Asian Air Fryer Salmon is a delicious way to enjoy a nice dinner on a busy weeknight. The salmon is marinated in ginger, garlic, lime juice, brown sugar, Sriracha and fish sauce then blasted with hot air. This cooking method leaves you with flaky salmon that is juicy and tender.
This simple recipe is cooked in just 6 minutes and quick cooking is at the top of my list on busy nights! There’s nothing better than having a nice dinner when you’re short on time.
Asian Air Fryer Salmon goes really well with Air Fryer Green Beans!
Air frying is a new way to create easy dinners with less mess. The small counter top appliance is associated with healthy eating.
An alternative to deep frying per se. An air fryer is essentially a counter top convection oven.
However you want to look at it, there’s one thing that’s for sure. It is definitely convenient. If you’re looking for more quick cooking air fryer recipes check out my Juicy Air Fryer Chicken Breast Recipe .
You can also air fry my Falafel Pita, check out the air frying directions in the tips and notes section!
This is my take on air fryer salmon inspired by Asian cuisine.
What temperature should the air fryer be on for salmon?
I like to air fry salmon at 400°F. This gives the salmon a nice outer crust and leaves it flaky and tender on the inside. Different temperatures will work but cooking time would need to be adjusted.
In general, I really don’t cook anything savory under 400°F. Probably a habit of working as a professional chef most of my life but you don’t get a nice crust or caramelization on anything at lower temps.
In the case of braising or cooking things low and slow I would use a lower temperature but for roasting/baking savory things, higher is better. You’ll get the best results for this Asian Air Fryer Salmon cooking it at 400 degrees F.
How do you keep salmon from sticking to an air fryer?
There are a few factors that come into play here. Here are a few guidelines:
- Preheat the air fryer – Placing food in a hot air fryer basket will help the salmon not to stick. It’s similar to using a frying pan, you want it nice and hot before adding your protein.
- Use cooking spray – Using a non stick cooking spray is also helpful to decrease the salmon sticking to the basket or foil.
- Use foil in the basket – This helps the salmon not stick to the bottom of the basket because it’s on the foil. You will want to give the aluminum foil a light spray to avoid the salmon sticking to the foil. This is also a great idea for an easy cleanup!
Ingredients for Asian Air Fryer Salmon
- Fresh Salmon – I prefer to buy fresh not frozen salmon filets
- Brown Sugar – The sweetness helps get a little caramelization on the salmon
- Garlic – I love using garlic in almost any dish
- Ginger – I use ginger paste a lot but fresh ginger root works well too
- Sriracha – For a little kick
- Lime Juice – I like to add a little acid in my marinades
- Fish Sauce – Fish sauce adds a depth of flavor that is really delicious
- Green Onion – There’s some in the marinade and for garnish
- Cilantro – Cilantro is a great garnish for this Asian Air Fryer Salmon
- Sesame Seeds – Black or white sesame seeds work great here. I like to toast them in the oven or a minute or two on 400°F to add a little brown color. You can toast your whole bottle then dump it back into the bottle so you have toasted sesame seeds on hand
- Kosher Salt – Salt enhances all of the flavors of the dish
- Everything Bagel Seasoning – A little bit of this sprinkled on top of the salmon after air frying adds great flavor
- Air Fryer – This Asian Salmon recipe is cooked in an air fryer. Here are a couple options: Instant Air Fryer and COSORI Air Fryer
- Meat Thermometer – I like using instant read thermometers. Something like this will work perfectly
Tips for Asian Air Fryer Salmon
- Do not over cook your Asian Air Fryer Salmon, it will end up dry
- Cook time can vary depending on the thickness of the salmon. I used salmon that was about 7oz and the thickest part was around an inch or slightly above. If you’re salmon is smaller then check the temperature at an earlier time
- Use fresh fish for the best results
- DO NOT crowd or overlap the salmon in the air fryer basket. This will cause uneven cooking. If you’re basket is not large enough for all the salmon then do it in batches
- I prefer to use Wild Alaskan Salmon or Sockeye but you can use whatever is readily available to you and fresh
- You can serve this salmon with lime wedges or lemon wedges if you prefer for an extra bit of flavor
- Asian Air Fryer Salmon is the best idea for meal prep! You can serve it with a side dish to complete the meal or make a salad, salmon tacos, wraps or sandwiches
- Air fryer asparagus makes a great side dish for this salmon
- A trick for telling when salmon is done without using a thermometer is when the little white “beads” start to appear on the top of the salmon
- If this is your first time using fish sauce, DO NOT smell it before adding it. The smell of fish sauce is not pleasant but it adds WONDERFUL flavor do dishes
- Everything bagel seasoning has sesame seeds in it so if you don’t want extra then you can just use the everything bagel seasoning and omit the sesame seeds
- When toasting sesame seeds, toast the whole bottle then pour it back into the bottle and store it in the cabinet so you always have toasted seeds on hand
What internal temp should I cook salmon to?
