This delicious Tandoori Salmon is cooked to perfection in the air fryer. Aside from fresh or frozen salmon fillets, all you need is Tandoori seasoning and a little olive oil to make this air fryer salmon with crispy top, yet tender flaky center.
It is less spicy than my Mexican spice blends, so it is perfect for seasoning family friendly meals. And because it consists of a wide range of individual spice ingredients, it satisfies my love for a complex and interesting flavor experience.
All without turning off picky eaters. My husband dislikes most other seasoning mixes that are heavy on herbs. And my daughter usually is wary of visible spices because she fears they are too hot for her.
But neither of them have ever complained about anything seasoned with this Tandoori powder. And let me tell you, I have used it for many dinners already - on anything from meats to roasted veggies.
So it would only make sense that I eventually ended up making Tandoori seasoned salmon as well. My daughter LOVES basically any and all seafood, while my husband likes almost none of it. But we can all agree on salmon - it's always a favorite at our house.
How to Make Tandoori Salmon
Making this Tandoori salmon recipe is super simple - especially if you already have the Tandoori mix on hand. Now you just need salmon fillets and olive oil.
Use skin-on salmon fillets of similar thickness so that they will finish cooking at the same time. Pat the salmon fillets dry and drizzle them with a little olive oil. Use your fingers or a brush to spread out the oil so it covers the entire surface.
Now sprinkle the salmon tops with the Tandoori spice blend. I use about 1 teaspoon per fillet. You can use your fingers to spread out the seasoning all over the salmon for even coverage.
Alternatively, you can first make a paste from the Tandoori mix and olive oil. And then spread the Tandoori paste all over the salmon pieces.
Fresh or Frozen Salmon
I have tested the air fryer version of this salmon recipe with both fresh and frozen salmon. And it was delicious, with great texture both ways.
Cooking temperature is the same for fresh or frozen salmon. The only thing that changes is the cook time.
Frozen salmon takes about twice as long. Because of the longer cooking time, the top and outside will be cooked more and crispier, while the center cooks to tender perfection.
I didn't have any issues with burning or over-charring. And I actually preferred the texture contrast of extra crisp top and flaky inside.
How to Air Fry Salmon
Place the seasoned salmon fillets onto the basket or tray of your air fryer. I am using an Air Fryer Lid that lets me turn my pressure cooker into an air fryer.
I rarely do, but you can use parchment or aluminum foil underneath the salmon for easier cleanup.
Set your air fryer to 375°F and cook the salmon for about 9-11 minutes. Exact time will depend on the thickness of your salmon.
The USDA recommended food-safe internal temperature for salmon is 145°F. Because the salmon will continue cooking for a while after removing from heat, I only cook it until the food thermometer reads about 125-130°F.
If you don't have a food thermometer, things to look for are opaque, pink outside with slight translucency remaining in the center. The salmon should flake easily with a fork.
Oven Method: How to Bake salmon
If you don't have an air fryer, you can also make baked Tandoori salmon. For that, place the seasoned fillets on a baking sheet near the top of your oven.
Using the broiler cook fresh salmon for 8-12 minutes. Frozen salmon takes 18-22 minutes and may need to be covered after some time to prevent burned tops.
Air Fryer Lid
To make this air fryer salmon I actually used my pressure cooker. Thanks to the air fryer lid it can be turned into an air fryer without the need for yet another space hogging small appliance.
It is a compact, yet powerful device that can be used on top of a pressure cooker. It comes with a trivet and fryer basket to raise the foods close to the heating elements of the air fryer lid.
It is also fantastic to crisp up certain foods like ribs or chicken after pressure cooking. No need to transfer it to the oven for that.
What to serve with Tandoori Salmon
You can serve Tandoori salmon with a variety of side dishes. To keep the meal low carb a simple green salad and/or roasted veggies work well.
We usually have steamed rice as well as a veggie or salad side.
How to air fry salmon skin
Crispy salmon skins make a delicious snack. After removing the cooked salmon from the air fryer, I remove the skins and return those to the air fryer basket.
I cook them for another 5 minutes or so until they turn completely crunchy. Even my 5-year-old loves to snack on the air fryer crispy salmon skin.
More Seafood Recipes you'll love
Air Fryer Tandoori Salmon
This delicious Tandoori Salmon is cooked to perfection in the air fryer. Aside from fresh or frozen salmon fillets, all you need is Tandoori seasoning and a little olive oil to make this air fryer salmon with crisp top, yet tender flaky center.
- 2 6 oz. skin-on salmon fillets about 1.5 inch thick; fresh or frozen
- olive oil
- 2 teaspoons Tandoori seasoning
Pat dry the salmon fillets. Drizzle or brush the tops with olive oil.
Sprinkle the Tandoori seasoning all over the top of the oiled salmon fillets. About 1 teaspoon per filet. You can use your fingers to rub the Tandoori masala all over for a more even coating.
Alternatively, you can first mix the Tandoori masala and olive oil, and spread that Tandoori paste all over the salmon fillets.
Place the seasoned salmon fillets in your air fryer basket. Turn the temperature to 375°F and cook for 9-11 minutes.
The salmon is done when the internal temperature (read with a food thermometer) at the thickest part reaches 125-130°F. The salmon keeps cooking for a while after that and internal temperature keeps rising to about 145°F (USDA food safe internal temperature for salmon).
If you don't have a food thermometer, another way to tell if the salmon is done is when it is easily flaked with a fork. The outside will have turned opaque, slight translucency on the inside is completely fine.
Frozen Salmon Fillets
You can also air fry frozen salmon fillets. Process similarly by drizzling oil and seasoning over the top of the frozen fillets.
Air fry the salmon at the same temperature of 375°F until internal temperature reaches 125-130°F. This takes 20-25 minutes, depending on thickness of the salmon.
Let the air fryer Tandoori salmon rest covered for 5 minutes while the internal temperature continues to rise to 145°F.
To cook this Tandoori salmon in the oven, place the seasoned fillets on a baking sheet.
Place the salmon near the top of the oven. Then broil for 8-12 minutes until it reaches food safe temperatures or flakes easily with a fork.
When broiling frozen salmon, cook time increases to about 18-22 minutes. You may need to cover the pan after about 6-8 minutes to prevent the tops from burning.