I fell in love with these air fryer salmon fillets! Marinated in a simple ginger garlic sauce, these salmon fillets are crispy on the outside and perfectly moist on the inside.
This is my new favorite way to cook salmon.
Not only is it insanely delicious, it takes just 10 minutes in the air fryer and is virtually mess-free!
I’ve been using my air fryer a lot over the summer and since then have become a little addicted to it because it’s so easy to use and clean up.
Today’s recipe is a simple salmon dish that you can with or without an air fryer, just scroll down to see the other cooking options. You are going to love this one I promise!
Do Air Fryers Really Work?
They are basically the same thing as a convection oven but on a much smaller scale. What an air fryer does is it circulates hot air around the food and cooks it that way. They come equipped with a perforated basket so that food gets cooked evenly.
Do You Need An Air Fryer?
Honestly, you can get very similar results by using a regular oven or a toaster oven. However, I will say that I love my air fryer very much and enjoy using it. I reach for my air fryer whenever it’s hot outside because it doesn’t heat up the kitchen the way an oven does. It’s also great for making smaller servings of food. For example, if I’m only cooking a small batch of vegetables I prefer using the air fryer to my oven.
Same for these salmon fillets. There’s only two of us in the apartment so it feels like a bit of a waste to turn on a massive appliance just to bake two teeny fillets for 10 minutes.
The other thing I enjoy about it is that it’s easy to clean. If a little marinade drips to the bottom of the basket, I just rinse it and it’s good to go. Unlike having to wait for the oven to cool to stick my head in and scratch the charred sauce. No fun.
Ingredients For Air Fryer Salmon
- Salmon: Boneless fillets is what I like using. Make sure there are no hidden bones in your fillets by running you fingers on the surface of the flesh. If you feel anything, use tweezers to pick the bones out.
- Cooking Spray: This is to coat the bottom of the basket so the fish doesn’t stick to it while it’s cooking.
- Salmon Marinade: A combination of garlic, ginger, scallions, extra virgin olive oil, soy sauce, and mirin, to infuses the fillets with Asian flavors.
Using Frozen Salmon
I personally prefer using fresh fish because it’s more flavorful and the texture is also firmer. But if you happen to have frozen salmon in your freezer, you can use it for this recipe. Thaw the salmon first – some people like to defrost it in milk as it apparently removes some of the fishy taste. I’ve never tried it though – pat it dry, and then marinate it.
How To Tell If Salmon Is Bad
- Use your nose: if the fish has a very strong fishy or amonia-like smell, it’s probably bad. Fresh salmon doesn’t have a strong scent.
- Look for a coating. A milky, translucent film that sits on top of your fillet is a sign that your fish has gone bad.
- Good salmon has a firm and almost bouncy consistency. Bad salmon has soft consistency that almost breaks up when handling it.
How To Cook Salmon In An Air Fryer
- Make the marinade and marinate the salmon fillets for at least 30 minutes.
- Set the air fryer to 360ºF and warm it up for a few minutes before using.
- Cover the bottom of the air fryer basket with a little cooking spray and place the salmon fillets.
- Cook for 10 minutes.
- Serve with your favorite sides. Enjoy!
Skip the marinating process and coat the fillets with a little cooking spray and a sprinkle of salt. Cook for the same amount of time and serve with homemade szechuan sauce or teriyaki sauce.
No Air Fryer? No Big Deal! Try These Cooking Methods
Move the oven rack to the highest position in the oven. Cover a cooking tray with parchment paper and place the salmon steaks on top. Broil for about 10-12 minutes while keeping an eye on the fillets since the surface of the fish can burn very quickly.
Baking in Oven
Preheat the oven to 420ºF. Cover a cooking tray with parchment paper and place the salmon steaks on top. Bake in the oven for 12-15 minutes, until the fillets are cooked through.
Spray the pan with cooking spray and turn the heat to medium high. When the pan is hot, add the fillets and sear on each side for 3-4 minutes, or until cooked through.
