Easy Panko Crusted Salmon

panko crusted salmon
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Soft, flaky salmon and crunchy panko. This panko crusted salmon is my kids’ favorite way to eat salmon. We eat salmon regularly, so I try to switch up the recipes occasionally, but munchkin gets upset when I do. 😅 She gets so excited when she sees her favorite menu back.

Salmon and air fryer broccoli

Why soak salmon in salt water?

I used to dislike cooked salmon and only ate it raw as sushi until I learned the trick to brine salmon. A quick 10~15 minute soak in salt water makes it nearly fool-proof for cooking juicy salmon. Also, you get mildly seasoned salmon throughout the whole cut, not just the surface. Use 1/4 cup salt if you’re watching your sodium intake or cooking for small children. You can increase the amount to 1/3 cup without the salmon becoming too salty. And you know that yucky white stuff that comes out of cooked salmon? You can significantly reduce it through this method.

soaking salmon in salt water

Brush salmon with mayonnaise

If you’re familiar with my recipes, it’s no secret that we love mayo. My kids and I love the taste of mayo, and it goes so well with salmon. But that’s not the only reason to coat mayo on fish. Mayo protects delicate fish while baking, ensuring a soft and flaky texture. We love kewpie mayo, but you can use any brand here. If you don’t eat mayo, you can use plain yogurt instead, although the flavor will not be the same.

Buttery crispy panko

Panko bread crumbs take a long time to turn golden brown in the oven, much longer than cooking salmon. Because of this, I used to toast the panko crumbs on a dry pan before baking. Luckily, there’s an easier way to get that beautiful golden top without toasting first. Mix panko crumbs with melted butter before patting them on the salmon. The butter will help panko cook golden brown quickly, adding delicious rich flavor.

salmon fillets. one with mayo on top and one coated with panko bread crumbs

I love to serve panko-crusted salmon with roasted cauliflowers or air-fried broccoli.

Also, check out 3 ingredients salmon nuggets for a lunchbox-friendly option.

If you tried this recipe, I would love to hear how it went!

panko crusted salmon cut in half
panko crusted salmon
5 from 4 votes

Easy Panko Crusted Salmon

Soft, flaky salmon and crunchy panko. My kids' favorite way to eat salmon.

Course Main Course
Cuisine American
Prep Time 10 minutes
Cook Time 12 minutes
Total Time 32 minutes
Servings 4
Author whiteblankspace


  • 1/4~1/3 cup kosher salt
  • 4 (5 oz each) small or 2 large (10 oz each) salmon fillets skin-on or without skin
  • 1 tbsp unsalted butter melted
  • 1/2 cup panko breadcrumbs
  • 4 tbsp mayonnaise


  1. Position in the middle and preheat to 425 F.
  2. Brine salmon fillets: In a large bowl, dissolve salt into 4 cups of water. Soak salmon fillets in the saltwater for about 10 minutes.
  3. In a separate bowl, mix melted butter with panko breadcrumbs.
  4. Line a baking sheet with parchment paper. Pat dry salmon fillets and place them on the baking sheet.
  5. Place 1 tbsp each of mayonnaise on 4 salmon fillets. Brush the mayonnaise on top and sides.
  6. Spread and pat panko crumbs on top.
  7. Bake for about 12 minutes until the top of the panko is golden brown.

Recipe Notes

Use 1/4 cup salt if you’re watching your sodium intake or cooking for small children. You can increase the amount to 1/3 cup without the salmon becoming too salty.

8 Responses

  1. 5 stars
    Love love love this recipe and your account! Have been following for years.

    Question: where do you like to buy your salmon?

    1. Thank you so much, Jenny. It means so much to me. We eat a mix of farmed salmon (I actually like the taste better) and wild sockeye salmon. When I buy farmed salmon, I try to buy from responsibly managed farms. I’ve read that Whole Foods has great quality farmed salmon. We also buy from Trader Joe’s, Costco, and Sprouts. I looked up the policy on the markets’ website on this. I can’t tell how truthful their info is, but that’s the best I can do.

  2. 5 stars
    This is the best salmon recipe. We use the leftovers with rice and mayo and it is always a favorite in my family.

  3. 5 stars
    I made this for tonight’s dinner. Influenced by another recipe I found for chicken breasts, I added a couple tblsp of fresh grated Parmesan to the mayo and Italian herbs/spice mix to the crumbs. My salmon wasn’t very thick, so I only cooked for 10 minutes (400 degrees F on convection). Perfect!

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