Air Roasted Pork Belly ( Sio Bak / 脆皮烧肉 ) with the Philips Avance XL Airfryer

 

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Disclosure: I have no kitchen.

Not yet, and until I have my own, any appliance I bring home needs to be useful, both in my eyes and in the eyes of my in laws. So, you can imagine, I was shaking with excitement (COME TO MAMA!) but trembling in fear when I learnt that we would be blessed with the Philips Avance XL Airfryer .

My strategy was to make sure the in-laws deem the airfryer as an important and necessary part of the kitchen. I was confident because the new Philips Avance XL Airfryer features…

So Oddly Dreamlike | Mom Blogger on Parenting and Living in Singapore | Air Roasted Pork Belly ( Sio Bak / 脆皮烧肉 ) with the Philips Avance XL Airfryer

After browsing through the many inspiring recipes on Dable Kwan’s (Philips Airfryer’s Number 1 fan!) “I Love Philips Airfryer” Facebook community, I decided that I’ll make the in-laws’ absolute favorite dish – roasted pork belly. I had my doubts ( *glups* me, the noob cook? can I really sio bak?) but I went ahead anyway.

Here’s the recipe (adapted from the recipe on Bake, Cook & Love) everyone’s been asking for, ever since I posted photos on my Instagram.

INGREDIENTS

700g Pork Belly

Dry rub
1tsp pink sea salt
2tsp garlic salt
1tsp five spice powder
1 tsp ground white pepper
1-2 tsp of rosemary
Half a fresh lemon

METHOD

First, I cleaned the pork belly of any excess hairs on the skin, gave it a light wash and then cut lines on the meat portion like this. I think that more of the dry mix will get into contact with the meat in this way.

 So Oddly Dreamlike | Mom Blogger on Parenting and Living in Singapore | Air Roasted Pork Belly ( Sio Bak / 脆皮烧肉 ) with the Philips Avance XL Airfryer

Next cooked my pork belly in water while I prepared the dry mix (mix all the ingredients up, that’s it!).

For the dry mix, I added rosemary on purpose and the salt accidentally (true story). The recipe on Bake, Cook & Love didn’t require more salt than the garlic salt but I added an additional 2 tsp of pink sea salt in a moment of blurriness. It turned out just a little salty but so far, I’ve tried making again without and it didn’t taste as good so I’m including that in my ingredient list but lessened to 1 tsp.

 So Oddly Dreamlike | Mom Blogger on Parenting and Living in Singapore | Air Roasted Pork Belly ( Sio Bak / 脆皮烧肉 ) with the Philips Avance XL Airfryer

I wasn’t really sure how “pork belly cooked thoroughly” looked like but mine was cooked for around 8-10 minutes, or until it looked like this:

 So Oddly Dreamlike | Mom Blogger on Parenting and Living in Singapore | Air Roasted Pork Belly ( Sio Bak / 脆皮烧肉 ) with the Philips Avance XL Airfryer

When I was happy with my cooked pork belly, I removed it from the water and let the meat air dry for 3 hours, forgot to drain off the liquid (true story) and then rubbed in the dry mix. I think the air drying bit helps make the skin a little tougher to make your life easier for the next step.

 So Oddly Dreamlike | Mom Blogger on Parenting and Living in Singapore | Air Roasted Pork Belly ( Sio Bak / 脆皮烧肉 ) with the Philips Avance XL Airfryer

After air-drying, I scored the skin with a knife and pricked as many holes as I can because many recipes mentioned that the more holes, the crispier the skin. I didn’t get the pricking tool but I discovered that it’s quite easy to do so with a small fork (I used fork meant for small people, aka Joy) but don’t try it with a large fork.

 So Oddly Dreamlike | Mom Blogger on Parenting and Living in Singapore | Air Roasted Pork Belly ( Sio Bak / 脆皮烧肉 ) with the Philips Avance XL Airfryer

And then, I rubbed some salt on the skin and squeezed fresh lemon juice liberally all over the skin.

 So Oddly Dreamlike | Mom Blogger on Parenting and Living in Singapore | Air Roasted Pork Belly ( Sio Bak / 脆皮烧肉 ) with the Philips Avance XL Airfryer

Next, I put my pork belly in the fridge to dry it up even more. By order, to prevent my meat from contaminating the fridge, I covered it up with a cling wrap. This picture was taken “before”.

 So Oddly Dreamlike | Mom Blogger on Parenting and Living in Singapore | Air Roasted Pork Belly ( Sio Bak / 脆皮烧肉 ) with the Philips Avance XL Airfryer

My pork belly was in the fridge from 4pm on Preparation Day to 11am on Roasting Day (next day), which makes it a total of 19 hours. Sounds like a long time but I did nothing in that time so, to me, it’s not really a time cost. I was so bold as to ask our favorite roast pork stall owner if drying in the fridge is really necessary and he said “Oh, no need, just air dry for 3 hours also can”. Now you know.

