Prep 20 mins plus drying out the skin overnight
Cooking 1 hr
Serves 4

Infused with the oriental flavour of our expertly blended Cape Herb & Spice Chinese 5 Spice, this jaw-dropping Air Fried Pork Belly dish is guaranteed to WOW the crowds. Top tip: Season your meat and refrigerate overnight to allow the salt to draw the moisture out of the skin. This will make for a deliciously flavourful and crispy finish.


  • 1 kg free-range pork belly
  • 2 Tbsp Cape Herb & Spice CHINESE 5-SPICE
  • 1 Tbsp Cape Herb & Spice NEW CERAMIC SEA SALT GRINDER
  • 150ml hoisin sauce
  • 50ml water
  • 1 tsp Cape Herb & Spice CHINESE 5-SPICE
  • 2 cloves garlic, thinly sliced
  • 1 Tbsp fresh ginger, grated
  • 150g tenderstem broccolini
  • 150g sugar snap peas
  • 4 spring onions, sliced into 3-4 cm pieces
  • 200g bok choi leaves
  • 2 Tbsp soy sauce
  • 1 tsp mixed sesame seeds
  • Sticky white rice, for serving
  • Olive oil, for cooking


Begin this recipe the night before:

Pat pork belly dry with paper towel. Place on a baking tray fitted with a rack.

Season the meat side of the pork belly generous with Cape Herb & Spice Chinese 5 Spice.

Press the spices onto the flesh on the bottom and sides.

Turn the pork belly over and dust off any 5 spice that may have spilled onto the skin. Then salt the pork belly skin and leave uncovered in the fridge overnight to dry out the skin.

The next day:

Remove the pork belly from the fridge and dry the skin again with paper towel, removing the first round of salt. Brush very very lightly with olive oil, ½ tsp is sufficient.

Salt the skin again generously with Cape Herb & Spice Atlantic Sea Salt.

Place a piece of tinfoil on a work surface.

Put the belly in the middle of the tinfoil, skin side up. Then fold the sides in to enclose the belly flesh, forming an open box and pinch corners to seal tightly.

This will allow the flesh of the pork belly to cook in the pork belly fat as it renders, resulting in very tender and flavourful meat.

Preheat air fryer to 150˚C.

Air fry the pork belly for 30 minutes.

Increase temperature to 160˚C and cook for 20 minutes and then finally increase the temperature to 200˚C for 10 minutes, watching closely.

All air fryers are different so keep an eye on the crackling.

For oven cooking instructions:

Cook pork belly at 160˚C with the fan on for two hours, then Increase the temperature to 220˚C with the fan on for 30 minutes.

When crackling is deeply golden brown and puffed up, remove from the air fryer.

Rest pork belly on a cutting board for 10 minutes then remove the tinfoil.

Slice into 8 portions.

A serrated bread knife works very well for sawing through the crispy crackling.

While the pork is cooking:

Combine the hoisin, water and Cape Herb & Spice Chinese 5 Spice in a saucepan. Then stir together and bring to a simmer.

Switch off the heat and keep warm for serving.

Heat a drizzle of olive oil in a frying pan and add the garlic and ginger and cook for a minute until fragrant and add the broccoli and sauté until tender.

Cover with a lid to steam and speed the cooking process along.

Add the sugar snap peas and spring onions and cook until its tender.

Pour in the soy sauce and add the bok choi and cook until the bok choi has just begun to wilt.

Sprinkle with sesame seeds and mix.

Serve the pork belly and mixed crunchy green on some sticky white rice.

Drizzle lightly or dip in the spiced up hoisin and enjoy!

Crackling tips:

  1. It is best to get a pork belly from your butcher that has not been vacuum packed / sealed like those packaged at the grocery store. The vacuum packing tends to create a very wet and moisture logged skin from all the sealed in juices. Moisture is the enemy of seriously delicious crackling. The drier the skin, the better.
  2. Do not score the skin.
  3. Rotate the pork belly if the air fryer has hot spots so the crackling cooks evenly.



Recipe concept, photography and video by Bianca Davies: @beeblegum on Instagram |