salmon and asparagus

If You Only Have 20 Minutes to Make Dinner, This Salmon and Asparagus Dinner Is the Meal for You

I figured out fairly early on in my cooking that if I can afford fish, I’m going to get it, and I’m going to stock up on it. Fish is incredibly simple to make, it takes almost no time at all to defrost and then cook.

Back when I first started cooking nightly, I was in school and working 40 hours a week. My high school sweetheart was on graveyard, and I had a boatload of homework to do. What it meant was that I has to start cooking as soon as I walked in the door at 6. Dinner could take no more than 30 minutes to cook. Everyone had to be fed, dishes washed, and homework started by like 7:30. My high school sweetheart would then be out the door by 9. There was like an hour and a half in there for some down time, but I didn’t have time for the down time.

Fish. Fish is what saved me. Although it took a good long time for that boy to agree to trying it. Finally he decided it was good.

This basic salmon and asparagus dish is something that you would see often if you lived with me. It’s very basic but all of the flavors complement each other, and it’s just wonderful! Sometimes the simple recipes are the tastiest. 

I know that this is going to sound like a boring recipe, but it tastes way better than it sounds. I generally have left over rice, or I start making the rice before I cook my asparagus and salmon. It only takes 20 minutes to make rice. So it’s definitely worth it to have a starch.


  • 2-4 salmon filets (however many it takes to feed your family)
  • 1-2 bunches of asparagus (again, however much it takes to feed your family)
  • 1/2 tsp sesame oil
  • salt and pepper to taste
  • Rice, if desired
  • Optional topping: sriracha mayo, Kikkoman’s stir fry sauce, or just lemon on top


  1. If making rice. Start it immediately. 1 cup of rice to 1.5 cups of water. Bring the water and rice to a boil over high heat. Turn heat to low. Allow to simmer covered 15-18 minutes, or until the rice is ready.
  2. In a skillet heat up a pan of medium heat. Add in sesame oil. Allow to heat. Add your asparagus. Allow to cook for 10 minutes, covered
  3. Remove your asparagus. Set aside, covered. Place in a warming oven or a microwave to help keep it warm.
  4. Add some olive oil or canola oil to your skillet. Add in those salmon filets (seasoned with salt and pepper to taste). Cook on each side for about 4-5 minutes.
  5. Serve: Rice on the bottom, asparagus atop that, and salmon on the top. Add whatever sauces you enjoy.


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