This is my pork belly, in my airfryer (after my airfryer was pre-heated for 5-10 mins at 160 degrees). 700g fits perfectly when placed diagonally, skin facing up (I typed this in specifically because someone close to me, ever faced the sides up and we ended up with Sio Bak that didn’t look as good.)

 So Oddly Dreamlike | Mom Blogger on Parenting and Living in Singapore | Air Roasted Pork Belly ( Sio Bak / 脆皮烧肉 ) with the Philips Avance XL Airfryer

Per the recipe, I let hot air circulate around the meat at 160 degrees for 30 minutes, to cook all sides evenly and retain more moisture. After 30 minutes, my pork belly finally started looking like sio bak (yay!). The colour was gorgeous but take a look at the skin… at this point, I was worried that the crackling wouldn’t happen!

 So Oddly Dreamlike | Mom Blogger on Parenting and Living in Singapore | Air Roasted Pork Belly ( Sio Bak / 脆皮烧肉 ) with the Philips Avance XL Airfryer

Still, I pressed on and set my airfryer to cook my sio bak (yes! I can refer to it as “sio bak” now!) for another 30 minutes at 180 degrees. That must one of the most excruciating waiting time for me in recent times. I resisted the (strong) urge to open up the “drawer” of the airfryer to sneak a peek at my roast meat ever so often. I learnt later on that it’s totally ok to check on your meat if you want. In fact, the tray of the airfryer can be pulled out like a drawer and even hold it’s own on a table, like this:

So Oddly Dreamlike | Mom Blogger on Parenting and Living in Singapore | Air Roasted Pork Belly ( Sio Bak / 脆皮烧肉 ) with the Philips Avance XL Airfryer
I was making reckon chips (180degrees @ 5 minutes approximately) with just a tablespoon of oil!

Since the airfryer allows me to control time and temperature precisely, I could totally go away and do something else but I hovered around anxiously. While waiting, I took this picture of the touch screen controls that made my life easy because it looked so classy. Gotta love technology!

So Oddly Dreamlike | Mom Blogger on Parenting and Living in Singapore | Air Roasted Pork Belly ( Sio Bak / 脆皮烧肉 ) with the Philips Avance XL Airfryer

Time’s up and tadahhhh, my sio bak turned out like this! 美美hor? (Beautiful, isn’t it?)

So Oddly Dreamlike | Mom Blogger on Parenting and Living in Singapore | Air Roasted Pork Belly ( Sio Bak / 脆皮烧肉 ) with the Philips Avance XL Airfryer

I waited with bated breath while my sio bak rested in its tray. The new airfryer is much easier to handle than before because the tray can be easily lifted as a whole, no more pressing buttons when holding the handle (a problem the older range has).

The father-in-law helped me chop up my sio bak. His first comment after his first cut was “哇!真的很脆!” (“Woah! It is really very crispy!) and his second comment was “哇!真的很多汁!” (“Woah! Really very juicy!”) #1 Impress the father-in-law – succeeded!

So Oddly Dreamlike | Mom Blogger on Parenting and Living in Singapore | Air Roasted Pork Belly ( Sio Bak / 脆皮烧肉 ) with the Philips Avance XL Airfryer

I no kid you, just look at this close up!

So Oddly Dreamlike | Mom Blogger on Parenting and Living in Singapore | Air Roasted Pork Belly ( Sio Bak / 脆皮烧肉 ) with the Philips Avance XL Airfryer

VERDICT

When my sio bak cooled, I didn’t taste it. I packed a few pieces hastily and went out to meet the band mates for lunch. When I was roasting my sio bak, we were on whatsapp chatting about it and I decided that I would taste it with them.

So Oddly Dreamlike | Mom Blogger on Parenting and Living in Singapore | Air Roasted Pork Belly ( Sio Bak / 脆皮烧肉 ) with the Philips Avance XL Airfryer

Verdict?

So Oddly Dreamlike | Mom Blogger on Parenting and Living in Singapore | Air Roasted Pork Belly ( Sio Bak / 脆皮烧肉 ) with the Philips Avance XL Airfryer
The representative, holding up my sio bak.
Note: I reduced the amount of salt used in my ingredient list because it was slightly salty.

I guess that means mission accomplished and done B.E.A.U.T.I.F.U.L.L.Y in an hour (as compared to 2-3 hours in a conventional oven) by me, the noob cook! Now, I can easily make delicious sio bak each and every time!

OVERALL THOUGHTS

I like the airfryer not just for it’s ability to impress the in-laws but also for the precise time and temperature control at a touch. Like for traditional frying-in-alot-of-oil recipes, they always mention “when the oil has reached the correct temperature”.. like how would I know what is the right temperature? So far, I have air-fried reckon chips, chicken wings and ikan bills with great success. It’s so easy to use!

