Have you tried furikake salmon? Tender sweet salmon is lightly baked with a salty, crunchy furikake topping for a quick and tasty dinner that only takes minutes to make! As a bonus, furikake salmon takes under 20 minutes to make, is high protein and low calorie! (GF, DF)
Why I made this recipe
After my recent trip to Hawaii, I've been obsessing about Hawaiian food. They love their seafood and their recipes are highly influenced by Japanese flavors. I think this sweet and salty Hawaiian salmon recipe with it's subtle crunch is pure genius.
Furikake salmon is a great recipe that stays moist by using Japanese mayo and a layer of furikake topping (mildly crunchy sesame seeds and seaweed) to coat it, locking in the moisture and flavor as it bakes. Salmon is best just barely cooked so that it doesn't dry out and this recipe helps insulate the fish, keeping it moist, rich and delectable.
Check out my other salmon recipes like Pasta Alla Salmone, Miso Baked Salmon or for a light, raw appetizer check out Salmon Carpaccio and Salmon Crudo. Fresh salmon is so elegant and luxurious, it's perfect for serving to company. You could also use salmon in Crispy Japanese Fish Katsu!
Growing up in a fishing family on the West Coast, I grew up with seafood. In fact salmon was a mainstay. Canned salmon salad sandwiches for school and family trips (not a kid favorite in our family, lol) , BBQ salmon on weekends (yum) and my favorite, smoked salmon, anytime I could have it. This baked furikake salmon is now another favorite.
With just 3 main ingredients in this recipe, it comes together fast. This is a fabulous and healthy recipe that works just as well on weeknights as it does on the weekend.
- Salmon - Boneless fillets are the best for this recipe. You can bake the fillet in one large piece (skin side down, topping on the pink flesh) or you can slice the fillets into individual portions like I did here. I think any wild salmon is great for this simple recipe, sockeye, chum, spring, coho or even pink salmon.
- Furikake - A lightly crunchy and very savory seasoning, furikake is a Japanese rice seasoning. Made from a combination of dried seaweed (usually nori or dulse), sesame seeds, and smaller amounts of dried fish (often bonito) and chilis, it's savory and flavorful. Each blend is slightly different with some contain sugar, salt and other dried herbs and spices. Best sprinkled on cooked rice, sushi, fish and popcorn you can find it in the Asian aisle of most grocery stores or at your local Asian grocery store. Most furikake is gluten free. If this is important to you, please read the labels when purchasing to be sure.
- Japanese Mayonnaise - Also known as kewpie mayonnaise, this is my favorite mayo for almost every recipe. Enriched with extra egg yolk (4 per bottle!) it has a rich and creamy mouthfeel. Despite the extra egg, it has a tangy, bright flavor from a combination of lighter flavored vinegars (including rice vinegar) as opposed to the plain white vinegar in a jar of regular mayonnaise. For more on kewpie mayo, check out, "What is kewpie mayo", by Bon Appetit magazine.
See recipe card for quantities.
Substitutions + Variations
- Furikake - If you can't find furikake for this recipe, you can make your own Japanese savory seasoning. Mix equal amounts by volume of finely chopped nori sheets and lightly toasted white sesame seeds with a small pinch of brown sugar to taste.
- Fish - In Hawaii, where this recipe is most popular, it is often made with mahi mahi, tuna and other white fish. I've made it myself with halibut and lingcod. The mayonnaise helps keep the fish moist so feel free to try this with any fresh fish you have.
- Mayonnaise - Now that I've raved about Japanese mayonnaise, I will say that you can sub regular mayo if you need to. It will still produce a delicious salmon dish. Add a teaspoon of apple cider vinegar and a pinch of sugar to the mayo mixture and complete the recipe as written.
- Doubling The Recipe - Easily double (or even triple) this recipe for a crowd. When serving a larger amount, I double the mayo and furikake mixtures and bake two whole fillets (rather than cutting them all apart) on one or two baking sheets. Be sure to add approximately 5-8 minutes on to the cooking time, depending on the thickness of your fillets. It makes a big, beautiful main course and guests can serve themselves with a small spatula or wide flat knife.
What To Serve With Furikake Salmon
I love a good bowl of plain or coconut sticky rice. A simply salad of cucumbers with rice wine vinegar or Easy Cucumber Kakdi Koshimbir goes great. Add some sauteed greens for the perfect veggie side dish. Easy Kakdi Koshimbir, A Refreshing Indian Cucumber Salad
To help decide how much salmon you'll need, read A Guide To How Much Salmon Per Person For A Serving.
