Air Fryer Salmon Bites

air fryer salmon bites

These extra crispy tender salmon bites are super easy to make in the air fryer and one of my favorite ways to prepare a protein or main dish for a meal. I’ll show you how to make healthy and effortless salmon for your next meal prep or weeknight dinner.

It’s very low in cooking oil yet has an amazingly crispy exterior from the panko bread crumbs and cooks to perfect doneness in only six minutes inside the air fryer!

Types of salmon to use

whole Atlantic salmon filet

I like to use fattier types of salmon for these air fryer bites to make sure they don’t dry out during the cooking process. My go-to types are Atlantic salmon or King salmon. Both of these are commonly found at grocery stores. I prefer to buy skinless filets for these salmon bites to cut them down to size more easily. 

Cutting fish might be a little tricky, so here are some tips:

  • Try to get skinless filets so you don’t have to remove the skin. 
  • Before cutting, remove any remaining fish bones with your fingers or fish tweezers. 
  • Use an extra sharp knife so you can get clean-cut pieces.
  • Opt for thicker filets so you can get bigger salmon chunks and fewer thin flaps.

Salmon marinade ingredients

salmon marinade ingredients

There are so many ways you could marinate salmon, but for this particular recipe, we’re going to season/marinate them with an Asian twist:

  • low-sodium soy sauce
  • rice vinegar
  • white miso
  • brown sugar
  • toasted sesame oil
whisking salmon marinade

I like to marinade the salmon chunks on the counter for at least 30 minutes to ensure they are well-seasoned. After marinating, I lightly coat them in panko and kosher salt for an extra crispy outer coating. This crunchy texture pairs well with the tenderness of the salmon. 

Making your own ingredient substitutions

ingredient bottles for marinade

You can also make substitutions if you don’t have any of these ingredients at home. You can substitute rice vinegar with apple cider vinegar or white wine vinegar. If you don’t have miso at home, you can replace it with more soy sauce to keep a similar salt ratio, but it will change the flavor profile.

Depending on what you have at home, you can change brown sugar with honey or agave syrup. If you want to customize it based on your taste, add different ingredients like ginger, garlic, or lemongrass. 

If you want more flavor profiles for these salmon bites, try these options:

  • Lemon juice, oregano, basil, dill
  • Garlic powder, smoked paprika, onion powder, ginger powder 
  • Chili powder, lime juice, brown sugar 

Tips for making perfect air fryer salmon bites

bone tweezers, marinading salmon, food thermometer

Here are some easy tips on how to get perfect air fryer salmon bites:

  • Cut even cubes of salmon into one-inch thick pieces. This might be harder for some parts of the filet, so when you cook thinner pieces, try to cook them in the same batch so they cook evenly–this could mean separating similar shaped/sized salmon pieces in different batches and lessening the cooking time by one minute. 
  • Marinate the salmon for at least 30 minutes to get well-seasoned salmon, but not more than one hour, or it will be too salty. 
  • Don’t crowd the air fryer basket, or it may cause uneven cooking and crisping. 
  • Use an instant-read thermometer to make sure you cook salmon to the proper temperature, 145 °F. Checking temps often will prevent you from overcooking the salmon bites since they are smaller and cook much faster in the air fryer. 

How long to cook air fryer salmon bites

temperature and time set on Breville Air Fryer

For one-inch thick salmon nuggets, cook them at 400 °F in the air fryer for about six minutes. Always use an instant-read thermometer to check the temperature before removing the salmon. Salmon is done cooking at 145 °F. If you cut your salmon smaller or larger, you may need to adjust the timing by a few minutes. 

Sides to serve with air fryer salmon bites

sriracha mayo

I like to serve air fryer salmon bites with a nice dipping sauce like:

Japanese cucumber salad sprinkled with sesame

If you want ideas for sides to serve with air fryer salmon bites, I like tangy pickles, fresh greens, and some nice carby sides. Here are some of my favorite sides: 

For more salmon recipes, check out broiled salmon filets, pesto salmon, salmon rice bowl, salmon steaks, miso glazed salmon, and salmon poke bowl posts. 

