Crispy, bite-sized Fried Salmon Nuggets are made without breadcrumbs or panko yet are light, crisp, and golden brown, thanks to the secret ingredient. These pan-seared wonders take a quick dip in a marinade and are then pan-fried to perfection in 5 minutes.
Cornstarch is the secret ingredient to a golden extra crisp crust on these salmon nuggets. Cornstarch has properties that lend itself well to pan-frying and roasting. Best of all is that the cornstarch seals in the juiciness of the fish so that each bite is tender and delicious.
To quote America's Test Kitchen, "Interestingly, cornstarch contains 25 to 28 percent amylose, which is higher than the amount in wheat or potato starch (which are 20 to 22 percent amylose), and this is why cornstarch works the best for making crispy coatings on fried foods."
Salmon lovers rejoice! This quick meal is an excellent way to feed your family and reap the health benefits that wild salmon offers. This easy salmon recipe is a delicious dinner the whole family will enjoy, even the fussy eater in your house.
Kids and adults alike love the crispy texture of these bite-sized pieces of salmon. These little salmon bites are an easy dinner and a great option for feeding a family. They are wonderful to serve on top of a salad or over a big bed of rice to make a salmon bowl along with your favorite veggies.
For best results, serve this delicious recipe of cooked salmon bites with tartar sauce, a squeeze of lemon juice, your favorite dipping sauce, or even my tangy smash sauce, a combination of mayonnaise, ketchup, mustard, and pickles.
Here is a summary of the ingredients you'll need to make these crispy fried salmon nuggets:
- If organic wild salmon is available at the grocery store, I'll buy this over farm-raised salmon, which tends to have antibiotics in the feed.
- Cornstarch is an essential ingredient because it creates a thick marinade that coats the salmon and contributes to its crispiness when you fry it.
- Sriracha is a brand name for a spicy, sweet, garlicky hot sauce. It is a great way to add spiciness and sweetness to the marinade, and it adds tons of flavor.
See the recipe card below for all the ingredients and measurements.
- Lemon or lime juice is a good substitute for red wine vinegar.
- Use low-sodium soy sauce. It's the perfect amount of saltiness. If you only have the regular soy sauce, reduce the quantity to half a tablespoon.
- Substitute tamari instead of soy sauce for a gluten-free version of this marinade.
- Substitute ⅛ teaspoon of cayenne pepper or your favorite chili sauce for the Sriracha.
- I sometimes add a minced garlic clove to the marinade and one tablespoon of freshly grated ginger.
- Try adding the zest of one lime to the marinade as a variation.
How to Make Fried Salmon Bites
This marinade is simple. It adds umami to pan-fried salmon, making it my go-to recipe for crispy salmon nuggets.
Make marinade. In a small bowl, add the marinade ingredients and stir with a whisk to dissolve any lumps and combine.
Pour marinade over salmon. Add the salmon to a large bowl, pour the marinade over the salmon, and toss to coat. Let the salmon marinate in the refrigerator for 15 minutes.
Pan fry. Add the olive oil to a 12-inch nonstick skillet and heat it over medium-high heat for 1 minute. Add the salmon to the pan and cook on one side for 3-4 minutes without flipping.
Flip salmon. Flip the salmon and cook on the other side for 1-2 minutes or until the center of the salmon reaches an internal temperature of 145 degrees Fahrenheit.
Serve. Serve the crispy salmon bites on a bed of basmati rice with broccoli or your favorite vegetables, along with a sprinkling of sliced green onions and sesame seeds. Enjoy ♥️
Secrets for Success
- Marinate for no more than 15 minutes to preserve the flakiness and texture of the salmon.
- Use cornstarch and not all-purpose flour to make the fried salmon nuggets as crispy as possible.
- Always buy fresh fish. This means when you buy salmon, there should not be any fishy odor.
Store the cooked salmon in an airtight container in the refrigerator for up to 3 days.
The salmon is best reheated slowly in the microwave at low power. If you reheat the salmon at full power, you risk drying it out.
My top tip would be to eat the leftover salmon cold added to a salad; this is my favorite way to finish up leftovers 😋
No. Fish is delicate, and the acid from the vinegar and other ingredients will destroy the integrity of the salmon. Less is more for this marinade, and you won't ruin a nice piece of fish.
Serve the salmon with a bowl of sticky rice or rice noodles. Green vegetables like broccoli, sautéed spinach, green beans, or bok choi are a few of our favorite veggies to eat alongside the salmon.
📖 Recipe Card
Fried Salmon Nuggets
- small bowl
- measuring spoons
- large bowl
- 12-inch nonstick skillet
- 1 pound fresh salmon, boneless, skinless, center-cut piece, about 2 inches thick, sliced into 1½-inch by 1½-inch bite-sized pieces.
- 1 tablespoon extra-virgin olive oil
- 2 tablespoons cornstarch
- 1 tablespoon low-sodium soy sauce
- 1 tablespoon water
- 1 teaspoon red wine vinegar
- 1 teaspoon Sriracha, Sriracha is a brand name. This is a chili-garlic sauce that is slightly sweet and spicy.
- sliced green onions
- sesame seeds
- Make marinade. In a small bowl, add the marinade ingredients and stir with a whisk to bring up lumps and combine.2 tablespoons cornstarch, 1 tablespoon low-sodium soy sauce, 1 tablespoon water, 1 teaspoon red wine vinegar, 1 teaspoon Sriracha
- Pour marinade over salmon. Add the salmon to a large bowl, pour the marinade over the salmon, and toss to coat. Let the salmon marinate in the refrigerator for 15 minutes.1 pound fresh salmon
- Pan fry. Add the olive oil to a 12-inch nonstick skillet and heat it over medium-high heat for 1 minute. Add the salmon to the pan and cook on one side for 3-4 minutes without flipping.1 tablespoon extra-virgin olive oil
- Flip salmon. Flip the salmon and cook on the other side for 1-2 minutes or until the center of the salmon reaches an internal temperature of 145 degrees Fahrenheit.
- Serve. Serve the crispy salmon bites on a bed of basmati rice with broccoli or your favorite vegetables, along with a sprinkling of sliced green onions and sesame seeds. Enjoy ♥️