When cooking salmon you don’t want to overcook. That will leave you with a dried out piece of fish and nobody wants that. You are looking for an internal temperature of 125°F.
The salmon will go up about 5 degrees after removing it from the air fryer and then you’ll have a nice medium piece of delicious salmon. It is recommended to cook salmon to 145°F but that is a good way to ruin a great recipe.
By the time the fish rises in temperature after it’s removed from the air fryer it is basically well done and dry. Another great tip for telling when a piece of salmon is done is when it starts to form the little white “bubbles” or “beads” on top of it.
That is a great time to remove it from the air fryer or oven.
How to cook salmon in an air fryer
Mix all of the marinade ingredients together in a zip lock bag. Add the salmon filets, press all the air out of the bag then seal the bag. Let the salmon marinate in the fridge 60 minutes.
Preheat the air fryer to 400°F. I like to let mine run for about 5 minutes to make sure it’s up to temp before adding any food.
Line the air fryer basket with aluminum foil (if you like) and lightly spray it with non stick cooking spray. If you don’t have non stick cooking spray then you can use a little olive oil. Remove the salmon filets from the marinade and place them in the preheated air fryer. Do not crowd them, make sure they aren’t touching.
Cook for 5-6 minutes then check the temperature with your instant read thermometer. Make sure to place the thermometer in the thickest part of the salmon. Once it reads 120°F-125°F you can remove the Asian Air Fryer Salmon from the air fryer and you should have perfect salmon!
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Asian Air Fryer Salmon
- 1 air fryer
- 1 instant read thermometer
- 1 plastic sealable bag
- 1 tongs
- ¼ cup lime juice
- 1 tbsp brown sugar + 1 tsp
- 3 tbsp sriracha
- 1½ tbsp fish sauce
- ½ tsp kosher salt
- 1 tbsp ginger paste
- 1 clove garlic minced
- 1 green onion sliced ultra thin
- 24 oz salmon fillets 4-6oz pieces, equal in size
- 1 green onion sliced ultra thin
- ¼ sesame seeds toasted
- ¼ cup cilantro leaves
- ¼ tsp everything bagel seasoning
- 2 limes cut into wedges for serving
Marinate the Salmon
- Whisk all marinade ingredients together in a small bowl then set aside
- Add the salmon filets to a Ziplock bag and let them marinate in the fridge for 60 minutes
Cooking the Salmon
- Line the air fryer basket with aluminum foil if you want (it's not necessary) then preheat the air fryer to 400°F
- Lightly spray the aluminum foil or bottom of the air fryer basket with non stick cooking spray
- Remove the salmon from the marinade and place it in the air fryer being sure not to crowd or overlap any pieces. If they don't all fit at the same time then cook in two separate batches
- Cook for 6 minutes then check the temperature at the thickest part of the salmon. Remove the salmon at 120°F – 125°F. The temperature will rise another 5 degrees after you remove it from the air fryer
- Top with green onions, toasted sesame seeds, cilantro and everything bagel seasoning then serve with lime wedges