These crispy and flavorful air fryer salmon bites are coated in a healthy homemade teriyaki sauce and are so easy to make in less than 15 minutes. Serve with rice and veggies for a quick, high-protein weeknight meal!
The best crispy air fryer salmon bites
Does anyone else love teriyaki sauce? I am obsessed and some of my favorites are these teriyaki turkey meatballs, teriyaki salmon buddha bowl, and air fryer teriyaki chicken. If you’re like me, you need to try this recipe – because words cannot describe how much I love these crispy and flavorful air fryer salmon bites. They are tender, flakey, and coated in the most delicious homemade low-sugar teriyaki sauce.
This recipe is perfect for a quick weeknight dinner. You will be in and out of the kitchen in 15 minutes. In fact, salmon bites are the easiest protein to air fry since they only take 6 minutes to cook!
I like to eat salmon once or twice a week since it’s full of healthy fats, protein, and Omega-3s. This is my favorite way to prepare it since the salmon bites are not only cute, but the edges are charred and covered in a sweet, sticky sauce.
I cannot wait for you to try these crispy air fryer salmon bites coated in my famous sticky, gluten-free homemade teriyaki sauce made from oranges. You are going to love it!
Why you’ll love this air fryer recipe
- Quick & Easy: Air fryer salmon bites only take 6 minutes to cook.
- No Oven: No need to wait for an oven to pre-heat or clean up tons of pans.
- So Flavorful: They are coated in a homemade teriyaki sauce made from fresh oranges.
- No Refined Sugar: The homemade teriyaki is made without refined sugars!
- Healthy: A healthy and wholesome weeknight dinner everyone will love.
- Fits your Dietary Needs: This recipe is gluten-free, paleo-friendly, and dairy-free.
- High-Protein: This recipe has over 35 grams of protein per serving.
- Meal Prep: Air fryer teriyaki salmon bites keep well for 5 days for meal prep.
- Kids Love It: I’ve tested it; kids love the salmon bites since they’re coated in a sticky teriyaki glaze.
- Try this everything bagel crusted salmon or these #1 ranked teriyaki salmon buddha bowls.
This super crispy air fryer salmon bites recipe with homemade teriyaki sauce only calls for simple ingredients. You’ll need salmon, soy sauce, an orange, and a few other ingredients. Here is a list of everything you need so you are prepared. Read the recipe card at the bottom of this blog post for exact measurements.
The Salmon Bites:
- Salmon: Use fresh or frozen fillets. Remove the skin and cut into 1-inch pieces. If frozen, thaw in the fridge for 6 hours or at room temperature for 2 hours. For a quick thaw, use lukewarm water for 30 minutes.
- Garnishes: Top your air fryer teriyaki salmon bites with toasted sesame seeds or sliced green onions.
Homemade Healthy Teriyaki Sauce:
- Arrowroot Starch: This helps thicken the homemade teriyaki sauce.
- Low-Sodium Soy Sauce: The base of the sauce for that classic salty flavor; use tamari if gluten-free.
- Orange: Juice from 1 large orange or 1/4 cup store-bought orange juice.
- Rice Vinegar: Adds the classic tangy teriyaki flavor.
- Honey: 2 or 3 tablespoons for natural sweetness, adjust to taste.
- Toasted Sesame Oil: Adds traditional flavor, use sparingly.
- Fresh Ginger: Adds authentic taste.
- Garlic Cloves: Two large cloves for great flavor. Garlic enhances the overall taste.
How to make crispy air fryer salmon bites
These tender and crispy air fryer salmon bites take 15 minutes to make and are coated in a homemade teriyaki glaze. It’s so easy to make that any level cook can do it! Here are step-by-step directions with pictures for visual reference:
First, dissolve the arrowroot starch in the cold water and set it to the side. Then, pat the salmon bites dry with paper towels.
Next, in a large cup or small mixing bowl, make the teriyaki sauce by whisking together all the ingredients. DO NOT add the starch water yet.
Then, in a shallow mixing bowl or large ziplock bag, toss the bite-sized pieces of salmon with ⅓ cup of the teriyaki sauce and let it marinate for 10 – 20 minutes.
Meanwhile, preheat your air fryer to 400°F and lightly spray with cooking oil. Then, add marinated salmon bites to the preheated air fryer, ensuring they do not overlap. Air fry for 4 – 6 minutes until cooked through a slightly crispy.
