This air fryer teriyaki salmon recipe is perfect for preparing soft and delicious teriyaki salmon in a fuss-free and easy way! The salmon always turns out perfectly cooked while the sauce has the best flavor and is super simple to prepare.
If you love to use your air fryer to prepare meals in an easy and fuss-free way, I highly recommend trying this air fryer teriyaki salmon! What I love most about cooking salmon in the air fryer is that it always turns out perfectly cooked and moist without any dryness or oil splattering.
Plus, the teriyaki sauce is incredibly delicious and can be easily prepared while the salmon is in the air fryer. And if you want to add some vegetables to your meal, you can make some air fryer asparagus or air fryer cauliflower in the same basket!
Air Fryer Teriyaki Salmon Ingredients
To make this air fryer teriyaki salmon you'll need the following ingredients:
- Salmon: You'll need equally sized salmon filets for this recipe. You can use either fresh or frozen salmon. If you use frozen salmon, make sure to thaw it before using it. I also recommend leaving the skin on and taking it off after the salmon filets are cooked.
- Soy sauce: I recommend using low-sodium soy sauce or regular soy sauce that is thinned with some water. Regular Japanese soy sauce (I love Kikkoman, their soy sauce is great!) makes the sauce quite salty. You can always add a little more regular soy sauce if you feel like the sauce is lacking saltiness.
- Sake: Sake is part of traditional teriyaki sauce and can be found in most Asian grocery stores. You can also order it online.
- Mirin: Mirin is a sweet Japanese cooking wine that is also traditionally used for teriyaki sauce. You can find it in any Asian grocery store or online.
- Honey: Traditionally, you'd use white sugar to make teriyaki sauce. I personally love to use honey. You could also use brown sugar. It just really depends on how you want your teriyaki sauce to taste. So feel free to pick a sweetener of your choice to make the sauce.
- Cornstarch (optional): Teriyaki sauce can easily burn if it's heated too much. Plus, it takes some time to make teriyaki sauce thicken naturally. So if you want to ensure that it doesn't burn and want to speed up the process, feel free to use a cornstarch slurry (equal parts of water and cornstarch whisked together). That's why I'd recommend having it on hand.
- Toppings (optional): Sliced green onions and sesame seeds taste great when sprinkled over your finished teriyaki salmon filets!
How to make air fryer teriyaki salmon
Preheat and season. First, preheat the air fryer to 400°F (200°C). Season the salmon filets with salt and pepper to taste.
Air fry. Place the seasoned salmon filets skin-side down in the air fryer basket and cook them for 7-9 minutes until cooked through.
Prepare the teriyaki sauce. In the meantime, add all teriyaki sauce ingredients to a pan and stir until combined. Bring the sauce to a very gentle simmer and let it cook until reduced and thickened. Make sure to not burn the sauce and feel free to add some cornstarch slurry to speed up the process and avoid any burning.
Combine. Place the salmon filets in the pan and cover them in teriyaki sauce. Garnish (optional) and enjoy!
Tips & Notes
- Make sure that the salmon filets are cooked through but don't overcook them. Cooked salmon easily flakes and has a pale pink color. You could also use an instant-read thermometer to check if the internal temperature has reached 130°F (salmon is safe to eat at 145°F but usually continues to cook after removing it from the air fryer, especially when adding it to a hot pan).
- Adjust the flavor of the sauce to taste. Start with the recipe as specified in the recipe box at the end of this post. Then add more sugar/honey for additional sweetness or soy sauce for more saltiness. You could also add minced garlic and ginger to the sauce to add some additional flavor.
- Make sure that you don't accidentally burn the sauce. It definitely has happened to me before and it really alters the flavor of the sauce. So make sure to gently simmer the sauce and if you see the sugars burning, add some water and use a cornstarch slurry to thicken the sauce in a fuss-free way.
- Have some cornstarch on hand in case you need it. As teriyaki sauce can burn while you reduce it naturally, I recommend keeping some cornstarch on hand. It thickens the sauce very quickly so that you don't run the risk of burning it. It also makes things a lot quicker!
