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Glossy red char siu pork cut into small and big chunks on a white plate with a gold fork and spoon in the background.

Sticky Char Siu in the Air Fryer (Chinese BBQ Pork)

Char siu is pork that has been marinated in a sweet and salty sauce, which is then basted with a sticky glaze before being cooked to perfection.
Course Dinner, Lunch
Cuisine Chinese
Keyword Sticky Char Siu in the Air Fryer
Prep Time 10 minutes
Cook Time 15 minutes
Marinate 1 day
Servings 5 people
Calories 1175kcal
Author Scruff


  • Air Fryer


  • 1 kg pork belly or rashers


  • 1 tsp five spice powder
  • 2.5 tsp salt
  • pepper, to taste
  • 4 tbsp white sugar
  • 1 tbsp soy sauce
  • 2 tbsp hoisin sauce
  • 1 tbsp Chinese cooking wine
  • 2 tbsp honey
  • 2 garlic cloves, finely chopped
  • 2 cubes red fermented tofu, mashed (Note 1)
  • 3 tsp red fermented tofu liquid (Note 1)


  • 3 tbsp honey
  • 3 tbsp marinade
  • 1 tsp water


  • In a bowl, combine the marinade ingredients. Once thoroughly combined, take out 3 tbsp of marinade and put it into a small container. Put the container in the fridge until needed. (This is for the baste)
  • Prepare the pork by cutting it into manageable sized pieces to fit into your air fryer at 2 cm or ¾ inch thickness. Remove any pork rind and save it for another recipe.
  • Put the pork and marinade in a zip lock bag and shake until the pork is fully covered. Marinate for 1 - 2 days in the fridge.
  • When ready, remove the pork from the fridge and let it sit for 30 minutes at room temperature.
  • Pre-heat the air fryer to 200 C / 400 F.
  • Combine the baste ingredients together in a small bowl. (Use the 3 tbsp of marinade that you stored in the fridge earlier)
  • Spray the wire rack or the basket with a little oil and lay the pork on top. Do not let the pork stack on top of each other. You may need to cook the meat in batches. (Note 2)
  • Baste the pork on both sides with a brush then cook for 6 minutes in the air fryer at 200 C / 400 F.
  • Take the pork out of the air fryer and baste again on both sides. Cook for another 6 minutes on the side that was previously facing down.
  • Remove from air fryer. Flip one more time and cook for roughly 2 - 3 minutes or until the pork is cooked and there is a decent amount of char at the edges. You may need to repeat the cooking/flipping/basting a few more times to get to this point, as every air fryer is a bit different.
  • Repeat with any remaining strips of char siu until all done.


  1. The red fermented tofu cubes and liquid can be substituted for 1/4 tsp red food colouring.
  2. If you need to cook in batches, then remember to clean out the basket / wire rack / tray before the next batch. This will prevent leftover marinade residue being cooked again in the next batch and giving off a "burnt" smell. 


Calories: 1175kcal | Carbohydrates: 34g | Protein: 20g | Fat: 106g | Saturated Fat: 39g | Cholesterol: 144mg | Sodium: 1700mg | Potassium: 397mg | Fiber: 1g | Sugar: 31g | Vitamin A: 20IU | Vitamin C: 1mg | Calcium: 19mg | Iron: 2mg