This Korean style foil baked salmon with gochujang sauce is super easy to make for a weekday lunch or dinner. Prepared and packed in their individual foil packets, it takes less than 30 minutes to have beautiful, juicy and tender salmon meals ready to enjoy!
Our weekdays are busy as is. So today, we wanted to share an incredibly easy Korean style salmon recipe that you can make even during a busy weekday.
This foil baked salmon with gochujang sauce takes less than 30 minutes to make. You can even prepare the sauce or the entire salmon foil packet the day before, so that you can simply pop them into your air fryer when you're ready to cook!
The result of this foil baked method is a beautifully cooked salmon fillet that's juicy, tender, and flavorful. Our gochujang sauce adds a nice touch of mild spice, and well balanced sweet and savory flavors.
If you're looking for more weekday meal ideas, you may also like our spicy Korean BBQ chicken rice bowl, japchae (Korean glass noodle stir fry), crispy General Tso's tofu, and kimchi chili oil ramen (this one takes only 10 minutes!).
Please scroll down to the recipe card for the ingredient quantities!
For the gochujang sauce:
- Gochujang - This is also known as Korean fermented red pepper paste. It's a common Korean pantry ingredient and very nifty to have on hand.
- Shaoxing cooking wine - This is a classic Chinese Shaoxing rice wine and a common pantry staple. In this recipe, it's used to help get rid of any fishiness from the salmon fillet.
- Granulated sugar - Sugar is for sweetening the gochujang sauce. You could swap it for your preferred sweetener as well.
- Soy sauce - You can use regular or low sodium soy sauce.
- Sesame oil - An all around Asian pantry staple. This will be used to add extra flavor to the sauce.
- Fresh garlic - You can either mince it or grate it with a microplane.
- Green onion - Adds more flavor into the sauce, plus it's great for garnish as well.
- Cracked black pepper
For the salmon foil packet:
- Salmon fillets - Both salmon with skin-on or off are fine. However, we are partial to skin-on farmed salmon because it's fattier, which makes the foil baked salmon juicier and tastier.
- For this recipe, our cooking time is based on two 7 to 8 ounce fillets, each about 1 ½ inches thick.
- Prepared gochujang sauce - The flavor bomb of this foil baked salmon recipe!
- Bok choy (optional side) - Can't have an Asian style salmon without bok choy as a side! But feel free to swap for your favorite veggies.
- Shimeji mushrooms (optional side) - Mushrooms are sponges and takes on any flavor of the sauce. We used shimeji but use whatever mushrooms or other vegetables you have.
- Steamed rice (optional side)- Plain steamed white rice is perfect for mopping up the gochujang sauce. We sometimes swap it out for Korean multigrain rice (japgokbap), if we're feeling like we want to be a little healthier. You can also serve it without starch.
- Salt - Just a pinch to lightly season each fillet of salmon.
- Green onion and furikake (optional garnish)
Best kind of salmon for foil baked salmon
Both skin-on or skinless salmon fillets are perfect for this foiled bake salmon. We prefer the salmon skin-on because it provides extra flavor to the baked salmon.
If you don't like the salmon skin, you can keep it on to bake, then remove the skin before serving. Simply go between the salmon and the skin with a fork or knife.
Also, we are normally big fans of wild caught salmon, but we found that farmed salmon actually tastes better. Farm salmon is fattier, so when it bakes, the salmon stays juicy and tasty. Less chances of drying out, even if you overcook it by a few minutes.
How to make the gochujang sauce
This gochujang sauce for the foil baked salmon is super easy to make, and you can make it ahead of time. If properly stored in the fridge, it'll be good for 1-2 weeks at least.
To make the gochujang sauce, place all the sauce ingredients in a bowl and mix until well combined.
For the foil baked salmon with gochujang sauce
1. Preheat the oven to 400°F and prepare two sheets of heavy duty aluminum, about 16 to 18 inches long. Place them separately on the counter.
2. For each individual salmon foil packet, place a salmon fillet in the center of the foil sheet, skin side down. Next to the each salmon fillets, arrange half of the vegetables.
3. Sprinkle a pinch of salt on the salmon fillets, then top each fillet equally with the prepared gochujang sauce.
4. Bring the sides of the foil together and fold. Then, slightly twist the ends of the foil, and bring them towards the center. Repeat with the other salmon foil packet.
5. Place the salmon foil packets side by side into the air fryer, seam side up, and cook for 20 to 25 minutes, until the salmon's internal temperature register 135°F. Cook time will vary depending on the thickness of your salmon fillet.
6. Carefully remove the foil packets from the air fryer. Serve the gochujang salmon directly in the foil, or transfer to a plate. Garnish the salmon with some sliced green onions and furikake and enjoy with steamed rice!
Mix and match the sides
We opted to serve our gochujang baked salmon with bok choy and mushrooms because they're common vegetables we keep in our fridge. Plus, they are classic Asian vegetables, perfect for Asian style baked salmon!
Feel free to swap out the vegetables we used for what you have on hand. Broccoli florets, onions, broccolini, kale, carrots, etc. are great for baking. They're also tasty with this gochujang salmon.
- Lightly oil the salmon skin to prevent sticking. Sometimes the salmon skin may stick to the foil. To prevent that, simply grease the salmon skin, or the foil, with some neutral cooking oil.