How to serve teriyaki salmon
- Serve it with some white rice on the side. I recommend using short-grain white rice for any Japanese meal. It tastes great with teriyaki salmon and makes your meal more filling and satiating. If you prefer another type of rice, feel free to prepare it instead.
- Prepare a miso soup for your meal. Miso soup is a Japanese staple that can be served alongside a variety of dishes. It tastes really great and is actually super easy to make! You can use my miso soup recipe to make authentic Japanese miso soup.
- Add some vegetable side dishes to your meal. I often add some freshly cut vegetables or vegetable side dishes to my Japanese meals. Kimchi is one of my favorites as it can be stored in the refrigerator for a long time (yep, it's Korean but tastes really great with teriyaki dishes!). Feel free to pick your favorites for your meal!
- Prepare a small side salad with Japanese sesame dressing. Just chop some lettuce, tomato, and cucumber. Then drizzle the sesame dressing over the salad. It tastes really great and can be prepared super quickly!
Frequently Asked Questions
The teriyaki sauce in this recipe is authentic. The method of air frying is not as authentic or traditional, but it works really great!
Yes, you need to thaw it. So be sure to take it out of the freezer the day before you plan to make this air fryer teriyaki salmon. In case you forgot to thaw it, place it in a bowl filled with cold water (I keep it packaged in plastic) and wait until it has thawed fully before using it.
Place it in a bowl filled with cold water and occasionally drain and refill the bowl. It's the quickest method to defrost frozen salmon in a safe way. I recommend keeping the plastic packaging on until the salmon is ready to use.
I recommend using the air fryer if you struggle with cooking salmon! It has quickly become my favorite way of cooking salmon as it always turns out perfectly moist and tender when you make it in the air fryer. Plus, you don't have to deal with any oil splattering.
You probably overcooked it accidentally. I love to use the air fryer for salmon as it always stays super moist and delicious. If you stick to the temperature and times as specified in the recipe box, the salmon should not dry out.
Salmon usually takes 7-9 minutes, depending on how thick the salmon filets you are using are.
When you place the salmon skin-side down in the air fryer, it shouldn't stick. All of the fat usually keeps the salmon from sticking. If your salmon filets are still sticking, then spray or brush the basket with some oil. Or simply use a baking sheet. Just make sure that the baking sheet is trimmed so that it can't touch the heating elements of your air fryer!
You can store leftovers in an airtight container in your refrigerator for 2-3 days. When you are ready to reheat them, place them in a microwave until hot again.
More simple and delicious Japanese-inspired recipes
If you love Japanese and Japanese-inspired dishes, I recommend trying the following recipes. They are super easy to make, taste amazing, and are either authentic or inspired by authentic Japanese dishes.
Air Fryer Teriyaki Salmon
- 4 4.5-ounce salmon filets if you use larger salmon filets, you may have to make more sauce
- salt and pepper to taste
- 3 tablespoons low-sodium soy sauce
- 3 tablespoons sake
- 3 tablespoons mirin
- 1 ½ tablespoons honey or white sugar
- cornstarch slurry (optional, if needed) equal parts of water and cornstarch whisked together
- sesame seeds and sliced green onion (optional) for garnish
- First, preheat your air fryer to 400 °F (200 °C). Then season the salmon filets with salt and pepper.4 4.5-ounce salmon filets, salt and pepper
- Place the salmon filets in the air fryer basket skin-side down and air fry them for 7-9 minutes until cooked through.
- In the meantime, add all sauce ingredients to a pan and stir until combined. Then bring the sauce to a very gentle simmer and let it thicken. Make sure to not burn the sauce. You can add some cornstarch slurry (equal parts water and cornstarch whisked together) to thicken the sauce if it doesn't thicken naturally or the sauce starts to burn.3 tablespoons low-sodium soy sauce, 3 tablespoons sake, 3 tablespoons mirin, 1 ½ tablespoons honey or white sugar
- Place the salmon filets in the teriyaki sauce and cover them in the sauce.
- Garnish the teriyaki salmon filets with sesame seeds and sliced green onion (optional). Enjoy!sesame seeds and sliced green onion (optional)