Easy Air Fryer Pork Belly

Difficulty Easy

Tender, juicy, succulent Air Fryer Pork Belly. The easiest way to cook this decadent, indulgent cut of pork. Enjoy as a Korean-inspired meal by slicing thinly and serving with rice, lettuce wraps, and ssamjang. Or use as a basic protein base for bahn mi, spring rolls, and sliders. The possibilities are limitless!

Air Fryer Pork Belly

Fatty and luscious pork belly is so easy to prepare in the Air Fryer!

A simple dry rub with brown sugar, salt, and pepper is all you need to flavor this wonderfully luscious and indulgent protein.

Put in the Air Fryer and cook at 300F for a low-heat roast. Then blast for 5 minutes at 400F. A two-part cooking method that ensures the juiciest pork belly with lots of flavor.

Easy, delicious, and so exciting and flavorful! A great weeknight dinner. Double or triple for potlucks and family dinners. A basic recipe you’ll be turning to again and again.

plate filled with thinly sliced pork belly

Ingredients:

Minimal ingredients make this recipe especially easy:

  • Pork Belly. Look for meaty, thick strips of pork belly with even marbling. Also, look for “no-skin” pork belly as it can be very chewy and tough unless you cook the pork skin as crackling (see notes below). Pork Belly strips can be found at Asian grocery stores, Costco, Whole Foods, and local grocery stores (depending on location).
  • Brown Sugar. Adds deep, caramel-y sweetness.
  • Salt + Pepper. Freshly ground black pepper adds a spicy, earthy kick.
ingredients for air fryer pork belly
Ingredients for Air Fryer Pork Belly: brown sugar, salt, pepper, thick pork belly strips

Instructions:

  1. Marinate pork belly. In a small bowl, mix together brown sugar, salt, and black pepper. Rub the dry mixture all over the pork belly. Rest for at least 1 hour (room temperature) but preferably overnight (tightly sealed in the fridge).
  2. Cook pork belly. Add pork belly to a silicone liner or make a foil liner to collect drips. Air Fry for 30 minutes at 300F, flipping halfway.
  3. Broil pork belly. Crank up the heat and cook at 400F for 5 minutes. Ensures those crispy edges!
  4. Serve and enjoy. Thinly slice the pork belly and serve with lettuce wraps, rice, and ssamjang.

How to serve:

My favorite way to enjoy Air Fryer Pork Belly: an easy Korean meal!

Add Korean Purple Rice, lettuce wraps, and either Ssamjang or Gochujang Sauce. Sliced cucumbers and store-bought kimchi are easy additions.

Or, use as a protein base in:

  • Bahn Mi. Stuff into a baguette with pickled carrot and daikon, cilantro, and spicy mayo.
  • Spring Rolls. Roll up a rice paper wrapper with pork belly, shrimp, rice noodles, vegetables, and herbs.
  • Sliders. Brush with BBQ sauce and sandwich between Hawaiian sweet rolls with shredded cabbage.

Kitchen Equipment:

  • Air Fryer. I use a Cosori 5.8Qt Air Fryer (affiliate). Any other air fryer should also work!
  • Silicone Tray. *Optional.* Pork Belly is very fatty and releases a lot of oil when cooked. For easier cleanup, I suggest a silicone tray like this Balsang Tray (affiliate). If you don’t have one, a makeshift foil tray also works – just make sure to use a double layer of foil and that the sides are high enough. After cooking, wait for the oil to cool and discard the hardened fat.

PRO Tips:

  • Marinate overnight. Although the minimum resting time is 1 hour — if you have the time, marinate overnight in the fridge. The overall flavor is much better.
  • Turn on the exhaust fan. The oil can be smoky. Turn on the exhaust fan while cooking so the fire alarm doesn’t go off!
  • Rest before slicing. Resting the meat is a crucial step to make sure the meat stays juicy and moist. Otherwise, all the juices will release when sliced.

Variations:

  • Make it spicy. Add cayenne, garlic powder, and more black pepper. Notes in the recipe card below.
  • Cut into chunks. For crispy, crunchy nuggets of pork belly — cut into chunks before marinating. As they cook, all the edges will crisp and char. Cook an additional 5 minutes at 400F and shake the basket for extra crunch.
  • Swap with BBQ Dry Rub. For smoky BBQ flavor, swap out the brown sugar and salt mixture with 2 Tbsp BBQ Dry Rub. I like Korean Magic Dust BBQ Dry Rub but any good rub with salt tastes great. Rub all over, rest, and cook — as per usual.

How to make pork belly crackling:

To make crispy pork crackling on top, a few additional steps:

  • Look for pork belly WITH skin. Oftentimes, the skin is removed from pork belly as it’s tough and chewy. But for pork crackling, you’ll absolutely need it. Look for it at Asian grocery stores.
  • Score the top of the skin. Make light hatch marks in a criss-cross pattern on the top of the pork belly. Helps the fat render out and ensures a super crispy and crackly crust on top.
  • Remove as much moisture as possible. Blot or pat dry the skin with a paper towel. Or let it sit, uncovered, in the fridge overnight (skin side up). Excess moisture will evaporate as it sits.
  • Do not season the skin. Rub the brown sugar and salt mixture all over — except the top.
  • Cook in the Air Fryer skin side UP. As it cooks, the fat will run down the sides.
platter of sliced pork belly with lettuce wraps and ssamjang

FAQ:

How do I store and reheat leftovers?

Store leftovers, tightly sealed, in the fridge for 5-6 days. To reheat, place in the Air Fryer for 5 minutes at 400F. Make sure to shake the basket!

Can I double the recipe?

Yes, this recipe is easy to double and triple. Simply double and triple the ingredients. Cook the pork belly in batches, as it won’t probably all fit in the basket.

More Air Fryer recipes:

More Pork Belly Recipes to love:

platter of thinly sliced pork belly

Air Fryer Pork Belly

The Subversive Table | Lis Lam
Tender, juicy, succulent Air Fryer Pork Belly. The easiest way to cook this decadent, indulgent cut of pork. Enjoy as a Korean-inspired meal by slicing thinly and serving with rice, lettuce wraps, and ssamjang. Or use as a basic protein base for bahn mi, spring rolls, and sliders. The possibilities are limitless!
Prep Time 5 mins
Cook Time 35 mins
Resting Time 1 hr
Course Dinner, Main Course
Cuisine American, Korean
Servings 4
Calories

Equipment

  • Air Fryer (I use the Cosori 5.8Qt Air Fryer)
  • Silicone Liner (or DIY foil liner)

Ingredients
  

  • 2 lb pork belly strips (about 2 thick strips)
  • 2 Tbsp brown sugar
  • 1 tsp salt
  • 3/4 tsp black pepper (preferably freshly ground)

Instructions
 

  • Marinate pork belly. In a small bowl, mix together brown sugar, salt, and black pepper. Rub the dry mixture all over the pork belly.
  • Rest pork belly. Rest for at least 1 hour (room temperature) but preferably overnight (tightly sealed in the fridge).
  • Cook pork belly. Preheat Air Fryer. Add pork belly to a silicone liner or make a foil liner to collect drips. Cook for 30 minutes at 300F, flipping halfway at 15 minutes.
  • Broil pork belly. Crank up the heat on the Air Fryer and cook at 400F for 5 minutes. Ensures those crispy edges!
  • Serve and enjoy. Rest pork belly for 5 minutes. Thinly slice the pork belly (about 1/4-inch slices) and serve with lettuce wraps, rice, and ssamjang or gochujang sauce.

Video

Notes

*Variations:
    • Make it spicy. Add 1 tsp cayenne, 1/2 tsp garlic powder, and more black pepper in the marinade.  Cook as per usual.
    • Cut into chunks. For crispy, crunchy nuggets of pork belly — cut into chunks before marinating. As they cook, all the edges will crisp and char. Cook at 380F for the last 5 minutes and shake the basket throughout the cooking process for extra crunch.
    • Swap with BBQ Dry Rub. For smoky BBQ flavor, swap out the brown sugar and salt mixture with 2 Tbsp BBQ Dry Rub. I like Korean Magic Dust BBQ Dry Rub but any good rub with salt tastes great. Rub all over, rest, and cook — as per usual.
 
**Turn on the exhaust fan. The oil can be smoky. Turn on the exhaust fan while cooking so the fire alarm doesn’t go off!
Keyword Air Fryer, Pork Belly
Air Fryer, All Recipes, Dinner with Friends, Featured, Holiday, Korean, Main, Pork, Weeknight Meals

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