- Preheat the air fryer. Make sure your air fryer is at 400°F before placing your salmon packets in. This will save you time, and you can preheat the oven while you're prepping.
- Cook the salmon foil packets in a single layer. Don't stack the foil packets! Keeping the packets in one layer helps evenly cook the salmon.
- Adjust the cook time based on the thickness of your salmon. The cook time in this recipe is based on 7 to 8 ounce salmon fillets, about 1 ½ inches thick. So, adjust your cook time accordingly.
- For thicker salmon fillets, like ours, cook for about 20 to 23 minutes or until the internal temperature reaches 135°F, for just cooked salmon.
- For thinner salmon fillets (about 1 inch), cook for about 18 to 20 minutes or until the internal temperature reaches 130°F, for just cooked salmon.
Foil bake this gochujang salmon in the oven
This gochujang salmon recipe can also be baked in your oven. This is especially handy when you want to make more than two servings.
To make this foil baked salmon with gochujang sauce in your conventional oven (no fan), follow the recipe and place the salmon foil packets on a sheet pan and bake. If using a convection oven (with fan), check your salmon 4 to 5 minutes earlier.
Prepare this recipe ahead of time
We recommend cooking your foil baked salmon with gochujang sauce when you're ready to serve. However, you can make the gochujang sauce or prepare your foil baked salmon packet ahead of time.
If the gochujang sauce is made and properly stored in an airtight container, it can last in the fridge for at least 1 to 2 weeks.
You can make your salmon foil packets the evening or the day before, and keep them in the fridge until you're ready to make lunch or dinner that following day.
How to store leftover cooked salmon
Each salmon fillet at 7 to 8 ounce is perfect individual servings for us. But if the portion is too big or if you made extra servings, you can absolutely save and reheat the salmon for later.
To store leftover cooked foil baked salmon, first open up the foil and let the content completely cool at room temperature(both the salmon and veggies).
Transfer the salmon and veggies into an airtight storage container. Pour the sauce/juice over the salmon and discard the foil. Keep salmon refrigerated up to 3 to 4 days.
With this foil baked recipe, a 7 to 8 ounce salmon fillet that's about 1 ½ inches thick, takes about 22 minutes to bake at 400°F in an air fryer. The cook time will vary depending on the thickness of the fillet and your air fryer or oven.
Baking salmon in foil helps lock in the moisture. This ensures that the salmon is juicy and tender every time. And because the salmon fillets are individually packed in small pouches, the sauce steams the fish and infuses all the yummy flavors throughout.
For thinner salmon fillets, cook till the internal temperature is 120°F. For thicker fillets, cook until the temperature is 125°F. The heat will carry over and continue to cook your salmon to 130°F, which will give you perfect, just cooked salmon.
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Foil Baked Salmon with Gochujang (in Air Fryer)
For the salmon:
- 2 pieces salmon fillet preferably skin-on (7-8 ounces / 198-227g each, about 1½. inches thick)
- 9.5 ounces bok choy washed, trimmed, and quartered; about 3 heads (optional side)
- 5.3 ounces white shimeji mushroom washed and trimmed (optional side)
- 2 cups cooked white rice (optional side)
- Kosher salt as needed for the salmon
- Toasted sesame seed or furikake (optional for garnish)
For the gochujang sauce:
- Preheat the air fryer:Preheat the air fryer to 400°F, and prepare two sheets of heavy duty aluminum foil, each about 16 to 18 inches long.
- To make the gochujang sauce:Combine all the ingredients for the sauce in a bowl and mix until well combined.
- Prepare the salmon foil packets:On each piece of foil, place a salmon fillet, skin side down, near the center. Season both of the salmon fillets with a pinch of salt and spoon the prepared gochujang sauce on top of the salmon fillets. Divide the bok choy and mushrooms in half, next to the two salmon fillets.
- Bring the sides of the foil together and fold. Then, slightly twist the ends of the foil and fold towards the center. Repeat with the other salmon foil packet.
- Place the two salmon packets side by side into your air fryer, seam side up and cook for 20 to 25 minutes, or until the salmon's internal temperature reaches 125°F. The residual heat will carry the salmon to 130°F.*Refer to the notes and the post above for more information on cooking times.*
- Serve:Once the salmon fillets are cooked, carefully remove the foil packets out of the air fryer. Serve the salmon and veggies in the foil, or transfer to a plate and serve with hot steamed rice. Enjoy!
- This foil baked salmon recipe can be multiplied and divided without special adjustments. If making more than 2 servings, make sure to cook the salmons in your air fryer in a single layer. Don't stack it!
- The cook time is based on 7 to 8 ounce salmon fillets, that are about 1 ½ inch thick. If your salmon is thicker, please increase your cook time by 3 to 5 minute increments, until your salmon's internal temperature reaches 125°F. The heat will carry over and cook your salmon to 130°F.
- Air fryers and ovens are not made the same. Our air fryer has a preheat setting. If yours does too, make sure it is preheated to 400°F (preferably with an oven thermometer). If not, you'll have to adjust the cook time accordingly.
- This recipe can also be made in the oven, which is great for when you're making more than 2 servings. Follow the recipe as is. For more information, please refer to the post.