Air Fryer Sio Bak (Crispy Roast Pork Belly)

Happy Chap Goh Mei! Today is the 15th and last day of Chinese New Year and back home, we would typically have a mini celebratory dinner but since I have to work all day today, all I could scrounge up was a delicious dish of crispy roast pork belly, lol.

Can I tell you a secret? The only reason why I declared we were going to buy an air fryer last November was because I watched a video of Quang Tran making roast pork belly in his air fryer and it came out so crispy! It blew my mind when I saw how easy the process was when I had such a difficult time getting the consistency I want in a regular oven. Then, I googled and came across this video, which gave more details than Quang Tran and I just knew I needed to try it. I told Keith even if the air fryer is only good for making this crispy roast pork belly, it would be worth it, lol. Well, we have made this dish multiple times now and it has turned out perfect crispy roast pork belly every single time! Unbelievable! The skin is crispy crunchy, not hard crunchy (there’s a difference), the meat is never overdone (tender to the point it separates from the skin) or underdone (where it is still too firm and chewy). Let me say it again – the pork belly comes out perfect every time! I know, I still can’t quite believe it myself but I become more of a believer every time I munch of these slices of deliciousness! Enjoy!

In a large pot (I use a 6-quart size), bring 14 cups water to a boil over high heat. Add a large piece of fresh or frozen pork belly, lol (one that fits in your pot and air fryer – I usually just eyeball the size). Make sure the pork belly is entirely submerged and gently boil it for 40 minutes if it’s fresh or 50 minutes if it’s frozen.

Remove pork belly to a large plate (keep the pork broth to make soup or porridge). Turn pork belly over to the meat side – meat is not totally cooked at this point. Cut a few slits halfway or three-quarter way through the meat, about 1” to 1-1/4” apart. Season with a little salt or other seasonings, if desired (I typically season with salt but not this time since we are trying to reduce our sodium intake). Flip pork belly back to the skin side. Use a fork to poke a LOT of holes on the skin, getting into the fat layer. Once done, season skin lightly with salt (I use about 1/2 teaspoon sea salt).

Place pork belly in your preheated air fryer and roast at 400F for 40 to 50 minutes or until skin is dark golden and crispy and meat is cooked through. Remove to a chopping board and let sit for 5 to 10 minutes before cutting the meat into bite-size pieces. Serve with rice and veggies and have Sriracha and soy sauce as dipping sauces or just eat as is.

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