Make a quick and easy teriyaki salmon dish with homemade authentic Japanese teriyaki sauce. Enjoy the convenience of baking it in the oven or using an air fryer for a hassle-free cleanup.
Teriyaki Salmon Air Fryer
Here’s why this is my go-to recipe for making salmon teriyaki:
- Perfectly cooked salmon fillets that are tender, moist, and flaky.
- No marination is needed–the salmon and sauce are cooked together in a foil allowing the flavor of the sauce to infuse in the fish.
- No fishy taste, thanks to two not-so-secret ingredients: ginger and garlic.
- Uses homemade authentic Japanese teriyaki sauce which is undeniably superior to store-bought versions. Trust me, the effort of preparing your own teriyaki sauce is truly worthwhile.
- Easy clean-up! This recipe eliminates the need for a pan, or baking dish and prevents oil splatters.
What you need
Here are the ingredients to make the best salmon teriyaki at home:
Choose fresh, high-quality salmon fillets for the best flavor and texture. Look for firm flesh with vibrant color and minimal odor.
Garlic and Ginger
The secret to making the best teriyaki salmon is using grated garlic and ginger. Their zesty aroma enhances the flavor of the fish, masking its “fishy taste”.
Salmon Teriyaki Sauce
To make the best authentic teriyaki sauce for salmon you will need equal amounts of soy sauce, mirin, and sake. Sugar is then added to make it sweet and to balance the savory flavors.
Here are some tips regarding each of the ingredients:
For authentic Japanese teriyaki sauce, I recommend using regular soy sauce, specifically avoiding dark or low sodium soy sauce, tamari, and sweet soy sauce. I personally prefer the brand Kikkoman soy sauce when making Japanese and Korean dishes as I always get great results.
Mirin is a sweet rice wine that is an essential ingredient in Japanese cuisine. It adds a unique flavor profile to teriyaki sauce contributing sweetness, depth, and subtle acidity.
There are different types of mirin available in the market–traditional mirin or “hon mirin” and “aji-mirin.” Hon mirin refers to true mirin, which is brewed through the traditional fermentation process. Aji-mirin, on the other hand, is a milder, sweeter, and cheaper version of mirin which is what I used in this recipe.
Sake is a Japanese rice wine that is made through a fermentation process using rice, water, and koji (a mold that converts starches to sugars). It essentially dilutes the saltiness of the soy sauce and adds depth of flavor, aroma, and complexity to teriyaki sauce.
A good substitute for sake is water or broth and dry sherry. Some say Shaoxing wine also works but I find its aroma too overpowering for a teriyaki sauce.
When making homemade teriyaki sauce, my personal preference is brown sugar. Its molasses content makes the sauce richer with deeper caramel-like sweetness and color.
If you prefer a cleaner and lighter sweetness, white sugar can also work well.
How to Make Salmon Teriyaki
This easy teriyaki salmon recipe requires minimal preparation. By following these steps, you can do this anytime even on a busy weeknight. Here’s how:
1. Prepare the salmon
Remove pin bones (long, thin, needle-like bones) before cooking. Locate them by running your fingers along the length of the fillet then pull them at an angle using a clean pair of tweezers.
Divide a pound of salmon into 2 pieces then place in a bowl or directly in a heavy-duty greased foil. Rub with vegetable oil, salt, fresh garlic, and ginger. You can also use ground ginger and garlic powder for convenience.
2. Make the sauce
It’s as easy as combining all the teriyaki sauce ingredients in a bowl. Stir well until sugar is dissolved. There’s no need to pre-cook the sauce. You’ll see why later.
3. Cook the salmon
- To start, preheat your oven or air-fryer to 400°F/ 200°C.
- Create an open packet for the salmon using heavy-duty aluminum foil. This is important for two reasons. First, it helps create a delicious crispy crust on the outside of the fish. Second, it naturally thickens the sauce, so you don’t need to add cornstarch slurry.
- Grease the aluminum foil to prevent the fish from sticking. Carefully place the salmon on the foil with the skin side down.
- Pour the teriyaki sauce all over the salmon. Fold the edges of the foil, covering the sauce on the sides, but don’t seal it completely. Make sure the flesh of the fish is still exposed.
