Never in my life would I even imagine an attempt to make roast pork, if not for my airfryer. I’ve seen Mum make this, I think, in her convection oven, and while the result is a glorious, juicy piece of meat with crispy crackling, fumbling with a huge-ass machine isn’t exactly my kinda thing.
That is the reason my Mum and I are different when it comes to cooking (and other things, but we’ll talk about those later). She is the type who would gamely roast a leg of lamb and make some chunky roast beef, while “simplicity” (and preferably, “effortless”), are the words of the day for me. That is why I really love my airfryer.
You know you read about some magical place where there are no bad dreams? I associate my airfryer with that magical place. Only the magical “place” we’re talking about here is my kitchen. There’s hardly any “bad” food that I’ve made with the airfryer, except for the keropok that got chao-tarred two nights ago. Having fried keropok successfully many times before, I popped a few in, haphazardly turned the knob for I dunno how long, and went to take a shower. AND conveniently forgot about them. So that’s my fault, not Philip’s. You know something’s strange is going on when you start defending your electrical appliance.
Ok back to the roast pork. The key to really crispy and successful roast pork is in drying it well and poking enough holes in the skin. The seasoning, I think, is secondary. I started preparation at 8am and roasted at 5pm. My version is really crackling and crispy, and you can hear the crrrrunch when you bite into it. I love it. Ready for some roast pork? Here we go!
Airfried Roast Pork
Serves: 4 (with rice) or 2 as a snack
What I used:
800g pork belly (I asked for less fat)
For Dry Rub:
2 teaspoon garlic and onion seasoning (picture below)
1 teaspoon regular salt (I don’t have any other fancy salt)
1.5 teaspoon five-spice powder
1.5 teaspoon rosemary
1 teaspoon white pepper
For Rubbing on skin only:
About 1/2 a teaspoon salt
2 tablespoons lemon juice (about half a lemon)
1. Wash the pork belly under running water and pat dry. Prop it on a steamer rack over a shallow plate.
2. Boil some water in a pot and blanch the pork belly for about 12 minutes.
3. Pat dry with kitchen paper. Let it air-dry in front of a fan for 3 hours.
3. Prepare the dry rub. Combine all the ingredients together except the lemon.
5. After 3 hours, we’ll start to poke holes LIBERALLY all over the skin. I didnt use those special tool and simply used a fork. You can bunch some skewers together with a rubber band and poke. Be systematic and remember where you started because chances are, you can’t see the holes you’ve poked. I started from the corner and worked my way throughout the whole piece of meat. Don’t poke too deep or all the oil gets erupted- we’re looking for about 5mm deep. Lightly score the skin.
6. Turn the pork belly around and make 3-4 straight cuts into the meat, about 0.5 inch deep (so that more dry rub gets into the meat and so that it is easier to cut when done). Massage the dry rub all over the meat part only. Turn it over, rub salt on the surface of the skin and squeeze the lemon juice over.
7. At this stage, I popped the pork belly into the fridge to dry it again. Some people skip this step saying that 3-4 hours air-drying in front of a fan is enough, but I put it into the fridge for 6 hours. I can’t tell you if you can skip the fridge part because I haven’t tried it without. The skin may still be crispy, but i’m just telling you what I did!
8. After the time in the fridge, preheat your airfryer at 160 degrees for 5 minutes, then pop in the pork belly for 30 minutes!
9. After 30 minutes..
10. Next, turn up the temperature to 180 degrees and continue airfrying for 25 minutes.
11. Remember to poke lots of holes (but don’t go too deep) as you can see that the middle part didn’t bubble as much. The skin was still super crispy but not as pretty!
12. And it’s done!
You can see how juicy the meat is! You must eat this right after slicing before all the juices disappear. I don’t think you will have a problem with that though! Tip: Cut from the underside of the meat instead of top-down. You might have a hard time cutting through the crispy skin.
Oh, and this was the garlic and onion seasoning I used, from Giant for about $5.80 a bottle.
Some key points: dry thoroughly, poke lots of holes (but not too deep), and use a larger piece of meat so it doesn’t end up dry and hard. Have fun with your roast pork experiment!