While the salmon is cooking, heat a small saucepan over medium-high heat and add the remaining teriyaki sauce. Bring the sauce to a rapid boil.
Once boiling, reduce heat to medium-low and whisk in the starch water. Simmer for 3 to 4 minutes, continually whisking until the sauce has thickened. Carefully taste the sauce and adjust the seasonings to your liking.
Finally, remove the salmon bites from the air fryer and glaze them with the remaining teriyaki sauce.
Then, serve your crispy air fryer teriyaki salmon bites on a bed of warm rice garnished with sesame seeds, thinly sliced green onion, and a side of your favorite roasted and steamed vegetables (I love broccoli or edamame).
Expert tips for crispy air fryer salmon bites
- Pat the salmon dry before marinating. This removes any extra liquid and ensures the salmon gets crispy edges.
- Cut the salmon bites into equal-sized pieces. This ensures that all the salmon bites cook evenly and at the same time.
- Don’t let the salmon bites overlap in the air fryer. They will not cook evenly if they do, and some pieces might be underdone.
- Marinate the salmon filets for 10 – 20 minutes for maximum flavor. This makes sure that the salmon locks in all the teriyaki flavor and is flakey when air-fried.
- Do not overcook the salmon bites. If you over-air fry the salmon bites, they will be dry.
Easy ingredient substitution
I only recommend substituting 1 or 2 ingredients since the original recipe is so delicious! Here are my recommendations:
- Salmon: Try using arctic char or trout for a “less fishy” option. These are the best substitutes for salmon.
- Honey: Substitute honey for maple syrup, coconut sugar, or light brown sugar.
- Soy Sauce: Swap the soy sauce out for tamari, which is gluten-free soy sauce, or coconut aminos for a paleo option.
- Arrowroot Starch: You can also use tapioca flour or corn starch.
- Fresh Ginger: Flavor-wise, freshly grated ginger is the best option. However, you can try using 1 teaspoon of ground ginger.
- Rice Vinegar: Substitute rice vinegar one-for-one with white wine vinegar.
- Orange: If you don’t have a fresh orange on hand, you can use 1/4 cup of store-bought orange juice, or you can use pineapple juice.
- Sesame Oil: You can use toasted sesame oil.
What to serve with teriyaki salmon
Teriyaki salmon goes well with so many side dishes! I love mine with a side of jasmine rice, sushi rice, or brown rice, and roasted broccoli, snap peas, or green beans, but you can also serve it with a stir fry or salad. These are my favorite side dishes to serve it them:
- Steamed Rice
- Stir-Fried Vegetables
- Cucumber Salad – try this spicy cucumber salad
- Noodles (Soba or Udon)
- Crispy Brussels sprouts – try these Honey Sriracha Brussel Sprouts
- Asian Slaw
- Miso Soup
- Avocado Salad
- Roasted Vegetables – try this Air Fryer Broccoli and Cauliflower
- Pickled Vegetables
- Sesame Garlic Green Beans – we love this Air Fryer Sesame Green Beans
- Something sweeter – try this caramelized Air Fryer Pineapple
Is teriyaki salmon healthy?
Air fryer teriyaki salmon bites are a healthy and balanced recipe for many reasons. Here are a few:
- High Protein: Each serving has over 35 grams per serving.
- Refined Sugar-Free: The homemade teriyaki sauce has no added cane sugar or refined sugars.
- Simple Ingredients: You only need wholesome and fresh ingredients to make this recipe.
- Gluten-Free: These air fryer salmon bites are 100% gluten-free.
- Dairy-Free: Plus, there is no dairy in this recipe!
Frequently Asked Questions
Do I have to let the salmon marinate?
I always recommend marinating your salmon bites in the teriyaki sauce for maximum flavor for 10 to 20 minutes. If necessary, drop this time down to 5 minutes or skip it and add extra teriyaki sauce at the end.
Can I use store-bought teriyaki sauce?
You can skip making your own teriyaki sauce and use 1/2 to 3/4 cup of bottled teriyaki sauce.
How do I prevent the salmon from sticking to the air fryer basket?
I recommend using air fryer parchment paper or lightly coating the basket with cooking spray.
Can I cook the salmon bites in the oven?
