In Korea there are many versions of tong sam gyup goo yi (literally "whole pork belly"), a favorite ingredient that is often grilled, roasted in the oven or fried on the stovetop. Here it is cooked in an air fryer, which is gaining in popularity there, for an easier, splatter-free alternative to traditional versions; it also makes clean-up a breeze. The pork belly is just as browned and crispy on the outside while the interior stays tender and juicy. This update also gets a spicy kick from a streamlined gochujang sauce made with pantry staples. Brush it on in the last few minutes of cooking to create a gorgeous, caramelized coating. Kabocha squash, air fried with the pork belly, rounds out the meal.
For the gochujang sauce: Stir together the jarred gochujang, sesame oil, mirin, soy sauce, sugar and garlic in a small bowl; set aside.
For the pork belly and squash: Spray the kabocha squash with cooking spray and season with 1/4 teaspoon salt. Set aside.
Season the pork belly with 1/2 teaspoon salt and pepper. Place the pork belly in the basket of a 6-quart air fryer, then spray it lightly with cooking spray. Air fry until the pork belly browns and crisps on top and around the edges, about 25 minutes. Flip the pork belly over with cooking tongs and then arrange the kabocha squash around the perimeter. Cook until the pork belly is crisp all over and the squash is tender and charred, about 20 minutes. Brush the pork belly with the gochujang sauce, letting any excess run off. Cook until the sauce is slightly sticky and charred, 3 to 4 minutes more.
Remove the pork belly onto a plate and let rest for 10 minutes (the squash can keep warm in the air fryer). Cut into 1/4- to 1/2-inch-thick slices and brush with more sauce, if desired. Sprinkle the scallion and sesame seeds over the pork belly and serve with the squash, rice and remaining sauce.
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