- Bake the salmon until fully opaque, firm, flaky yet silky. Garnish with scallions/ green onion and sesame seeds on top while still warm.
How to Check Salmon Doneness
The cooking time for salmon can vary depending on the thickness of the fillet and the cooking method used, whether in an air-fryer or oven. Here are some general guidelines:
Preheat the air-fryer to 400°F/200°C. For a standard 1-inch thick salmon fillet, cook for about 8 to 10 minutes. Check for doneness by gently flaking the fish with a fork. If it easily flakes and reaches an internal temperature of 145°F (63°C), it is done. Adjust the cooking time accordingly for thicker or thinner fillets.
Preheat the oven to 400°F/200°C. For a 1-inch thick fillet, bake for approximately 12 to 15 minutes. Again, check for doneness by gently flaking the fish and ensuring it reaches an internal temperature of 145°F (63°C).
Remember, these are general guidelines, and actual cooking times may vary based on the specific characteristics of your salmon and the equipment used.
A properly cooked salmon will easily flake with a gentle fork or touch. If the salmon is still translucent and does not flake easily, it may need more cooking time. However, be cautious not to overcook the salmon, as it can become dry and less flavorful.
What to Serve with Salmon Teriyaki
These side dishes complement the flavors of teriyaki salmon. Choose one or a combination of these options to create a delicious meal
- Steamed Rice
- Stir-fried Vegetables
- Grilled Asparagus
- Steamed Broccoli
- Mixed Green Salad
- Sesame Noodles
- Miso Soup
- Green beans
- Cucumber Salad
- Sautéed Mushrooms
- Steamed or blanched Bok Choy
More salmon recipes
- Sushi Salmon Bake
- Easy Tom Yum Soup with Salmon
- Korean Spicy Salmon with Gochujang
- Salmon Fried Rice
- Coconut Curry Salmon with Mango
Teriyaki Salmon Air Fryer
- 1 pound salmon fillet, divided (with or without skin)
- ½ teaspoon grated ginger
- ½ teaspoon grated garlic
- ¼ teaspoon salt
- 2-3 teaspoon oil
Homemade Salmon Teriyaki Sauce
- scallions/ spring onion (slice)
- Preheat oven or air-fryer to 375°F/ 190°C.
- Prepare salmon – Divide salmon into 2 pieces (if preferred) and place in a bowl. Rub with 2 teaspoons of oil, salt, garlic, and ginger. Set aside.1 pound salmon fillet, divided, 1/2 teaspoon grated ginger, 1/2 teaspoon grated garlic, 1/4 teaspoon salt
- Make the sauce – Combine all the teriyaki sauce ingredients in a bowl. Stir until the sugar has dissolved. Taste and adjust sugar based on preference.2 tbsp soy sauce, 2 tbsp mirin, 2 tbsp sake
- Create an open packet for the salmon using heavy-duty aluminum foil. Lightly grease with vegetable oil to prevent the fish from sticking.
- Place salmon in the foil and pour teriyaki sauce all over. Fold the edges of the foil, covering the sauce on the sides, but don't seal it completely. Make sure the flesh of the fish is still exposed.
- Cook salmon for 8 to 9 minutes in an air-fryer or 12-5 minutes in an oven until cooked. Check for doneness by gently flaking the fish with a fork. It is done when it's opaque, firm, flaky yet silky.
- Serve – Transfer cooked salmon to a plate, and spoon over with the thickened sauce. Sprinkle with scallions/spring onions while still warm. Serve with rice and enjoy!
Recipe Notes & Tips:
- Sake – substitute with water or broth if not available.
- Cooking time – The cooking time for salmon can vary depending on the thickness of the fillet. For a standard 1-inch thick salmon fillet, cook for about 8 to 10 minutes in an air-fryer and 12 to 15 minutes in the oven.
Originally published July 2015. Updated May 2023 with new photos and a streamlined recipe after further testing to improve the recipe!
Riverten Kitchen is a participant in the Amazon Services LLC Associates Program, an affiliate advertising program designed to provide a means for sites to earn advertising fees by advertising and linking to amazon.com