What temperature should I set my air fryer for salmon?

I cook the salmon at 400 °F for approximately six minutes to get crispy outer crusts and tender, soft centers. Since most air fryers have heating elements at the top, you want to flip the salmon for more even cooking.

I like cooking salmon at this temperature because the panko gets really crispy quickly without overcooking the salmon. 

Do you have to flip salmon in an air fryer?

flipping over salmon cubes in air fryer basket

Yes, flip the salmon in the air fryer halfway into the cooking process, which is about three minutes if you have one-inch thick pieces. Turning promotes even cooking on both sides and a golden-brown crust on all sides. 

How do you keep salmon from sticking to the air fryer?

spraying air fryer basket with oil

I like to spray the basket with neutral cooking oil, like avocado oil, before adding the salmon. Then, spray the top of the salmon before cooking. This prevents the salmon from sticking to the air fryer. Also, you can add a piece of parchment paper before adding your salmon, but make sure to flip them halfway to get crisp sides.

air fryer salmon bites with sides and dipping sauce
air fryer salmon bites recipe

Air Fryer Salmon Bites

5 from 1 vote
For juicy and flavorful air fryer salmon bites, try out these Asian-inspired bites of perfection.
BY: Huy Vu
Prep: 10 minutes
Cook: 10 minutes
Marinating: 30 minutes
Total: 50 minutes



  • 12 oz salmon cut into 1-inch cubes
  • 3 tbsp low-sodium soy sauce
  • 1 ½ tbsp rice vinegar
  • 1 ½ tsp white miso
  • 1 ½ tsp dark brown sugar
  • ¾ tsp toasted sesame oil


  • ½ c panko
  • ¼ tsp kosher salt Diamond Crystal brand
  • neutral oil spray

Equipment Used


  • Cut 12 oz salmon into one-inch cubes and place into a food storage container.
    cutting salmon into cubes
  • Combine all the marinade ingredients: 3 tbsp low-sodium soy sauce, 1 ½ tbsp rice vinegar, 1 ½ tsp white miso, 1 ½ tsp dark brown sugar, and ¾ tsp toasted sesame oil into a bowl. Mix until incorporated. Make sure the thick miso paste is evenly mixed in. Pour the marinade over the salmon and mix until all the sides are coated. Cover with a lid and set aside for 30 minutes, but not more than 1 hour. Turn the salmon after 15 minutes.
    marinading salmon cubes in glass container
  • Preheat the air fryer to 400 °F.
    preheating air fryer
  • Add the ½ c panko and ¼ tsp kosher salt to a bowl and mix.
    adding salt to panko bread crumbs
  • Cover one piece of salmon thoroughly with panko on all sides and then set aside. Repeat with all salmon pieces.
    salmon bite covered in panko bread crumbs
  • Spray the air fryer basket with neutral oil spray and place the salmon pieces in an even layer with space in between each piece. Spray all pieces of salmon with a light coating of neutral oil spray on top to promote browning.
    spraying air fryer basket with oil
  • Air fry for 3 minutes, turn each piece over, then continue cooking for the remaining 3 minutes. When the thickest piece of salmon measures 140 °F at the center, remove all salmon from the air fryer.
    flipping over salmon cubes with tongs
  • Serve immediately.
    air fryer salmon bites
Nutrition Facts
Air Fryer Salmon Bites
Amount per Serving
% Daily Value*
Saturated Fat
Polyunsaturated Fat
Monounsaturated Fat
Vitamin A
* Percent Daily Values are based on a 2000 calorie diet.
Course: Dinner, Lunch
Cuisine: American, Asian
Keyword: meal prep, protein, quick dinner
Did you cook this recipe?Tag @HungryHuy or #hungryhuy–I’d love to see it!

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