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Jul 20, 2016

Air-fried Chinese Roast Pork Belly

I must confess. 

As much as I love roast pork, esp the crackling, I've never attempted this at home ... til now.
Fearing all that splatter in my oven and the smells that might contaminate my cakes, etc etc, I've managed to live on store bought roast pork. In this region, I can get by quite happily since there are so many good ones about. 
Then the air fryer came about, caught my eye, got me wondering, wanting, checking out various recipes that have been successfully done in one. I've been putting off getting an air fryer for the longest time. You know, new toy, play with it for awhile, get tired of it and then makes way for the next new gadget and takes up what little space I have. Wait and wait some more ...shall I, shan't I?
Then I visited a neighbouring country and found a locally made air fryer for less than half the price of the popular branded one. Everything about it screams COPY but hey, works the same and it might be sitting on the shelf in a couple of months due to boredom or whatever. Why the heck not?

So here I am, trying out everything I possibly can with it. And boy, I am so happy with this thing, I'm willing to put it in the same <3 category as the slow cooker. 

I've done the basics of potato fries, eggplant, you know .... zzz

I needed to do this at least once and you can see why I'm so happy with it. The crackling turned out super! I'll definitely be making this again.

Cleaning was easy and the color was nice and even. And I believe it takes a shorter time than in a regular oven. Meat below the crackling was moist and tender. The only complaint is having to pierce the skin....I really need to find a better and easier way to do that. But, Oh, the satisfaction of seeing that bubbling crackle!

I'm using the basic instructions from bakecooklove and tweaked some.


about 700g pork belly (with skin intact, cleaned and wiped dry)


white vinegar


1 tsp 5 spice powder

half tsp white pepper
pinch of salt
roasted garlic paste (just plonk a whole bulb of garlic in the air fryer, cook for a few minutes @ 180°C until it's soft enough to mash)


I did not blanch or boil the meat as instructed as I figured all that natural sweetness would just go to waste. 

Pierce the skin with a fine, sharp skewer. Don't get lazy with this part. The more holes the merrier. 

Rub the marinade ingredients into the meat part only.
Leave in fridge overnight uncovered to dry out the skin.
(I pierced more holes after drying out the skin ... )
Preheat the air fryer at 180°C.
In the meantime, brush the skin with white vinegar and coat with salt. (Just put salt in a wide bowl or plate and dip the skin onto it. )
Wrap the bottom part with foil, leaving the skin exposed.
Air fry for about 20 mins. Remove from air fryer and scrape off the caked up salt.
Air fry again for about another 20 mins or until skin is nice and golden and crackly.

Enjoy while warm. 

Should there be any leftovers (you're kidding!), just plonk it into the air fryer for about 3 mins and the crackling will be nice and crunchy again. 

For those who are thinking of getting an air fryer but in doubt of which to get, here are some reviews of certain models which you may or may not find in your area.


  1. I'm looking up what an air fryer is right this minute.

  2. I'm in love......... No, no, must not buy any new kitchen gadget....LOL!

    1. Lol! Took me a long while before I invested in one. No regrets! Tell you again in a year ....

  3. Hi your roast pork looks beautiful. I have heard many good things about air fryer but I still haven't own one yet. Hope you don't mind my sharing with you a tip about roasting pork without having to pierce holes on the skin. I just made sure that the skin is really really dry. Before I put it into the hot oven, I drizzled the skin with oil then sprinkle salt to cover the entire skin. This method never failed me so far.
    If you like you can refer here: