Air Fryer Crispy Roasted Pork Belly Recipe (Thịt Heo Quay)

This was my first time making this! The skin was crispy and meat was flavorful and juicy. Let me know how yours turns out, or what I should do differently. I’m still experimenting, but we thought this one came out pretty tasty.

If you don’t have an air fryer, I’ve listed the cooking time and temp at the bottom 🙂

Please excuse the bad photo! Will update next time.

Continue reading to see the recipe.

Ingredients:

  • 2-3 lbs boneless pork belly
  • 1 tbsp white vinegar
  • 1 tsp salt

Marinade:

  • 1/3 cup shaoxing cooking wine
  • 1/4 cup soy sauce
  • 2 tbsp brown sugar
  • 2 cloves minced garlic

Spice Rub: (optional)

  • five spice powder
  • black pepper
  • garlic salt (optional)

Instructions:

  1. Clean and Dry Pork Belly

    Wash under running cold water and dry off with a paper towel. It’s important for the skin to be completely dry for it to get crispy.
    Score or poke a lot of holes on the top of the skin, without hitting the meat. This allows the oils to get through, so you can pat dry during the air frying process. It helps the skin crisp better.

  2. Spice Rub (optional)

    Rub five-spice powder, black pepper, and garlic salt into the meat side of the pork belly.

  3. Marinade

    Mix Shaoxing wine, soy sauce, brown sugar, and minced garlic together, and pour it into a rectangular shaped container that will fit the pork belly.
    Place pork belly into the container, submerging only the meat side. It’s important that the marinade does not touch the skin. You can add more or less of the marinade as needed.
    Brush a thin layer of the salt and vinegar mixture on top of the skin.
    Place it into the refrigerator, uncovered, for a few hours, or overnight, until the skin is completely dry. (I left it for about 2-3 hours.) The longer it marinates, the better it is for the marinade to absorb into the meat.

  4. Prep for Airfryer

    Preheat the air fryer to 400°F. Line foil around the pork belly, so that it’s wrapped like a box, leaving the skin on top exposed, with enough room to pour salt.
    Brush a thin layer of the salt and vinegar mixture onto the skin.
    Spread a thick, even layer of course salt over the skin. The salt will be removed halfway through the cooking process, once it forms a crust.

  5. Airfry

    Place the pork belly on the top half of the air fryer, if you have that option. Otherwise, just place it into the basket. Air-fry for about 40 minutes.
    Halfway through, I removed the salt layer crust and let it finish, to allow the skin to bubble and crisp. I also removed the foil and set the pork belly directly onto the wire rack.
    After 40 minutes, check to see if the skin is to your liking. If it’s not crispy enough, set it to broil until desired crispness, being careful not to burn and overcook the skin.
    Once cooking is complete, remove the pork belly from the air fryer, let rest and cool for about 15 minutes, for it to retain its juices.
    Cut, serve, and enjoy!

Notes:

This was probably a bit excessive, but I used a paper towel to pat dry the skin, every 10 minutes, or when it looked wet on top.

If you’re able to, place a tray of water at the bottom of your air fryer, and your pork belly on a wire rack above it. That way the fat drips into the water, and won’t cause the air fryer to smoke. I’m using the 10qt Instant Pot Vortex Plus Air Fryer Oven.

I bought the pork belly from an Asian store. It can be found at 99 Ranch, H-mart, Hong Kong Supermarket, and etc.

If you don’t have an air fryer, you can also bake this in the oven. I haven’t tried it myself, but you can try this, along with most of the steps above:
Bake at 400°F for 45-50 min on the top half of the oven, with a tray of water on the rack below it. (You can also use a roasting pan)
Broil for 10-15 min until the skin is crispy

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