3 Simple Steps to Savor Air Fryer Lechon Kawali like a Pro

Lechon kawali is one of the most popular Filipino recipes, but making it requires much work. However, if having an air fryer, you won’t need to spend much time preparing and cooking lechon kawali — in fact, it’s even easier with the help of the air fryer.

If you want to know more about lechon kawali and how to use a fryer for cooking this delicious Filipino dish, keep reading!


Air Fryer Lechon Kawali Recipe


  • 1 kilo pork belly, sliced into bite-size pieces
  • 4 cloves garlic
  • 1 shallot
  • 1 bay leaf
  • 1/2 tsp ground black pepper
  • 2 tbsp salt
  • 3-6 tbsp of rock salt
  • 2 tbsp of white vinegar

You may also use spices like bay leaves, oregano, and thyme to your taste, but bay leaves are the best and most popular choice. Adjust the amounts of seasonings as needed.

Step-by-step Instructions For Cooking Lechon Kawali in an Air Fryer

Now it’s time to put on your apron and start making delicious Filipino lechon kawali.

Cooking Lechon Kawali in an Air Fryer

Step 1: Boil the pork belly with spices

Put all the pork belly, shallot, garlic, bay leaf, white vinegar, and black pepper in a large saucepan or skillet. Bring to a boil, lower to low heat, and continue to cook until the meat is cooked and the skin is soft and sticky.

You may change the boiling time for pork belly according to the amount and thickness of the raw piece.

The goal of this step is to allow the pork belly to absorb all the spices and cook from the inside out. When you use an air fryer, the meat will cook all the way through, so you won’t need to worry about it being undercooked on the inside anymore.

Step 2: Dry the meat thoroughly before placing it in the air fryer.

Remove the cooked meat from the pan and set it aside to drain. Remove the marinated belly from the pan and blot dry with paper towels.

Ensure all excess liquid is removed, so it doesn’t drip into the air fryer while cooking. Then let it cool down for about 15 minutes.

Poke fork holes in the pig’s skin, then rub the rock salt on top. When air frying, this helps the skin to extend and become more crispy.

Step 3: Fry the pork belly in the air fryer

Preheat the air fryer to 200°C (390°F), then place the pork belly in the air fryer basket. Cook for 10 minutes at 200°C, then flip and cook for another 10 minutes or until golden brown and crispy on both sides.

While some modern air fryers can cook food without turning it over, flipping the pork belly halfway through cooking ensures it is evenly browned.

Remove the meat from the pan and set aside to cool before serving it with rice. Serve the lechon kawali in 1cm thick slices.

The pork belly should be nice and crispy outside and have a thin layer of fat inside. The meat will be tender and juicy when you cut it in.


Tips for Achieving Crispy Lechon Kawali with Juicy Meat

Tips for Achieving Crispy Lechon Kawali with Juicy Meat

An air fryer is an excellent tool for cooking lechon kawali. It helps in creating crispy skin and juicy meat.

Cooking lechon kawali can be tricky, especially when you want to achieve that crispy skin with a juicy interior. But with some preparation and the correct technique, you can ensure your lechon kawali is mouth-watering and not just good-looking.

Proper Preparation

Here are tips on how to make the perfect crispy lechon kawali using an air fryer:

  • Make sure that the pork belly is thoroughly cooked before frying. Piercing into one of its thickest parts using a knife or fork; if no blood comes out, it’s ready!
  • Rub salt into the pork skin for about 30 minutes before cooking it in an air fryer.
  • If you have time, let the meat sit in the refrigerator for at least 8 hours, allowing the flavors to penetrate and tenderize the meat.
  • Pat dry the pork belly entirely before drying.

Best Temperature and Cook Time for Air Frying Lechon Kawali

To make crispy skin, set the temperature of your air fryer to 200°C (390°F). Do not exceed this temperature, as it may cause burns or black spots on the surface of your food and harm your health.

I recommend a cooking time of 10 minutes per side so that both sides of the pork belly will get cooked evenly.

If you slice the pork belly into thin pieces, you may reduce the time and temperature.

Experience is still the most critical factor in producing a wonderful lechon kawali. Experiment a few times, and I’m confident you’ll find the ideal temperature and timing.


Why choose Air Fryer Lechon Kawali?

Why air fryer lechon kawali?

The traditional way of cooking lechon kawali involves deep-frying the pork belly in oil, which can be unhealthy and messy. With an air fryer, you can cook lechon kawali without all the excess fat, making it a much healthier option.

In addition, cooking with an air fryer is much more convenient and time-efficient than the traditional way. No need to heat up a large pan of oil or worry about oil splatters!

You can easily make a delicious and crispy air fryer lechon kawali in less than 2 hours with just a few simple steps and ingredients.


Final words

Cooking lechon kawali using an air fryer is an exciting experience. It may not be precisely what the restaurants serve, but it was tasty enough to enjoy as a family meal. It’s undoubtedly less greasy, and I think it’s healthier this way.

There are some challenges with using the air fryer for cooking lechon kawali: good timing is essential in ensuring the meat doesn’t overcook outside and undercook inside.

Overall, I think the air fryer is an excellent investment for those who want to cook healthier meals without sacrificing taste. So, the next time you’re craving Filipino lechon kawali, try using an air fryer and enjoy this tasty and guilt-free dish!

Related articles: 9 Best Induction Cookers Philippines in 2023 (With Expert Tips)



Karyn is an IIN Health Coach certified by the Institute for Integrative Nutrition since 2021, with a passion for cooking and exercise, especially yoga. She brings her expertise in Nutrition and Fitness to Hometoppicks, leading both the Kitchen and Home Gym sections to provide credible product recommendations. Karyn is committed to guiding readers on their healthy living journey with her expert tips and trusted product suggestions. You can find more about her here.

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