IE 11 is not supported. For an optimal experience visit our site on another browser.

Crispy Air-Fryer Pork Belly with Anchovy Dipping Sauce

Nathan Congleton / TODAY
Cook Time:
30 mins
Prep Time:
15 mins

Chef notes

This recipe is a tribute to the famed black pig found on the island of Jeju, which is considered the Hawaii of Korea. It’s also a tribute to the kitchen appliance — the air fryer — that has taken the word by storm. This recipe provides an easy way to infuse the pork with umami flavor and achieve crispy skin.


Crispy pork belly
  • 2 pounds skin-on pork belly
  • 2 teaspoons kosher salt, divided
  • 1/2 teaspoon ground black pepper
  • 4 teaspoons mirin
  • 2 teaspoons doenjang
  • 1-inch knob fresh ginger, peeled and grated
  • distilled white vinegar, for brushing
Meljeot (anchovy dipping sauce)
  • 1 cup soju
  • 3 tablespoons fish sauce
  • 6 cloves garlic, 3 minced and 3 sliced
  • 1 tablespoon minced garlic
  • 2 tablespoons coarsely ground gochugaru
  • 1/4 onion, sliced
  • 1 Korean green chile, sliced


For the crispy pork belly:


Prick the skin of the pork belly all over with a skewer, the tip of a paring knife or a meat tenderizer. Poke lots of little holes close together to get crisp, bubbly skin. Be careful not to pierce the flesh, which could inhibit the crisping process.


If you have a whole slab or large pieces, cut the pork belly into roughly 3-inch-wide strips. (They will be easier to slice later.) Flip the strips meat-side up. Rub the meat allover with 1½ teaspoons of the salt and the pepper. In a small bowl, stir together the mirin, doenjang, and ginger, mixing well. Brush the mixture over every bit of the meat, avoiding the skin.


Place each pork belly strip skin-side up on its own square of aluminum foil (or you can put two similar-size pieces together). Wrap and fold the foil to make a tray that fits snugly against the sides of the pork belly, exposing just the top and sides of the skin.


Rub off any traces of the mirin mixture from the skin and blot the skin dry. Rub the remaining 1/2 teaspoon salt all over the skin. Refrigerate the pork belly strips uncovered in their foil trays overnight to dry the skin further. Periodically blot the skin if you see moisture collecting on the surface.


The next day, preheat the air fryer to 300 F. Just before cooking, blot the skin dry again and brush it with vinegar. Put the trays of pork belly in the air fryer and cook for 30 minutes. The pork will be browned, with some bubbles starting to appear on the skin.


Raise the temperature to 400 F and cook the pork belly until the skin is fully puffed and bubbly, 8 to 10 minutes. Let rest on a cutting board for 5 minutes, then slice and serve with the meljeot.

For the meljeot:

In a small saucepan, whisk together all the ingredients and bring to a boil over medium heat. Serve warm with the pork belly.