How To Video
Spreading bright, lemony mayo over salmon keeps this dish moist while the furikake seasoning adds big flavor and a crisp and crunchy topping. This easy recipe is almost foolproof! This recipe can double easily to serve a crowd.
Step 1. Preheat oven to 350º
In a small bowl, combine kewpie mayo and lemon juice. (Already getting tasty!)
Step 2. Whisk lemon and mayo together until nice and smooth.
Step 3. In another small bowl, combine furikake seasoning, pepper, onion powder, and garlic powder and stir together.
Step 4. Cut salmon fillet across the grain into four equal servings and place skin side down on a parchment-lined baking tray or a baking dish rubbed with vegetable oil. Pat salmon dry with a paper towel and spread tops evenly with lemon mayo mixture.
My fillets are about 1 inch thick and you can see I cut my pieces from the middle portion so that they are evenly sized.
Step 5. Next, sprinkle furikake mixture evenly over salmon fillets and then place pan in preheated oven on the middle rack.
Step 6. Bake salmon for 12 minutes or until cooked through and edges start to get golden brown. Thinner fillet pieces will cook faster, thicker fillets will take longer.
Serve up furikake salmon with a side of white or brown rice and a simple salad or steamed veggies. I love sliced cucumber salad dressed simply with a little rice vinegar or this Japanese Goma Dressing Recipe over salad or veggies. Steamed edamame beans are a great side dish too.
Leftover furikake salmon is great in buns as Japanese salmon burgers! Mix up some extra kewpie mayo with a little shoyu (soy sauce) to spread on a bun and top with lettuce or sliced cucumber. Yum!!! (Or try one of the Spicy Mayo recipes I make for my crab fritters as a dip or spread for the salmon.)
The best advice I can give on this (and any salmon recipe) is to buy the best, fresh tasting fish you can. If it is in the seafood case of the grocery store, ask what day it came in (I've even been known to ask if I can smell it first!). Asking for sushi grade salmon should help ensure a fresh and delicious salmon.
If you are buying it frozen, be sure it is tightly vacuum sealed with no signs of freezer burn. I love fresh tasting salmon but old, fishy tasting salmon is not good for anyone.
Additionally, do your best to avoid overcooking the salmon. Set a timer if you need to, so you don't forget about it. Although the mayo in this recipe makes it a bit forgiving, once overcooked, salmon can get dry. If this happens, serve with a little kewpie mayo, soy sauce or teriyaki sauce for dipping 😉
This is a matter of personal preference. All salmon are tasty and work well with this salmon dish. If you like a stronger salmon flavor, using sockeye is great. If you like a milder flavored fish, coho and pink salmon are both a more mild tasting salmon species.
Absolutely. Furikake salmon cooks up great in the air fryer. Preheat air fryer to 375' then place the prepared salmon in the air fryer and cook for 7-10 minutes, depending on how thick your salmon pieces are. (Thin pink salmon will only take 7 minutes, thick pieces of spring salmon will take 9-10 minutes.)
Covered and stored in the refrigerator within 2 hours of baking, cooked salmon will last up to 4 days in the fridge. But...the longer it stays in the fridge, the more the flavor will deteriorate. I recommend consuming leftover salmon within 2 days for the tastiest flavor.
Cheers and happy cooking, Friends! Sabrina
Have a wonderful and delicious day my friends, thanks for reading along.
Easy Furikake Salmon
- 1 lb Salmon Fillet boneless, skin on or off
- 2 tablespoon Kewpie Mayonnaise
- 1 teaspoon Lemon Juice
- 2 tablespoon Furikake Seasoning
- ¼ teaspoon Black Pepper
- ½ teaspoon Onion Powder
- ¼ teaspoon Garlic Powder
- Preheat oven to 350º
- Cut salmon fillet across the grain into four equal servings and arrange on a parchment-lined baking tray. Pat dry with a paper towel.
- In a small bowl, combine kewpie mayo and lemon juice and whisk together well, then spoon onto salmon pieces and spread evenly over the tops.
- In another small bowl, combine furikake seasoning, pepper, onion powder, and garlic powder. Sprinkle evenly over top of mayo covered salmon.
- Bake in center of oven for 12 minutes or until the internal temperature reaches between 125-135 depending on your preference.
- Remove from oven, and serve immediately.