Deliciously Crunchy Air Fryer Salmon Bites

Salmon might just be one of the most perfect proteins to cook in an air fryer. The natural fattiness of the salmon crisps up beautifully in the hot air of the fryer, and there’s no mess or splatter to clean up. If you like the crunchy air-fried texture of a salmon filet, you’ll love cubed salmon bites. The shape gives you even more browned edges and baked-on sauce flavor with each piece. The small morsels are fun to use as a skewered appetizer, but they’re also a tasty addition to a grain bowl or salad. 

Cooking salmon in the air fryer in bite-sized chunks eliminates the stress of turning the fish over as it pan-fries and reduces your cooking time by several minutes, too. And cutting your salmon filets into squares has another bonus: You can keep the thinner belly portion separate from cubes of the thicker areas and time the cooking of each one to perfect doneness. 

Salmon bites are ready in a flash

Close-up of salmon bites in a rice bowl with avocados

You don’t need much in the way of fancy technique to get started on your air-fried salmon bite journey, just a knife, a cutting board, and your air fryer. If you enjoy eating crispy salmon skin, feel free to keep the skin on when you cut your filet, but the texture can be a little challenging to cut through – so be sure your knife is sharp! Also, check for any pin bones in the flesh before cutting. 

You’ll want bite-sized cubes of fish, no larger than about an inch and a half. Keeping them all about the same size helps with even cooking. They’ll need about six to eight minutes in the air fryer at 400 degrees Fahrenheit to become fork-tender and fully cooked. Salmon bites are delicious with just a simple salt and pepper seasoning or a sprinkle of a seedy spice blend like herby sesame homemade za’atar for extra crunch. 

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Toss them with your favorite teriyaki sauce or a simple squeeze of lemon and olive oil. Of course, the sweet heat of a Korean-inspired marinade created for air-fried salmon would be a great match, too. The sweetness makes even more caramelized corners, and the spices balance out the richness of the salmon. It’s hard to go wrong here; salmon works with so many flavor combinations.

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