Have you ever had lechon kawali?
It’s a Filipino dish that’s one of the best-loved and most popular dishes in the country. It’s crispy, salty, and absolutely delicious!
Making lechon kawali can be a long process, but with an air fryer, you can make this classic dish in no time at all. Here’s how to cook, reheat, store and serve air fryer lechon kawali.
How To Cook Air Fryer Lechon Kawali?
Here’s how to cook air fryer lechon kawali:
1. Gather Your Ingredients
To make lechon kawali in an air fryer, you will need pork belly (skin on), salt, pepper, garlic powder, onion powder, and oil.
The pork should be cut into cubes or strips—whichever is easier for you.
2. Marinate the Pork
Once the pork is cut up into pieces, place them into a bowl and add the salt, pepper, garlic powder, onion powder, and oil.
Mix everything together until all of the pieces are evenly coated in the marinade. Let sit for 15 minutes or overnight if desired.
3. Cook the Pork
Once your pork is marinated to your liking, preheat your air fryer to 400°F for about 5 minutes before adding your pork pieces to it. Cook for 8-12 minutes depending on how large your pieces are.
When done cooking remove from the air fryer and set aside on a plate lined with a paper towel to help absorb any excess grease that may have come out while cooking.
How to Store Air Fryer Lechon Kawali?
Tips on how to store your air fryer lechon kawali in the best way possible:
1. Storing Lechon Kawali Safely
The first step to storing your air fryer lechon kawali is to make sure that it has cooled down completely before refrigerating or freezing it.
Keeping warm food near other items in your refrigerator can cause bacteria growth and spoilage, so leaving the lechon kawali out until it reaches room temperature is important.
Additionally, if you’re not going to eat the dish immediately after cooking, make sure to wrap it tightly with aluminum foil or plastic wrap prior to cooling—this will help retain its flavor and texture.
When placing your lechon kawali into the fridge or freezer, make sure that it is sealed tightly and placed away from any raw meat or seafood products that could contaminate it with bacteria.
To keep your air fryer lechon kawali fresh for as long as possible, we recommend using an air-tight container for storage in either the fridge or freezer. If using a container isn’t an option, simply wrapping it tightly with plastic wrap will do just fine!
How to Reheat Air Fryer Lechon Kawali?
If you have leftover air fryer lechon kawali that you want to save for later consumption, reheating it safely is key!
When reheating in an oven or microwave, make sure that the internal temperature of the pork reaches at least 165 degrees Fahrenheit before serving—this will kill off any potentially harmful bacteria and ensure that your meal is safe to consume.
Additionally, if reheating in an oven (or even an air fryer), adding a tablespoon of oil can help keep the pork skin crunchy and flavorful!
How to Serve Air Fryer Lechon Kawali?
Let’s take a look at some of the best side dishes to pair with air fryer lechon kawali.
1) Fried Rice
Fried rice is one of the most popular side dishes in Filipino cuisine, and it pairs wonderfully with lechon kawali!
You can use any type of rice for this dish but long-grain jasmine rice is the preferred option.
Once cooked, fry it up in a wok or large skillet along with your favorite mix-ins such as onion, garlic, carrots, peas, and peppers.
2) Inihaw na Tilapia
Inihaw na tilapia (grilled tilapia) is another classic Filipino side dish that goes great with lechon kawali.
To prepare it, simply season your tilapia fillets with salt and pepper before grilling them over an open flame or on an outdoor grill until they’re cooked through.
Serve them alongside your lechon kawali for a complete meal!
3) Ensaladang Mangga
Ensaladang Mangga (mango salad) is another popular side dish that pairs well with lechon kawali.
It’s easy to make and uses just a few ingredients – ripe mangoes, red onions, tomatoes, fish sauce, calamansi juice (or lemon juice), sugar, and chili peppers.
Simply toss everything together in a bowl and enjoy!
4) Lumpiang Sariwa
If you want something light and refreshing to balance out the richness of the lechon kawali then lumpiang sariwa (fresh spring rolls) are perfect!
This traditional Filipino appetizer consists of thin crepes filled with vegetables such as cabbage, carrots, bell peppers, and bean sprouts which are then rolled up into neat little packets before being served alongside the sweet-and-sour dipping sauce.
Why Is My Air Fryer Lechon Kawali Not Cooked Properly?
We’ll walk you through the troubleshooting process so that you can get your favorite dish cooked to perfection.
1. Not Enough Oil or Seasoning
One of the most common mistakes people make when cooking lechon kawali in an air fryer is not using enough oil or seasoning.
You need to use enough oil and seasonings to ensure that the skin gets crispy and browned. This will also help keep the meat moist and flavorful.
Make sure to generously season your pork with salt and pepper before air frying it, as well as adding a bit of oil or butter for added flavor and moisture.
2. Incorrect Temperature Settings
Another mistake home cooks make when cooking lechon kawali in an air fryer is setting the temperature too low or too high.
To get perfect results every time, you should set the temperature between 375-400°F (190-204°C).
Setting the temperature too low will result in soggy skin while setting it too high can cause it to burn before it’s cooked through.
It’s best to check on your lechon kawali frequently during cooking and adjust the temperature if necessary.
3. Not Preheating The Air Fryer
Finally, many home cooks forget to preheat their air fryers before adding their food.
Preheating ensures that your lechon kawali cooks evenly by ensuring that all parts of it reach the same temperature at once.
Preheating also helps create a crispier exterior on your pork by allowing more time for the evaporation of moisture from its surface before it begins to cook through completely.
Therefore, make sure to preheat your air fryer for at least 5 minutes before adding your pork to it.
Tips To Make Perfect Air Fryer Lechon Kawali
Here are some tips to help you make sure your lechon kawali comes out perfectly crispy every single time.
1. Season the Liquid When You Tenderize
When simmering the pork, remember to season the liquid that you’re using for tenderizing. This will give the pork more flavor and make it more delicious even without the aid of lechon sauce!
The key here is to let it simmer until it’s fork-tender so that it cooks evenly and doesn’t dry out in the air fryer or when cooked in hot oil.
2. Dry The Surface Of The Pork Belly Slab
Another important step is to make sure that the surface of your pork belly slab is dry before putting it into the air fryer.
The drier you can get it before frying, the crunchier your lechon kawali will be once cooked!
To do this, pat your pork belly with paper towels until there’s no more moisture on its surface.
3. Remove From Air Fryer Once Skin Is No Longer Rubbery
Once all parts of your pork skin look like they’re no longer rubbery anymore, it’s time to remove them from the air fryer.
However, don’t be fooled – they won’t feel completely crispy until they cool down slightly after being removed from the air fryer.
So let them cool off for a few minutes before slicing and serving with your favorite dipping sauces!
Making perfectly crispy lechon kawali doesn’t have to be hard if you know what steps to take!
All you need are a few key tips such as seasoning your liquid when tenderizing, drying off your pork belly slab beforehand, and removing them from the air fryer once its skin is no longer rubbery.
Follow these steps and you’ll have perfectly crunchy lechon kawali that everyone will love!
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