So Oddly Dreamlike | Mom Blogger on Parenting and Living in Singapore | Air Roasted Pork Belly ( Sio Bak / 脆皮烧肉 ) with the Philips Avance XL Airfryer
Fried chicken wings which turned out so good, I was asked to make them again and again! ;)

Also, the cleaning is not a nightmare. I found it easy to clean off the grime with a soft sponge like this:

So Oddly Dreamlike | Mom Blogger on Parenting and Living in Singapore | Air Roasted Pork Belly ( Sio Bak / 脆皮烧肉 ) with the Philips Avance XL Airfryer

The basket below can be removed from the “drawer” and cleaned thoroughly:

So Oddly Dreamlike | Mom Blogger on Parenting and Living in Singapore | Air Roasted Pork Belly ( Sio Bak / 脆皮烧肉 ) with the Philips Avance XL Airfryer

I also really like it that the power plug can be kept neatly like this:

So Oddly Dreamlike | Mom Blogger on Parenting and Living in Singapore | Air Roasted Pork Belly ( Sio Bak / 脆皮烧肉 ) with the Philips Avance XL Airfryer

COOK WITH AIR TODAY!

Quote SoOddlyDreamlike and buy the Viva Digital Airfryer at $399 (Usual price: $459), FREE $50 SHOPPING VOUCHER and Avance XL Airfryer at $479 (Usual price: $539), FREE $50 SHOPPING VOUCHER at the PHILIPS EXPERIENCE SHOWROOM. This promotion is valid from 1st December till 31st January 2014. Limited to 1 Airfryer per person. IC must be produced.

PHILIPS EXPERIENCE SHOWROOM
Address: 620A Lorong 1 Toa Payoh Building TP4 Level 1 S(319762)
Tel: 6882 5800
Opening hours: Monday to Friday: 9.00 am – 7.00 pm Saturday: 9.00 am – 1.00 pm.
Closed on Sundays and Public Holidays.

The Viva Digital Airfryer and Avance XL Airfryer are also available at regular prices in leading electronics stores, department stores and supermarkets island-wide.

Keep life simple with the PHILIPS Avance Collection Airfryer XL with Rapid Air technology (S$539). Available in stores in December 2013 at leading electronics and departmental stores.

Disclosure: I received the Philips Avance XL Airfryer for reviewing purposes. No compensation was received for this post. All opinions are my own

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10 Replies to “Air Roasted Pork Belly ( Sio Bak / 脆皮烧肉 ) with the Philips Avance XL Airfryer”

  1. I love the info-graphics you created and the step by step pictorial guide to air-roasting the sio-bak! Gonna try making this for our Christmas feast, thanks so much for sharing! :D

    1. sooddlydreamlike says: Reply

      Hehe Thanks, Angie! I counted and the AirFryer has (more than) enough features for all the colours of the rainbow.. let me know how it goes if you do try! :)

  2. Wow! This certainly looks delicious!
    I always thought air fryer would deplete the food of moisture, but after reading this post, I might consider buying one! It seems like a healthier alternative indeed! All your food looks super yummy leh!!!! Have you tried cooking french fries with air fryer before? :)

    –rella
    http://www.rachrella.com <3

    1. sooddlydreamlike says: Reply

      Hello, Rella!

      I was surprised myself as well that the AirFryer retained moisture in food if used correctly! Do consider getting one, it’s a worthy investment. I haven’t tried cooking french fries, but I know that store bought ones can be just air fried directly without any oil while home made ones need just a little bit of oil. Another blogger’s kid has tried before tho, you can refer to this: http://www.ahappymum.com/2013/11/philips-avance-xl-airfryer-review-cook.html

  3. LOL at COME TO MAMA!!!!!

    I use baking sheets; find them safer than aluminium foil :)

    1. sooddlydreamlike says: Reply

      HEH, the airfryer is really a dream come true for kitchen-less, oven-less, cannot fry at all me.

      On aluminium foil, if you notice, mine was placed under the basket, I was trying to see if it helps at all to hold the dripping oil from my meat. Turned out, the circulating air blew it up like a balloon and didn’t help. For direct contact with food, I use baking paper as well :) Thanks for the tip though!

  4. Your chicken wings looks very delicious. Care to share your recipe? Interested to know how you cook your reckon chips and ikan bilis. Can share? Thanks.

    1. Sure Cherine! I’ll do a few blog posts to cover them :) Check back again for recipe!

  5. Hi there! I’m excited to try this. I just wanted to clarify that all your temperatures are in celsius and not farenheit? Thanks so much!

    1. Yes, Charlene, the temperatures are in Celsius! I’m excited as well, let me know how it goes!

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