Bang bang salmon is crispy, sweet, spicy and oh so creamy! This is a super easy recipe with a few ingredients only, and it comes together so quickly whether you bake it or air fry it. Serve drizzled with extra bang bang sauce, a topping of spring onions, and your favourite vegetable side!
If you like the way fish turns out in your air fryer (flaky and moist with a crisp outer edge), try this air fryer tilapia.
This bang bang salmon is my go to recipe when I want something easy, light and nutritious. If you have eaten bang bang shrimp or dynamite shrimp as it’s called at PF Chang’s, this recipe is a riff on that except that we swap the shrimp out for salmon. But it has the same great taste and flavor, thanks to the sauce, and you’ll be hard pressed not to finish it all off by yourself!
And when I say ‘easy’, I really do mean easy! All that you have to do is brush the salmon fillets with the bang bang sauce and bake or air fry the fish. The whole process from start to finish takes just 20 minutes.
Note: exact amounts are mentioned in the recipe card further down.
- Salmon fillets
- Spring onions, for garnishing
- Bang bang sauce
What is bang bang sauce?
Glad you asked! Bang bang sauce is a magical combination of just three ingredients:
- sweet chilli sauce
- mayonnaise – use any kind of mayo you like – full fat, low fat, vegan.
These three ingredients make a basic sauce. I also added a little maple syrup and lemon juice because I like the extra sweet and sour flavors that the maple and lemon bring to the sauce. You can leave these out if what you want is just the essential sauce recipe.
Bang bang sauce is made with a few simple ingredients, but don’t be fooled by its simplicity. It packs quite a punch in the flavor department and elevates whatever it’s added to, here our salmon fillets. You can use it on shrimp, chicken, and even veggies like cauliflower.
By the way, did you notice there’s no added salt or oil in this recipe?
1. Make the bang bang sauce – Put all the ingredients in a bowl or jar and whisk until smooth. That’s it!
2. Coat the fish with the sauce – Wash the salmon fillets and pat them dry. Using a pastry brush, coat the sauce on the salmon fillets, making sure to get the sides too. Don’t be stingy with the sauce, pile it on generously.
3. Cook the fillets
Oven – Preheat your oven and to 400 Fahrenheit. Brush a baking tray with some oil and place the sauce coated salmon fillets skin side down on it in a single layer. Put the tray in the middle rack and bake for 15 minutes.
Air fryer – Brush your air fryer basket with a little oil and preheat to 400 Fahrenheit. Place the salmon fillets in a single layer skin side down and cook for 12-15 minutes.
4. Garnish with chopped spring onions and drizzle some extra sauce on top. Serve warm:)
Air fryer tips
- If you don’t want a messy air fryer after you’ve cooked the salmon (the sauce is going to drip), line the tray with perforated parchment paper. This is basically parchment with tiny holes so that air is still able to circulate in the air fryer. Just be careful not to preheat the fryer with just the parchment paper in it, or it can fly up and burn if it gets too close to the heating element. Place the parchment after preheating the fryer and keep the salmon on it then. The weight of the food will prevent the paper from flying.
- Don’t crowd the salmon fillets too close together. It prevents the air from circulating.
- All air fryers are different so the cooking times and temps may vary slightly with the model and make. Also, cooking time depends on the thickness of the fillets. To be safe, use a meat thermometer always. As per the FDA guidelines, it should read 145 Fahrenheit when inserted into the thickest part of the salmon.
- There’s no need to flip the salmon. It gets cooked perfectly right through without flipping.
What to serve with bang bang salmon
Ooh, there are so many options! Go with any of these suggestions. They make for some great pairings with salmon.
- Lightly roasted or sautéed vegetables – asparagus, broccoli, Brussel sprouts… all taste great with salmon. These air fryer cauliflower steaks would also go well with it.
- Cauliflower rice – pile the salmon on some cauliflower rice for a low carb option.
- Jasmine rice – serve the salmon over a bed of sticky Jasmine rice for a flavor explosion!
- Good old spuds – potatoes are a safe bet for most meat dishes, and salmon is no exception. It would go well with these air fried smashed potatoes, for instance.
Bang Bang Salmon
- 1 bowl or jar
- 1 whisk or fork
- Air Fryer Instant pot vortex, 6-quart
- 1.1 pound salmon 4 fillets
- 2 stalks spring onions chopped
Bang Bang Sauce
- ½ cup mayonnaise
- 2 tbsp sriracha
- 2 tbsp Thai sweet chilli sauce
- 1 tbsp pure maple syrup
- ½ tbsp lemon juice
- Put all the ingredients under 'Bang Bang Sauce' in a bowl or jar and whisk until smooth.
- Wash the salmon fillets and pat them dry. Using a pastry brush, coat the sauce generously on the salmon fillets, making sure to get the sides too.
- If using an oven, preheat to 400 F. Place the salmon on a greased baking tray, skin side down, and bake for 15 minutes. If using an air fryer, brush your air fryer basket with a little oil and preheat to 400 F. Place the salmon fillets in a single layer skin side down and cook for 12-15 minutes.
- Garnish with chopped spring onions and drizzle some extra sauce on top. Serve warm.
- If you have leftover sauce, you can store it covered in the fridge for a couple of weeks.
- Check for doneness by inserting a meat thermometer in the thickest part of the cooked salmon. It should read 145 F.