Tilapia filets are seasoned with an awesome homemade teriyaki sauce, and then cooked to perfection in your air fryer. With only 5 pantry-friendly ingredients, this recipe is perfect for a quick and delicious dinner any night of the week.
Why I Love This Recipe
This recipe uses fresh tilapia filets and just a handful of ingredients to create an awesome teriyaki glaze. The glaze can be made in just a couple of minutes with no fuss at all. It then gets brushed onto the tilapia filets, before they go in the air fryer and are cooked to perfection in under 10 minutes. No breading, no mess, just a quick and easy dinner!
What is Teriyaki?
Teriyaki sauce is a popular Japanese sauce that’s both sweet and savory. It’s made from a mix of soy sauce, sugar or honey, and sometimes ingredients like ginger and garlic, and sometimes with a kind of rice wine called mirin or sake. The name “teriyaki” actually talks about how it’s used in cooking: “teri” means shiny, and “yaki” means to grill or broil. So, when you cook with this sauce, it gives the food a nice glaze and adds a yummy, rich flavor. In this case, the air fryer does the job that a grill or broiler would do. The air fryer is the perfect kitchen appliance for recipes such as this.
Ingredients and Preparation
We start, of course, with fresh tilapia filets of around 4-6 ounces in size. If you only have frozen, defrost them in the fridge overnight or run under cool water to defrost.
Then, we’ll make a simple teriyaki sauce with honey, soy sauce, garlic powder, and ground ginger. The ingredients go into a small bowl and are whisked until it’s all combined.
Once our teriyaki sauce is made, it’s time to brush it liberally onto the filets.
And that’s it! You’re done with the prep. The whole prep time is about 5 minutes. Perfect, right?
Air Fry for 6-8 Minutes
Now it’s time for our teriyaki tilapia filets to get cooking in the air fryer. We’ll want to start by preheating the air fryer at 400°F for about 5 minutes. The filets are then placed in the air fryer basket or tray, depending on your style of air fryer. Then we use the air fry setting for 6-8 minutes. When done, the filets will have an internal temperature of 145°F and have a lovely golden brown color.
Substitutions and Modifications
If you want an extra tangy flavor, add a tablespoon of rice wine vinegar to the teriyaki sauce.
Ginger is a flavor that is synonymous with good teriyaki sauce. For this recipe, we’ll use just an ⅛th of a teaspoon of dry ground ginger. If you really love ginger (like I certainly do!), feel free to bump up the amount to ¼ tsp or adjust to taste. You can also absolutely use fresh ginger. I’m a HUGE fan of fresh ginger and it works great with this recipe. Use 1-2 teaspoons of fresh grated ginger in place of the dry.
Your tilapia is ready to enjoy as soon as it’s done. There’s no shortage of optional garnishments. Here’s a few ideas…
Green Onions/Scallions: Thinly sliced green onions sprinkled on top can introduce a fresh, mild onion flavor and vibrant color.
Sesame Seeds: Toasted white or black sesame seeds can add a pleasant crunch and nuttiness, accentuating the teriyaki flavor.
Cilantro or Parsley: Freshly chopped cilantro or parsley can add a refreshing note and a pop of green.
Lime or Lemon Zest: The zest of lime or lemon can provide a hint of citrus brightness, enhancing the overall flavor.
Red Pepper Flakes: For those who enjoy a bit of heat, a sprinkle of red pepper flakes can introduce a spicy kick.
Radish Slices: This is a favorite of mine. Thin slices of radish can offer a delightfully crisp texture and peppery bite.
Storage and Reheating
Our teriyaki tilapia is a great meal idea for meal prep and enjoying the next day. Since we’re not using a crispy coating on the recipe, it will store and reheat well. It’s best used in the next 2-3 days after being stored in an airtight container in the refrigerator. Be sure to let the tilapia cool down before storing it.
You can also freeze it. Wrap individual portions of the fish tightly in plastic wrap or aluminum foil. After wrapping, place the portions in airtight freezer bags or containers. Use it within 2-3 months.
To reheat, the suggested methods are the air fryer, oven or microwave.
To reheat in the air fryer: preheat your air fryer to 350°F. Once warmed up, place the tilapia fillets in the basket without overlapping and cook on the air fry setting for 3-5 minutes, checking for warmth after the initial 3 minutes. Adjust the time if needed, ensuring not to overheat and dry out the fish. If you have additional teriyaki sauce, go ahead and brush it on. This will also help to keep it moist and not dry out. Serve immediately once it’s heated through.
To reheat in the conventional oven: Place the tilapia fillets on a baking sheet lined with aluminum foil or parchment paper. If desired, brush a little extra teriyaki sauce on the fish for added flavor. Bake in the oven preheated to 350°F for about 10-15 minutes, or until the tilapia is heated through.
To reheat in the microwave: place the fillets on a microwave-safe plate, spacing them evenly. If you have extra teriyaki sauce, you can brush more onto the fish. Cover the plate with a microwave-safe lid or another plate and heat for 1-2 minutes, checking after the first minute. Adjust the time as needed. And remember… while tilapia has a mild taste and smell when compared to other fish, being “that person” at the office who reheats fish in the microwave, well, just keep in mind that microwaved seafood of any kind can linger and bring the ire of your co-workers.Print