Korean-Style Air Fryer Salmon Recipe

There's no shortage of air-fryer recipes around, and it's fair to say the convenient appliance has effectively taken the cooking world by storm with its popularity. While you may have only thought of making crispy snacks with it, an air-fryer can handle plenty more. In fact, it does an excellent job of turning a basic salmon fillet into a stellar dish you'll want to make on repeat. 

Recipe developer Joe Dillard of For Frying Out Loud created this flavorful Korean-styled air fryer salmon recipe which proves our point. The sticky gochujang glaze becomes caramelized as it cooks, amplifying the taste and texture. If you're always on the go and looking for a quick and delicious weeknight meal, you're in luck. According to Dillard, "this recipe comes together in just minutes and is full of spicy and sweet flavors." He also offers several suggestions to turn this easy main into a nutritious dinner we'd be happy to have any night of the week.

Gather the ingredients for this Korean-style air fryer salmon

Gochujang, a deep red, spicy, Korean condiment made of fermented red chiles, brings plenty of flair to this salmon recipe. "You can usually find this sauce in the international foods aisle at the grocery store," Dillard says. If you're worried about the spice factor, Dillard points out that it "is tampered down by the brown sugar, which creates a tasty caramelized spicy bite of salmon."

Next, you'll need soy sauce, the aforementioned light brown sugar, garlic and ginger paste (or minced fresh garlic and grated fresh ginger), sesame oil, and, or course, salmon fillets. Dillard suggests to "look for a vibrant orange-red coloring and clear white marbling" when picking out your fish. Finally, to garnish the dish, he recommends sliced green onions and toasted sesame seeds.

Prepare the sauce

Start by preheating your air fryer to 400 F while you prep the dish. Grab a medium bowl and combine the gochujang, soy sauce, brown sugar, garlic, ginger, and sesame oil. Whisk the ingredients properly until a uniform mixture forms. 

Coat the salmon with the sauce

Using paper towels, gently pat the salmon fillets dry — this will improve the texture as it cooks by eliminating excess moisture. At the same time, Dillard recommends to "check for pin bones." To do so, he instructs to "run your fingers along the fillets," noting that they can be felt by the touch. Simply pull them out with kitchen tweezers for a more pleasant dining experience. Then, use a silicone brush to coat each salmon fillet with the gochujang sauce mixture.

Pop the salmon into the air fryer

At this point, your air fryer should be at the correct temperature. Depending on the size of your appliance, you may need to work in batches. Place the salmon fillets into the basket and cook each batch for 10 minutes. Dillard describes that the fish will darken in color, becoming brown with caramelized edges. If you have a meat thermometer, he recommends cooking the salmon until the internal temperature is a minimum of 145 F.

Serve this tasty salmon warm

This Korean-style salmon will flake perfectly with each forkful you take. Sprinkle it with sliced green onions and toasted sesame seeds to garnish, if you'd like. Dillard recommends turning it into a balanced meal by serving it "with steamed rice and a side of vegetables," adding, "try a side of asparagus, green beans, or carrots alongside this delicious salmon." 

If you're a fan of saucy dishes and want more of this gochujang delight to serve with the salmon, our recipe developer suggests doubling the sauce recipe and keeping half apart for dipping. He cautions, "just be sure that you separate it before brushing it onto the fillets so that no raw meat is mixed into the sauce." 

Korean-Style Air Fryer Salmon Recipe
5 from 31 ratings
A sweet and spicy sauce made with gochujang creates a caramelized glaze on the salmon as it cooks in the air fryer. Pro: make extra sauce for dipping!
Prep Time
Cook Time
plate with Korean-style salmon
Total time: 20 minutes
  • 2 tablespoons gochujang
  • ¼ cup soy sauce
  • 1 tablespoon light brown sugar, packed
  • 1 teaspoon garlic paste (or 1 clove garlic, minced)
  • 1 teaspoon ginger paste (or 1-inch knob fresh garlic, peeled and grated)
  • 1 teaspoon sesame oil
  • 4 (4-ounce) salmon fillets
Optional Ingredients
  • green onions, sliced diagonally
  • toasted sesame seeds
  1. Preheat the air fryer to 400 F.
  2. In a medium bowl, whisk together the gochujang, soy sauce, brown sugar, garlic, ginger, and sesame oil.
  3. Pat the salmon fillets dry with a paper towel and place them on a plate.
  4. Brush each fillet generously with the sauce mixture.
  5. Place the salmon fillets into the air fryer basket, working in batches if needed. Cook for 10 minutes.
  6. When done, the salmon will have dark brown caramelized edges and should flake easily with a fork. Check for an internal temperature of at least 145 F.
  7. Garnish the salmon with sliced green onions and sesame seeds if desired and serve warm.
Calories per Serving 287
Total Fat 17.0 g
Saturated Fat 3.7 g
Trans Fat 0.0
Cholesterol 62.4 mg
Total Carbohydrates 6.9 g
Dietary Fiber 0.6 g
Total Sugars 3.9 g
Sodium 1,263.9 mg
Protein 25.6 g
The information shown is Edamam’s estimate based on available ingredients and preparation. It should not be considered a substitute for a professional nutritionist’s advice.
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