The Best Way to Cook Salmon is also the easiest: air fryer salmon takes 4 ingredients, 8 minutes, and is so easy, and so very perfectly moist and flavourful that you’ll be tempted to have it every night!
The beauty of the air fryer salmon recipes is that all you need to do is “dress” your salmon with whatever flavours you like. The air fryer does all the heavy lifting for you.
In today’s recipe, I make our family’s favourite salmon with just 4 ingredients and of those 2 are garnishes. Those four ingredients are salmon, bottled unagi sauce, furikake, and green onions.
Salmon in Air Fryer
The air fryer is far and away the best way to cook salmon. You can start with frozen salmon that you’ve thawed according to package instructions or fresh salmon.
The better the salmon is to begin with, the more impressive your results will be when you cook salmon in the air fryer. I love Wegman’s fresh, wild caught skin-on salmon fillets, but you can also use skinless fillets.
If you’re using frozen salmon fillets, you will need to thaw them according to the package instructions. This best way to cook salmon method is not designed to be made with fish that is still frozen.
Regarding the size of the fillets, you can go with one single large fillet that you break into individual servings after cooking, or you can use 4 individual sized fillets. Remember, too, that salmon does not need to be cooked until it is dry.
Salmon is at its best when it is cooked to between 120˚ and 125˚F. You want to go closer to the lower end for wild caught salmon and closer to the upper end for farmed salmon.
Best Seasoning for Salmon
I think the Japanese have locked up the best seasoning for salmon. It is as easy as unagi sauce and furikake, for me. These seasonings make the best way to cook salmon, too.
It is spectacular and adds another level of savoury umami to whatever you serve with it. And thankfully, using it is as easy as sprinkling it over fish, vegetables, or rice.
If you do not have furikake and don’t want to shop for it or make it, you can substitute some toasted sesame seeds and a little
Unagi sauce is a sticky, savoury, sweet glaze made of sugar, soy sauce, mirin, and sake that makes everything more delicious. Unagi sauce is also known as “eel sauce” but it has exactly zero eel in it, in case that concerns you.
So why call it eel sauce? Simply because it is commonly served with grilled eel.
I either buy it at the grocery store in the sushi supplies section or purchase it at a local Asian market. If your stores are less robustly stocked, though, unagi sauce is available on Amazon.com, too.
Air Fryer Salmon
I tend to be a little hesitant to recommend gadgets, because whether or not it works for folks tends to be a highly individual thing. That said, I think every kitchen should have an air fryer.
Even if you don’t think of yourself as a person who eats a lot of fried foods (and by the way, french fries in an air fryer are CRAZY GOOD!), I think an air fryer is indispensable. For example, this air fryer salmon is reason enough to own an air fryer, in my book.
I do have an air fryer that I am steadfastly loyal too, both because of price and size. It doesn’t do me any good to have a tiny air fryer because there’s more than one person in my household.
I wouldn’t go any smaller than this one that I recommend because one of the things that makes an air fryer such an efficient cooking method is having air circulate around the food you’re cooking. The best way to cook salmon is a perfect example of this recipe.
Whether you size up (to make enough to feed 4) or stick with the recipe recommendations to feed four, or size down to feed 2, you’ll want that space. This air fryer is positively perfect in every way, like Mary Poppins.
Best Way to Cook Salmon
Preheat your air fryer using a preheat setting or at 400°F. Lay salmon fillets on a plate and drizzle evenly with unagi sauce.
When the air fryer has reached temperature, carefully arrange the salmon fillets in the air fryer basket in a single layer with a little space between them.
Set the air fryer to 350˚F. Cook for 8 minutes.
After 8 minutes, use a flexible metal spatula to slide under each fillet and transfer it to a serving plate. Sprinkle generously with furikake and scatter the green onions over the top. Serve hot, warm, room temperature, or cold.
Best Way to Cook Salmon – Air Fryer Salmon
- air fryer
- 1 pound skin on salmon fillets fresh or thawed from frozen
- 1 tablespoon unagi sauce or teriyaki glaze
- 1 1/2 teaspoons furikake
- 3 green onions root ends trimmed away and thinly sliced
- Preheat your air fryer using a preheat setting or at 400°F. Lay salmon fillets on a plate and drizzle evenly with unagi sauce.
- When the air fryer has reached temperature, carefully arrange the salmon fillets in the air fryer basket in a single layer with a little space between them.
- Set the air fryer to 350˚F. Cook for 8 minutes.
- After 8 minutes, use a flexible metal spatula to slide under each fillet and transfer it to a serving plate. Sprinkle generously with furikake and scatter the green onions over the top. Serve hot, warm, room temperature, or cold.