Crispy Rice Salmon Bites
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Crispy Rice Salmon Bites<div class="yasr-vv-stars-title-container"><div class='yasr-stars-title yasr-rater-stars'
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This is a famous dish that, to our knowledge was not invested in Japan, but in California! The amazing Crispy Rice Salmon Bites are a dish that California based Japanese restaurants claim ownership of. We will admit, the first time ever eating this dish was at the amazing Katsuya restaurant in Los Angeles and it was amazing. This is our easy homemade version of the amazing Crispy Rice Salmon Bites. A perfect bite of delicious flavors and wonderful textures!

Preparing the Fish

There are many ways you can prepare Salmon for this recipe. It can be diced very finely, sometimes even blitzed in the blender to get a smooth, paste-like texture. For our Crispy Rice Salmon Bites, we prefer to keep the Salmon a little bit chunkier. We find having chunkier Salmon adds a little bit more texture to the overall recipe, and keeps each bite unique

You can also run into some potential issues when blending Fish, as it can turn gummy and almost glue-like in texture. We recommend avoiding the blender and sticking to a fine hand-dice. Keep the chunks about ¼ inch thick so there is still some body and texture to the Salmon. It’s the best way to enjoy it alongside that beautiful, crispy Rice

Another option is to thinly slice the Salmon and simply place them on top of the Rice. This preparation is a lovely way to highlight the pure flavor of Salmon. If you’ve managed to get your hands on a particularly high-grade quality of Salmon this is a lovely way to showcase the fish

Salmon Strips on Crispy Rice
You can slice some of the Salmon into strips and simply serve it on top the Crispy Rice for a separate preparation

Make sure you remove the Salmon Skin before preparing the Crispy Rice Salmon Bites

This is not a recipe that benefits from having Salmon Skin. The texture in the recipe comes from the crispy Rice, therefore there is no need for Salmon Skin. You can either ask your Fish Monger to remove the skin for you, or you can easily do it at home yourself

We’ve got a great video on our YouTube Channel on how to remove Salmon Skin. It’s a very easy process, you just need to take your time and ensure you have a very sharp knife before you begin. If you want to get fancy, you can always try to fry up the Salmon Skin for some extra crispy elements on the dish. This is an optional step however, and we don’t feel it is necessary for this dish

We use ice cube trays to shape the cooked Rice before it gets cooked to maintain its shape

There’s a funny little trick to form those perfect rectangles of Crispy Rice. The trick – Jam the cooked rice into Ice Cube trays and then freeze them! It may seem odd, but trust us, this technique works amazingly well!

Cook the delicious Sushi rice and let it cool for about 45 minutes, then pack as much Rice as you can into each individual Ice Cube tray! It is important to heap as much Rice in there as possible, as the compacting of the Rice will ensure that it ultimately stays together once cooked. Freeze the Rice for about 2 hours so it forms a solid cube

Then it’s a simple matter of baking the Rice in a hot Oven or (preferably) Air Fryer alongside a drizzle of Olive Oil to get that lovely, crispy rice result

Crispy Rice with Salmon
Prepare the beautiful Crispy Rice by shaping it in ice cubes, then Air Frying or Baking it to a crispy finish

You can make Crispy Rice in an Air Fryer or the Oven. We opted for the Oven as its quicker and more convenient

Using the Air Fryer to bake the Rice Cubes is our preferred method. Solely because of its speed and convenience. Simply place the cubes of Rice into the Air Fryer, crank the temperature (we cooked them at around 400F) along with a generous drizzle of Olive Oil and you’ll be done in no time at all

As with any Air Fryer cooking, we highly recommend keeping a close eye on how they are cooking. Each Air Fryer tends to cook at slightly different times, so just check every couple of minutes or so. Once the Rice has crisped up and turned golden-brown on the outside, they’re done!

