Crispy Pork Belly

I first came across this recipe for Crispy Pork with Thai-Style Dipping Sauce (from The Meatmen) on a Facebook reel. It looked so delicious and crispy, I knew I had to make it. Fortunately, the previous day I had seen some excellent meaty cuts of pork belly that were reasonably priced. This recipe involves a fair bit of chopping, but in reality is very easy to make.

The only change I made was the addition of ginger to the dipping sauce because I had some fresh ginger on hand. It is comparable to a chimichurri sauce, with a slight twist with the addition of the fish sauce (instead of an oil). The zippiness from the chilies and the tang and umami taste from the fish sauce was the perfect accompaniment to the crispy pork belly! I was dipping everything into it actually – crab chips, pieces of broccoli… It was unbelievably good!

Thai Inspired Dipping Sauce for Crispy Pork Belly

Thai Inspired Dipping Sauce for Crispy Pork Belly


  • 3 shallots minced
  • 4 cloves garlic minced
  • 3-4 red Thai chilies
  • 1 inch chunk fresh ginger minced
  • 1 cup Thai basil
  • 1/2 cup rice vinegar
  • 1/2 cup fish sauce


  • Mince the shallots, garlic, ginger, and 1 chili. (Note I rough chopped 3 of the chilies and finely minced 1. Mince however many you would like, according to the spice level you could handle.
  • Finely chop the basil.
  • Mix all ingredients in a small bowl and set aside in fridge until needed.


Crispy Pork Belly

Air Fried Crispy Pork Belly


  • 1 pork belly
  • 2-3 stalks lemongrass


  • Pat dry then gently score the meaty side and sprinkle with sea salt.
  • Pierce the skin side all over and season generously with sea salt.
  • Set on a plate, uncovered, and put in the refrigerator overnight.
  • Clean and lightly crush the lemongrass, cutting into 4-5 inch strips.
  • Place the strips down on the air fryer rack, then place the pork belly on top of them. Place a piece of tinfoil under the rack (with the edges folded up a bit to form a "pan" shape - this is to catch all the grease.*
  • Air fry for one hour at 320F / 160C.
  • Air fry for an additional 25-30 minutes at 390F / 200C.


* I cooked this in my Ninja 8-in-1 Foodie Air Fryer and had originally placed the meat in the air fryer basket. The meat "rose" just a bit as it cooked and ended up touching the top elements in the air fryer. I moved down to the rack when I noticed what was happening. Next time I'll just start with it on the rack.
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