These Air Fryer Cajun Bang Bang Salmon Bites are full of flavor and easy to make. You can put them on a salad, in a bowl, or serve with steamed rice. Plus, they're ready in just 15 minutes!
Cajun Bang Bang Salmon Bites
The salmon bites are seasoned and air fried until they're crispy outside and soft inside. If you don't have an air fryer, you can also cook them in the oven or on the stove.
😍 Why You'll Love This Recipe
- Quick and Easy: They're ready in no time, making them perfect for busy weeknights or last-minute meals.
- Flavorful: The Cajun seasoning together with the Bang Bang sauce gives a fantastic spicy and tangy kick.
- Crispy Outside, Tender Inside: The air fryer ensures the salmon bites have a golden crisp exterior while keeping the inside flaky and tender.
- Healthier Option: Air frying uses less oil than traditional frying, making it a healthier alternative without compromising taste.
- Versatile: They can be served as a main dish, an appetizer, or added to salads or wraps.
✅ Ingredients For Bang Bang Salmon Bites
Air Fryer Salmon Bites
- Salmon: Use fresh, wild-caught salmon for a richer flavor. Farmed salmon will also work. Substitution: If salmon isn't available, use other firm-fleshed fish like cod or halibut.
- Extra Virgin Olive Oil: It's used for both flavor and to ensure the salmon doesn't stick during air frying. Substitution: Avocado oil or melted butter can also be used in place of olive oil.
- Cajun Seasoning: Adjust according to your taste. Some Cajun seasonings can be quite spicy. Substitution: If you don't have it, use a mix of paprika, garlic powder, onion powder, dried thyme, and cayenne pepper.
- Smoked Paprika: Adds a smoky flavor. Substitution: Regular paprika can be used but will lack the smoky note.
- Salt: Adjust the amount to taste.
- Black Pepper: Freshly ground black pepper is recommended for the best flavor.
Bang Bang Sauce
- Mayonnaise: Use full-fat mayonnaise for a creamier sauce. Substitution: Greek yogurt or sour cream can be used for a tangier, lighter version of the sauce.
- Thai Sweet Chili Sauce: It adds sweetness and a mild kick to the sauce.
- Sriracha: Adjust based on how spicy you want your sauce. Substitution: Any other hot sauce, like Tabasco or RedHot, can be used but will alter the flavor slightly.
- Honey: It adds sweetness to balance the spiciness. Substitution: Maple syrup or agave nectar can be used.
- Rice Vinegar: Adds acidity to the sauce. Substitution: Apple cider vinegar or white wine vinegar will work too.
- Chives: Mostly for garnish and a light onion flavor. Substitution: Finely chopped green onions or fresh parsley can be used for garnish.
🔪 How to Make Cajun Bang Bang Salmon Bites
Grab a large bowl and pour in the olive oil, add Cajun seasoning, smoked paprika, salt, and pepper. Give it a good stir. Now, toss in the salmon bites and give them a gentle mix until they're nicely coated.
Take a medium-sized bowl and add in mayo, Thai sweet chili sauce, Sriracha, honey, and rice vinegar. Stir them all together until you get a smooth mixture.
Reserve half of the Bang Bang sauce for later use. Then, combine the salmon bites with the other half of the sauce.
Place the salmon coated in sauce into your air fryer basket, making sure they aren’t touching. Set the air fryer to 400°F and cook for 5-7 minutes. There's no need to shake the basket while they cook.
Transfer the cooked salmon to a plate and drizzle the remaining bang bang sauce on top. Sprinkle with chives for a finishing touch.
- Store: Let them cool completely to room temperature. Place in an airtight container, separating layers with parchment paper to prevent sticking. Store in the refrigerator for up to 2-3 days.
- Freeze: For longer storage, you can freeze them. First, freeze them on a tray so they don't stick together. Once frozen, transfer to a freezer bag or airtight container and store for up to 2 months.
- Reheat: When ready to eat, reheat in the air fryer or oven to retain crispiness. If frozen, thaw in the fridge overnight before reheating.
How To Serve Bang Bang Salmon Bites
You can enjoy these salmon bites in various ways, either as a starter or a main course. Here's how we love to have them:
- Serve them over freshly cooked Basmati Rice for a filling meal.
- Make salmon kebabs by threading them onto sticks.
- Top a fresh lettuce salad with these bites for a healthy touch.
- Use large lettuce leaves to wrap around the salmon for delicious lettuce wraps.
- For a fun twist, make mini salmon sliders! Use Hawaiian or dinner rolls and add some salmon bites in each. Add toppings like lettuce, tomatoes, or pickles to jazz up the mini burgers.
Can I Make Bang Bang Salmon Bites Ahead Of Time?
You can make the bang bang sauce ahead of time. After mixing it, just store in a sealed container and keep it in the fridge. It'll stay good for up to a week!
- Different Proteins: If salmon isn't your favorite, you can easily swap it for chicken bites, shrimp, or even tofu for a vegetarian version. Just adjust cooking times accordingly.
- Oven-Baked Version: Don't have an air fryer? No problem! You can bake the salmon bites in a preheated oven at 425°F for about 8-10 minutes or until golden and cooked through.
- Grilled Salmon Bites: Perfect for summer BBQs! Skewer the marinated salmon pieces and grill for a few minutes on each side.
- Different Sauces: While bang bang sauce is the star here, you can experiment with other dipping sauces like tartar, honey mustard, or a spicy aioli.
- Crunchy Topping: For an added crunch, sprinkle sesame seeds or crushed peanuts over the salmon bites before serving.
❓ Recipe FAQs
Yes, but ensure it's fully thawed before cutting into bites and marinating.
You can reheat them in the air fryer at 350°F for 2-3 minutes or until warmed through. Alternatively, use a microwave or oven, but avoid overcooking to prevent the salmon from drying out.
While this recipe focuses on Cajun seasoning, you can experiment with other blends like lemon pepper, Old Bay, or even a simple herb and garlic mix.
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