You can make these salmon bites in the oven, too. Preheat your oven to 400°F, add the marinaded salmon bites to a lined baking sheet, and bake for 5 – 8 minutes.
Can I sear the salmon bites on the stovetop?
You can also make these salmon bites in a pan on the stove. Preheat a saute pan to medium-high, add one tablespoon of olive oil, then add the marinaded salmon bites. Let the first side sear for 2 minutes, then stir and cook for another 3 – 5 minutes unit the salmon reaches your desired doneness.
Can I use frozen salmon?
You can certainly use frozen salmon for this recipe, too. Simply let the frozen salmon fillets thaw in the fridge for 6 hours before cooking, or leave them at room temperature for 2 hours. If you are in a rush, you can thaw them in a lukewarm water bath for 30 minutes.
Is this recipe gluten-free and dairy-free?
Yes, this salmon bites recipe is both gluten-free and dairy-free. Ensure you use tamari for the teriyaki sauce. Tamari is gluten-free soy sauce.
Can I freeze cooked salmon?
You can freeze cooked salmon for up to 6 months. Let it cool to room temperature, add it to freezer-safe tupperware or bags, and freeze. When you are ready to enjoy, let the cooked salmon defrost in the fridge overnight or reheat it in your air fryer by following the instructions below.
What temperature should I air fryer salmon bites?
Salmon bites should be air fried for 4 – 6 minutes at 400°F.
How to store and reheat leftovers:
Storing: Store leftovers in airtight containers in the refrigerator for up to 3 days.
Reheating: For best results, reheat teriyaki salmon bites in your air fryer at 350°F for 3 – 5 minutes or in a saute pan on medium heat for 5 – 8 minutes. If you are air frying, make sure to add aluminum foil or an air frying pan to the bottom of the basket, so the teriyaki sauce does not spill everywhere. You can also microwave them for 1 – 2 minutes until warm.
If you love this recipe, try these next!
- Teriyaki Salmon Buddha Bowl
- Asian Chicken Meatballs
- Air Fryer Teriyaki Chicken
- Furikake Salmon Bowls
- Healthy Teriyaki Turkey Meatballs
- Pineapple Teriyaki Turkey Burgers
- Spicy Cucumber Salad
Did you make this recipe?
If you make this recipe, be sure to comment and rate it down below. Also, don’t forget to tag me @healthfulblondie on Instagram and use the hashtag #healthfulblondie so I can see your delicious creation and share it with my followers!
Air Fryer Teriyaki Salmon Bites
- 4 (6oz) salmon fillets, skin removed and cut into 1-inch pieces
- Toasted sesame seeds, for garnish
- Green onion, thinly sliced for garnish
- 2 tsp arrowroot starch, or tapioca flour
- ¼ cup cold water
- ¼ cup low-sodium soy sauce, use tamari is gluten-free
- ¼ cup fresh orange juice, juice from 1 orange
- 1 tbsp rice vinegar
- 2 – 3 tbsp honey, based on your desired sweetness level
- ½ tsp sesame oil
- 1 tsp fresh grated ginger, very fine
- 2 – 3 large garlic cloves, minced
- Dissolve the arrowroot starch in the cold water and set it to the side. Pat the salmon bites dry with paper towels.
- In a large cup or small mixing bowl, make the teriyaki sauce by whisking together all the ingredients. DO NOT add the starch water yet.
- In a shallow mixing bowl or large ziplock bag, toss the bite-sized pieces of salmon with ⅓ cup of the teriyaki sauce. Let it marinate for 10 – 20 minutes.
- Preheat your air fryer to 400°F and lightly spray with cooking oil.
- Add marinated salmon bites to the preheated air fryer, making sure they do not overlap. Air fry for 4 – 6 minutes until cooked through a slightly crispy.
- While the salmon is cooking, heat a small saucepan over medium-high heat and add the remaining teriyaki sauce. Bring the sauce to a rapid boil. Once boiling, reduce heat to medium-low and whisk in the starch water. Simmer for 3 to 4 minutes, making sure to continually whisk until the sauce has thickened. Carefully taste the sauce and adjust the seasonings to your liking.
- Remove the salmon bites from the air fryer and glaze with the remaining teriyaki sauce.
- Serve on a bed of warm rice garnished with sesame seeds, thinly sliced green onion, and a side of your favorite roasted and steamed vegetables (I love broccoli and/or edamame).
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