salt
  • 1 tsp sugar
  • 1 lemon
  • 2 tsp peppercorns
  • 2 cloves garlic, crushed
  • 2 bay leaf

Instructions

  1. Cut the pork belly into two equal parts depending on your air fryer's size. 

    pork belly chopped
  2. In a large saucepan, combine water, a teaspoon of salt, sugar, slices of one lemon, peppercorns, and garlic cloves. 

    saucepan with water and herbs
  3. Bring the mixture to a boil. 

    boiling water with lemon and spices
  4. Place the pork belly into the boiling mixture. 

    boiling pork belly in spiced mixture
  5. Let it simmer for 1 hour. 
  6. Remove the pork belly and transfer it to a cooling rack. 

    pork belly on a cooling rack
  7. Let it cool and drain for 15 minutes. 
  8. Pat dry the pork belly using a paper towel. 

    pat dry pork belly with paper towel
  9. Using a fork, pork some holes into pork skin. 

    fork on pork skin
  10. Season the pork skin with the remaining salt. 
  11. Preheat the air fryer at 200 degrees Celsius for 3 minutes. 

    preheat air fryer to 200 degrees
  12. Place the pork belly into the air fryer basket and cook for 15 minutes. 

    raw pork belly slices in air fryer
  13. Check the pork belly and continue cooking for another 15 minutes until crisp.

    checking pork belly on air fryer
  14. Remove the crispy pork belly and let it sit for 2 minutes. 

    crispy pork belly in air fryer
  15. Serve with your favorite sauce and enjoy!

    crispy pork belly serving suggestion
Nutrition Information:
Yield: 4 Serving Size: 1
Amount Per Serving: Calories: 746Total Fat: 54gSaturated Fat: 20gTrans Fat: 0gUnsaturated Fat: 32gCholesterol: 210mgSodium: 1408mgCarbohydrates: 4gFiber: 1gSugar: 2gProtein: 58g

Frequently Asked Questions

Can You Use Bone-In Pork Belly?

Yes, bone-in pork belly has a beautiful flavor that gets better when you simmer it for a more extended period.

crispy pork belly on rice bowl

Remove the pork belly and transfer to a cooling rack once it is fork-tender. Let it cool and sit for another 30 minutes until it is not dripping anymore. The reason for that is to let the moisture inside the meat distribute evenly for a moist and tender outcome.

How To Cut Pork Belly Air Fryer Technique?

Cutting the pork belly slab into 2 or 4 slices will depend on how big your air fryer basket is. You may want to cut it in a way that the air will flow evenly for even browning of the sides and on the skin of the belly. You don’t want brownish meat that doesn’t have crispy skin. Puncturing the skin with a fork or with a paring knife will ensure a crisp texture.

How Long To Cook Pork Belly In The Air Fryer?

The figures will vary depending on the size of your air fryer. Also, you need to turn the meat halfway through the cooking process to ensure even browning of the meat. You also need to check the oil basket from time to time, especially if you are using a high-fat pork belly.

crispy pork belly slices on rice

Check the table for the cooking time for the pork belly.

WeightTemperatureCooking Time
500g180°C40 minutes
500g200°C30 minutes
750g180°C50 minutes
750g200°C35 minutes
1 kg180°C1 hour
1 kg200°C45 minutes

Can I Cook Roast Pork In An Airfryer?

You can create delicious roast pork in the air fryer. However, you may need to use a bigger one if you have a 3-5L capacity air fryer only. If you plan to baste the roast with a sugary glaze, then plan it 5 minutes before the end of the cooking time to avoid dark and burnt sugar.

A quick tip, if you want luscious and flavorful meat, you can simmer the pork belly in a combination of brown stock and other aromatics. In this way, the stock’s flavor creates lovely moisture inside the meat and leaves a smoky note when you take a bite.

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