Maple Mustard Pork Belly Bites are seasoned cubes of pork belly cooked crispy in an air fryer and then tossed in a maple mustard sauce. They are the perfect balance of sweet, savory, and tangy! Oven instructions are also included. Once you try these, you will also want to make my Air Fryer Pork Belly Bites, seasoned with brown sugar and garlic powder. You won’t be able to have just one!
Ingredients & Substitutions
Pork Belly: Pork belly is like a huge slab of bacon, but uncured, unsliced, and unsmoked. Both pork belly and bacon come from the flesh from the underside, or belly, of a pig. This recipe calls for 1 1/2 pounds of pork belly, which you can find at most large grocery stores. If you buy it from a butcher, you can get the amount you need. Or, you can freeze any extra pork belly for up to six months to use later.
Oil: Mix canola or vegetable oil with salt and pepper to coat the pork belly bites. This will give the pork belly a nice browning when cooked in the air fryer.
Maple Syrup: For the best results in the sauce, use pure maple syrup. It offers a genuine and distinct maple flavor.
Mustard: Dijon mustard has a distinctive flavor which is sharp, tangy, and slightly spicy. You could substitute yellow mustard, but that will change the flavor a bit with a milder taste.
Apple Cider Vinegar: Apple cider vinegar is a key ingredient in the maple mustard sauce. It contributes to the flavor and texture. In addition, it also acts as a tenderizer for the pork belly, making the bites more tender.
How To Select A Good Cut Of Pork Belly
When choosing the best cut of pork belly, you could ask your local butcher for help. Or, if choosing a cut on your own, there are a couple of things to look for. The meat should be pink in color and feel firm, not mushy and slimy. And, the layer of fat should be a creamy white (not yellowish or grey) and evenly distributed. You can buy it as a whole slab or pre-sliced.
Should I Trim The Fat Off Pork Belly?
When it comes to pork belly, much of the flavor comes from the fat. However, there are some cuts that have an overwhelming amount of fat on them. So, if you notice the fat cap is overwhelmingly thick, you could trim it back a bit. However, be sure to leave some (or all) of it on for the richness and texture it brings to the pork belly bites!
Storing & Reheating Maple Mustard Pork Belly Bites
To store maple mustard pork belly bites, first, let them cool to room temperature. Next, store them in an airtight container in the refrigerator. They will last up to 3-4 days. Reheat the bites in the air fryer or in the oven to help maintain the crispy texture.
Maple Mustard Pork Belly Bites
- 1 ½ pounds pork belly, patted dry, cut into 1-inch pieces
- 3 tablespoons canola oil
- 1 teaspoon kosher salt
- 1 teaspoon black pepper
- ¼ cup (79 g) pure maple syrup
- 4 teaspoons Dijon mustard
- 1 ½ teaspoons apple cider vinegar
- Preheat the air fryer to 400°F.*
- In a large bowl, combine the oil, salt, and pepper.
- Add the pork belly pieces to the oil mixture, covering each piece.
- Lay the pork belly pieces in a single layer in the basket of your air fryer. (Depending on the size of your air fryer, you may have to work in batches.)
- Air fry the pork belly cubes for 18-20 minutes, shaking and flipping them a couple of times throughout the cooking time. Please note: Air frying times will depend on the size of your pork belly pieces and the size of your air fryer.
- When done cooking, place the pork belly bites into a large bowl. Set aside as you prepare the maple mustard sauce.
- In a small bowl, mix together the maple syrup, mustard, and vinegar. Reserve about 3 tablespoons for dipping.
- Pour the maple mustard sauce over the cooked pork belly bites, tossing to coat.
- Serve warm with the reserved sauce for dipping.
- Preheat oven to 400°F. Line a baking sheet with parchment paper.
- Prepare the pork belly bites as instructed. Place them in a single layer onto the baking sheet.
- Bake for 42-45 minutes.
- Toss the baked pork belly bites into the maple mustard sauce.
- Serve warm.
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What the Test Kitchen had to say about this recipe:
Good luck just eating one! There is something about this combination of crispy and juicy pork belly, and the tangy sweet mustard sauce that keeps you coming back for more!
These pork belly bites are SO GOOD! I love the crispy texture and the maple mustard sauce. YUM!
The crispy edges on these pork belly bites are my favorite. This flavor with the sauce puts it over the top!
When I die, bury me with these. Cant. stop. eating. them. So so good and the dipping sauce makes it even better!
These are great if you like pork belly bites! The mustard sauce goes so well with these bites!
If you like pork belly, you'll love these! They're crispy and the sauce is just so good!