Crispy Salmon Bites in the Air Fryer

Are you a salmon lover who craves the perfect combination of juicy salmon with crispy skin? Look no further! These Sesame Garlic Air Fryer Salmon Bites are just what you need. They are quick to make and can be served as a delicious appetizer with a spicy mayo dipping sauce or as a complete meal with your favorite side dishes.

Air fryer salmon bites in a white bowl on top of steamed brown rice and edamame

I initially shared my Crispy Sesame Salmon recipe, which became a hit. So, I decided to create an even easier version for my air frying enthusiasts. These salmon bites are simply irresistible. We chop up fresh salmon fillets and marinate them in a mouthwatering marinade. Then, we air fry them to perfection.

To elevate the whole experience, we’ve added a spicy mayo sauce that offers the right amount of kick and creaminess, with a touch of sweetness. These salmon bites are versatile and can be served as a high-protein appetizer or snack, or even as a main dish.

Ingredients for Air Fryer Salmon Bites:

  • Fresh Salmon: Atlantic salmon is the best choice for these salmon bites due to its rich fat marbling and the way its skin crisps up. However, you can also use wild-caught salmon such as King, coho, or sockeye salmon. Skinless salmon fillets are also an option if you prefer.

  • For the Marinade: Coconut aminos, sesame oil, avocado oil, fresh garlic, rice vinegar, lime juice (or lemon juice), and sea salt. This marinade gives the salmon bites a sweet and tangy Asian-inspired flavor.

  • Spicy Mayo (Optional): Mayonnaise, sriracha (or your preferred red chili sauce), and pure maple syrup. This creamy sauce adds a slight kick and hint of sweetness to complement the crispy air fryer salmon bites.

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Serving Suggestions:

I like to serve these salmon bites in a bowl with steamed brown rice, edamame, and spicy mayo sauce. However, you can customize the toppings to your liking. Pickled vegetables, avocado, Asian Cucumber Salad, and more can be great additions to enhance your meal.

Salmon bites in the basket of an air fryer, ready to serve

Recipe Adaptations:

  • You can use liquid aminos, tamari, or soy sauce instead of coconut aminos. If you make this substitution, add a tablespoon of pure maple syrup, honey, or brown sugar to the marinade to make up for the natural sweetness of coconut aminos.

  • For spicy salmon bites, add 1 to 2 tablespoons of sriracha to the marinade. You can also include a bit of cayenne pepper or red pepper flakes to turn up the heat.

  • To save time, you can use ½ cup of homemade or store-bought teriyaki sauce as the marinade instead of preparing the marinade recipe.

  • If you don’t have avocado oil, you can use olive oil as a substitute.

  • Two teaspoons of garlic powder can be used instead of fresh garlic.

  • Adjust the black pepper and/or Cajun seasoning according to your personal taste.

Now that we know all the simple ingredients, let’s get cooking!

How to Make Air Fryer Salmon Bites:

If you’re making the chipotle mayo sauce, simply stir the ingredients together in a small bowl, cover it with plastic wrap, and refrigerate while you prepare the salmon.

Start by removing the salmon from its packaging and patting dry any excess moisture with paper towels. Place the salmon on a cutting board and chop it into bite-sized chunks. You can leave the skin on for extra crispiness or remove it with a sharp knife.

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Chopped salmon on a cutting board, cut into bite-sized cubes

Next, combine all the marinade ingredients (coconut aminos, rice vinegar, garlic, sesame oil, and lime juice) in a small bowl. Transfer the chopped salmon to a large zip lock bag or sealable container, along with the marinade. Seal the bag and gently mix everything together until the salmon chunks are fully coated. Let the salmon marinate in the refrigerator for at least 15 minutes or up to 24 hours for even more flavor.

Preheat your air fryer to 400 degrees Fahrenheit for 4 minutes, then spray the air fryer basket with cooking spray. Transfer the marinated salmon cubes to the air fryer basket in a single layer. Depending on the size of your air fryer, you may need to do this in two batches.

Air fry at 400 degrees Fahrenheit for 8 to 12 minutes, or until the salmon is crispy on the outside and cooked through. The internal temperature of the salmon should reach 145 degrees Fahrenheit to ensure it’s fully cooked. You can check the temperature with a meat thermometer inserted into the largest chunk of salmon. While the salmon cooks, you can prepare your choice of side dishes.

Serve the crispy air fryer salmon bites with the chipotle mayo sauce and your desired side dishes. Steamed brown rice or white rice, edamame, green onions, sesame seeds, avocado, kimchi, pickled ginger, seaweed salad, and pickled cucumber all make excellent additions to your meal.

Air fryer salmon bites in a bowl with edamame, brown rice, sriracha and spicy mayo sauce

Any leftovers can be stored in an airtight container in the refrigerator for up to 4 days. However, these salmon bites taste best when freshly cooked, as they maintain their crispy and juicy texture. Although personally, I recommend enjoying them right away, you can also use them for meal prep if you don’t mind leftovers.

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Cooking Time for Salmon Bites in the Air Fryer:

At a temperature of 400 degrees Fahrenheit, seasoned salmon bites typically require 6 to 12 minutes in the air fryer. The cooking time may vary depending on the initial temperature of the salmon (whether it was at room temperature or chilled in the refrigerator) and the size of the bites. Adjust the cooking time to achieve your preferred level of tenderness and crispiness.

Using Frozen Salmon:

For optimal results, fully thaw the salmon before using it in air fryer recipes. Thawed salmon absorbs flavors better than frozen salmon, resulting in a more effective marinade. Additionally, the cooking time will be shorter when using thawed salmon.

That’s it! These easy air fryer salmon bites are a nutritious and delicious main dish, packed with healthy omega-3 fatty acids. If you’re an air fryer enthusiast, this recipe might just become your new favorite way to cook salmon!

White plate of crispy air fryer salmon bites, ready to serve

If you love protein bites like these, you should also try my Asian Air Fryer Chicken Bites or my Air Fryer Steak Bites.
Enjoy these perfectly crispy and flavorful bites of joy!

This article is presented by Hook’d Up Bar and Grill.