If you do not have an Air Fryer you can bake the Rice Cubes in the Oven. It’ll come out perfectly fine either way, they will just take a little bit more time in the Oven. We’re all about convenience here at Dinnertime Somewhere, which is why the Air Fryer is such a handy go-to for so many recipes

This dish is known to have a bit of spice, how much you add it totally dependent on your Spice tolerance levels

It wouldn’t be a Crispy Rice dish with fish unless there is an element of spice. It’s a defining characteristic of this famous dish. How much spice you add, and the type of spice you add is somewhat of a personal choice too. For our recipe we’re using good old-fashioned Chili Sauce. You get that lovely, peppery flavored spice which adds so much flavor to this dish

We add the Chili Sauce into our Mayonnaise and Sweet Chili Sauce mixture to create the spicy Mayonnaise which coats the Salmon pieces. As with any sauces where you’re adding seasoning and heat, we recommend adding a little bit at a time and tasting it as you go

Crispy Rice Salmon Bites top down
Our delicious Crispy Rice Salmon Bites Recipe packs a little heat. You can scale up or down the heat volume when you’re preparing the Sauce

 This is a great method to ensure you hit the desired level of heat, without taking it too far. It’s a lot easier to add a little more heat than to try and remove heat from an overly seasoned sauce!

Other ways to add spice is to add Chili Powder or Cayenne Pepper to the sauce. You can give it a try if you want a super spicy dish! By adding these spices, the color of the sauce will go a little darker. We personally like the lighter look that you see in the photos on this website. However, totally up to you how you want to spice your Crispy Rice Salmon Bites!

Recipe Details


2 – 4 people

Prep time

20 minutes

Cooking time

25 minutes

Total time

45 minutes

Crispy Rice Salmon Bites Recipe


  • 2 Salmon Fillets, Skin removed
  • ½ cup Sushi Rice
  • ½ tsp. White Sugar
  • ½ tsp. Rice Wine Vinegar
  • 2 tbsp. Japanese Kewpie Mayonnaise
  • 1 tsp. Sweet Chili Sauce
  • ½ tsp. Chili Sauce
  • 1 tbsp. Olive Oil
  • Salt


  1. Place the Rice and ¾ of a cup of Boiling Water into a Saucepan over medium heat. Stir immediately, then cover, and reduce the heat to a low. Cook the rice for 10 minutes, then turn off the heat and leave covered for a further 10 minutes
  2. Once the Rice is cooked, add the White Sugar, ½ tsp. of Salt, and Rice Wine Vinegar. Mix into the Rice well with a wooden spoon until the rice is lovely and fluffy. Set aside to cool
  3. Once cool, pack the Rice into individual Ice Cube trays. Try to pack as much Rice as you can in there, as we want a dense rice cube to cook. Place in freezer for at least 2 hours

When you are ready to prepare the Crispy Rice Salmon Bites

  1. Cut the Salmon into small pieces, about ¼ inch thick. Try to cut the pieces as evenly as possible
  2. Mix the Kewpie Mayonnaise, Sweet Chili Sauce, Chili Sauce, and ½ tsp. of Salt in a medium sized bowl, then add the chopped Salmon. Mix well then set aside
  3. Remove the individual rice blocks from their ice cube trays and place in the Air Fryer. Drizzle with Olive Oil then cook at 400F for 5 – 7 minutes, turning once until the Rice has browned
  4. Place about 1 tbsp. of the Salmon mixture on top of each crispy rice block. Serve alongside some Soy Sauce for dipping and enjoy!

Recipe Notes

If you do not have an Air Fryer you can make the Crispy Rice cubes in the Oven. Place the frozen Rice Cubes on a sheet pan. Drizzle with a little Olive Oil and then roast them in the Oven at 400F for 15 – 20 minutes, turning once until they have browned

You can reserve some of the Salmon and slice it into thin strips. Simply serve the reserved Salmon on top of the Crispy Rice Blocks as a secondary way to enjoy this lovely dish

There you have it, our homage to the amazing Crispy Rice Salmon Bites. If you loved this recipe, we’ve got plenty more amazing Appetizers for you to check out. Here are a few of our favorite Asian Inspired dishes:

Happy Cooking!

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