Spice up your weeknight dinner with these air fried teriyaki salmon bites! They have a sweet crispy outside with a soft flaky inside and are cooked in no time in the air fryer. Placed on top of a bed of brown rice with edamame and avocado and drizzled in a creamy spicy yogurt sauce, they're sure to be a dish the whole family will love!
If you're a "dinner in a bowl" type of person like me, you're going to love these rice bowls with fried salmon bites. This is a dish that looks complicated but is actually simple and easy to whip up. You get well rounded meal with carbs, protein, and fat, the whole sha-bang! Even kids will love it!
What Are Salmon Bites?
Salmon bites are like chicken nuggets but in salmon form. Since we are air frying them though, there isn't any breading involved which makes things simpler and a little healthier. The air fryer is great too because you don't have to deal with hot oil in your home.
Salmon is known for its incredible fatty acids and lean protein which makes these bites both fun and nutrient dense. They make a great addition to an easy weeknight meal with fresh veggies or a delicious appetizer paired with a dipping sauce.
Ingredients And Substitutions
- Salmon fillets - You can use fresh fish or frozen. Atlantic salmon is what I used in this recipe but sockeye or king salmon will work as well. Skinless salmon makes things easy but you can easily remove the skin if needed with a sharp knife.
- Coconut aminos - This adds a teriyaki flavor to the salmon without the need for soy sauce. Soy sauce will work too.
- Sesame oil - Used in the teriyaki marinade to provide a subtle nutty taste. A bland olive oil or lightly flavored oil will work as well.
- Garlic powder - This is used in the teriyaki marinade. Fresh chopped garlic can be used too if you have it on hand.
- Honey - Adds sweetness to the sauce and helps to create crispy salmon bites.
- Yogurt - Used for the creamy spicy yogurt sauce. Make sure it's room temperature. I used 0% greek yogurt but any type of plain yogurt or dairy-free yogurt will work.
- Hot sauce - Added to the yogurt sauce to give it a kick. Sriracha is a great substitute and won't be as spicy.
- Brown rice - This is the base of the bowls. I used brown rice but white rice or quinoa are great substitutes.
How To Make Air Fried Salmon Bites
You will need a small mixing bowl for the marinade and an air fryer to make these crispy salmon nuggets.
Step 1 : Cut the salmon into chunks
First, pat the salmon dry with a paper towel. This will make it easier to handle with your hands.
Use a sharp knife to cut the salmon filets into small 2 inch chunks. If your fillet still has the skin on, remove the skin before you cut the fillet into bite-size cubes.
Step 2 : Make the marinade
In a small bowl, mix together the marinade ingredients and add the salmon pieces. Gently toss the salmon so each piece is covered in the sauce. Let the salmon sit in the marinade for at least 3 minutes. If making this ahead of time, you can leave the salmon in the marinade in a covered container for up to 24 hours in the fridge.
Step 3 : Air Fry
Spray the bottom of an air fryer basket with cooking spray. Place the salmon mixture into the basket in a single layer, spacing them apart at least 1 inch. Cook the salmon with medium heat for 7 minutes in the air fryer. The edges of the bites will get crispy and the teriyaki sauce will caramelize while the center of the tender salmon bites will become soft and flaky.
After 7 minutes, the salmon will have an internal temperature of about 140 degrees fahrenheit which is typically a fillet cooked "medium". If you prefer your salmon cooked more "medium-well" adjust the time to 8 - 9 minutes.
Step 4 : Make the cream sauce
While the salmon is cooking, mix the yogurt, hot sauce, cayenne pepper, paprika, sesame oil, and sea salt in a separate bowl with a spoon. Mix well until the sauce begins to thin out and the spices are well incorporated.
Step 5 : Assemble
To assemble the bowls, spoon the cooked brown rice into the bottom of a bowl. Place a few cooked air fryer salmon bites on top, sprinkle some edamame into a section of the bowl followed by a few slices of avocado, and top if all off with a drizzle of yogurt sauce. Spoon a bit of the reserved marinade over the salmon and enjoy!
- Save some of the marinade and drizzle it over top of the cooked salmon for some extra teriyaki flavor.
- For easy clean up, line the air fryer basket with aluminum foil.
- Make sure to space out the marinated salmon cubes in the basket of your air fryer basket so they aren't touching each other. This will allow the entire salmon bite to get crispy.
Frequently Asked Questions
Yes, these bites can also be made on the stove. Heat up some olive oil over medium heat and spread out the salmon cubes in the pan. Cook for 3 minutes before flipping each salmon cube over to cook for another 3 minutes until the edges are crispy.
You can go ahead prepare the marinade ahead of time. Place the salmon chunks with the marinade in an airtight container for 24 hours in the fridge. Air fry the salmon cubes when ready to enjoy and assemble the rice bowls as directed.
If you want to cook the salmon bites ahead of time, I recommend under cooking them slightly in the air fryer for only 5 minutes. Then when ready to enjoy reheat them back in the air fryer for 2 minutes or heat them on the stove or microwave.
Store the cooked salmon bites in an air tight container in the fridge where they will keep for up to 4 days. Warm them back up in the air fryer, on the stove, or in the microwave when ready to enjoy.
Yes, swap the yogurt for dairy free yogurt to make this dish dairy free.
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Air Fried Teriyaki Salmon Bites Rice Bowl
- 2 filets salmon - I used Atlantic but King or Sockeye will work too
- 2 tablespoon coconut aminos
- 1 teaspoon sesame oil
- 1 tablespoon honey
- ½ teaspoon garlic powder
- ½ teaspoon sea salt
For the spicy yogurt sauce
- ¼ cup plain yogurt - I used 0% greek yogurt but any type of yogurt will work
- 1 teaspoon hot sauce
- ½ teaspoon chipotle powder
- ½ teaspoon paprika
- 1 teaspoon olive oil
For the rice bowls
- 2 cups cooked brown rice
- ½ cup cooked edamame
- ½ avocado
- Pat your salmon filets dry with a paper towel (this makes it easier to handle with your hands). Use a sharp knife to cut the skin off the filet if needed. Then cut the salmon filets into 2 inch cubes.
- Add the coconut aminos, sesame oil, honey, garlic powder, and sea salt to a bowl and mix. Reserve a tablespoon of the marinade in a separate bowl (you can use this later to drizzle on top). Then add the salmon cubes to the large marinade bowl and gently toss together to coat. Allow the salmon to sit for at least 3 minutes to soak up the liquid.
- Place the marinated salmon in the bottom of an air fryer basket, leaving space in between each one. Cook the salmon at 400 F for 7 minutes in the air fryer. The edges of each cube will get crispy and the teriyaki sauce will caramelize.
- While the salmon is cooking, prepare the spicy yogurt sauce in a small bowl by mixing together the yogurt, hot sauce, chipotle powder, paprika, and olive oil with a spoon until well combined.
- To assemble the bowls, place 1 cup of cooked brown rice into the bottom of a bowl. Spoon a few of the fried salmon bites over top followed by a handful of edamame in a section of the bowl and a few avocado slices in another. Spoon some of the reserved marinade over top of the salmon bites and then drizzle the whole bowl with some spicy yogurt sauce and enjoy!