Side Dishes For Salmon
Salmon has a delicate flavor that pairs well with just about anything. In keeping with the Asian theme of this recipe, I recommend serving these delicious air fryer salmon fillets with a side of white or brown rice (or pasta if you prefer noodles) and with Asian flavored vegetables such as:
- Japanese watercress salad
- Chinese broccoli with garlic sauce (gai lan)
- Iceberg lettuce with Japanese restaurant style ginger dressing
- Sauteed asparagus with garlic and oyster sauce
- Chinese shredded potatoes with vinegar and chili
Did you like this Ginger Garlic Air Fryer Salmon Recipe? Are there changes you made that you would like to share? Share your tips and recommendations in the comments section below!Print
Ginger Garlic Air Fryer Salmon
Marinated in a simple ginger garlic sauce, these salmon fillets are crispy on the outside and perfectly moist on the inside.
- Prep Time: 5 minutes
- Cook Time: 10 minutes
- Total Time: 15 minutes + 30 minutes passive time
- Yield: 2 1x
- Category: Fish
- Method: Air fryer
- Cuisine: Chinese
- 2 boneless, skinless salmon fillets, 4 ounces each (1/4 pound each)
- Cooking spray
- 2 garlic cloves, minced
- 1 tablespoon ginger, peeled and grated
- 2 tablespoons scallions, minced
- 1 tablespoon extra virgin olive oil
- 2 tablespoons soy sauce
- 2 tablespoons mirin
- Put all the ingredients for the marinade in a bowl and whisk well.
- Place the salmon in a reusable storage bag and add pour in the marinade.
- Seal the bag and marinate the salmon in the fridge for at least 30 minutes, no more than 4 hours. The longer you leave it, the more moist and flavorful it will be. I like to marinate my fish for about 90 minutes.
- Set Air fryer to 360ºF and wait 4-5 minutes to warm it up. Spray the bottom of the air fryer basket and place the salmon fillets. Cook for 10 minutes or until desired doneness.
These air fryer salmon fillets will keep in the fridge for up to 2 days in an airtight storage container.
- Serving Size: 1 fillet
- Calories: 263
- Sugar: 7.1 g
- Sodium: 1185.7 mg
- Fat: 12.4 g
- Saturated Fat: 1.9 g
- Carbohydrates: 9.9 g
- Fiber: 0.4 g
- Protein: 27.4 g
- Cholesterol: 57.8 mg
Keywords: recipe, fish and seafood, main, dinner,
Do you keep the skin on? Do you put skin side up or down to start cooking?
Hi Lori! I like to keep the skin on, facing down, but that’s optional 🙂
Well another easy and fabulous recipe Caroline! My husband and I loved this marinated salmon for the air fryer. Tasty, moist and so easy. Love expanding my air fryer repetoire! Domo arigatou gozaimasu!
Thank you so much Debra! 🙂
I tried this tonight…followed exact recipe. My garlic and ginger burnt on top and got bitter which wasnt very pleasant. Should I scrape off before cooking? Or maybe lower the temperature? TIA
Hi Kien! I haven’t had that problem so my guess is that it could be a temperature issue. Try lowering it a little next time and see if this helps. I hope it turns out good 🙂
We’ve been eating this almost every single week since I found it! It’s SO delicious and simple. We love food with an Asian flare and this is just too good not to make! The crispier the better for us. Thank you!
Thank you so much Marla! 🙂
I didn’t have Mirin, but really wanted to try this. I used 1T sugar mixed with 2T dry sherry as substitute and found it works really well. Will be adding Mirin to my pantry soon.
Wonderful Audrey, thank you for sharing! 🙂
I must say that I really like salmon, and I’m always in search of new recipes on how to cook it. I like your recipe, it is quite simple to prepare and does not require a large number of ingredients. As everybody knows, simplicity is a sign of good taste. I also like that the cooking process does not take much time, and we can cook dinner for an hour with all the ingredients. I had never heard of mirin before, this product was an interesting discovery for me. Thank you for the creative ideas!