One of the things that takeaways excel at (and that I assume is dreadfully bad for you) are those dishes where chunks of meat are crisp but coated in a spicy sweet unctuous sauce. Crispy chilli beef, gingered chicken, kung po, the variations are endless. I assume a deep fat fryer is involved and thus I’ve avoided making them at home, but I suspected that the air fryer might do a good job so I had a bit of an experiment (always a good idea when friend are coming round for tea).

Don’t be put off by the long list of ingredients, a lot of these are swappable and the technique should work for lots of combinations.

You will need

  • Pork belly slices
  • Four cloves of garlic
  • A couple of inches of ginger chopped
  • white vinegar (I used cider)
  • White pepper corns
  • Dried chillies
  • A tablespoon of tomato ketchup
  • About half as much hoisin
  • About half of that of maple syrup
  • Brown sugar
  • Spring onions
  • Soy
  • A fresh chillies
  • A teaspoon of 5 spice

Do

  1. Chop the pork into decent sized chunks
  2. Pop it in a pan with 4 cloves of garlic, a couple of dried chillies, a teaspoon of white pepper, a teaspoon of brown suagr, a cup of vinegar and enough hot water to cover
  3. Put on a lid on and boil gently for an hour or so
  4. Drain and leave to cool
  5. Fine chop the fresh chilli and slice the spring onion
  6. (when you’re ready to serve) Pop the pork in the air frier on 200oC until crispy (about 15 minutes)
  7. (once the pork is very crispy) In a frying pan about half the chilli and onions along with the ketchup, hoisin, maple syrup and the five spice. Bubble of a couple of minutes
  8. Stir the pork in, make sure everything is nicely coated and then add the rest of the chillies and spring onion
  9. Serve

Result

The meat is crunchy but coated in a spicy, sticky, sweet and moreish.

Pre-boiling Post-boiling Getting gooy GET IN MY FACE