I was a sophomore, and it was my first day babysitting for a new family. I’d met them once before in a casual interview, and I was feeling confident they’d like me. Then, I was faced with the ultimate request: cooking dinner.


Gif courtesy of msfangirlgonewild.tumblr.com

I was able to use some salmon they caught on a fishing trip. Let me repeat that for emphasis: SALMON. THEY GOT IT ON A FISHING TRIP.

I couldn’t mess it up because they’d never be able to eat the same freshly-caught salmon again. I was nervous. I didn’t know where anything was or what they had in their cabinets. I decided to make a three ingredient recipe (that isn’t pancakes), and the rest is history.

Spoiler alert: It was delicious and I still work for this family.

If you’re ever in a foreign kitchen with no knowledge of what’s behind the cabinet and fridge doors, salt and a sear is your safest bet.

3-Ingredient Salmon

  • Prep Time:3 minutes
  • Cook Time:12 minutes
  • Total Time:15 minutes
  • Servings:2
  • Easy


  • 8 oz salmon
  • 3 tablespoon extra virgin olive oil
  • Kosher salt
Photo by Blake McGuinness
  • Step 1

    Heat oil on medium to high heat.


    Photo by Blake McGuinness
  • Step 2

    Add liberal amount of kosher salt to both sides of the salmon.

    Photo by Blake McGuinness
  • Step 3

    Slowly place salmon in hot oil.

    #SpoonTip: If you don’t know if the oil is hot enough, splash a little water on the pan. If it sizzles, it is hot.

    Photo by Blake McGuinness
  • Step 4

    Flip after about 6 minutes. There should be a solid golden brown developed. If not, the sear isn’t up to Gordon Ramsay standards.

    #SpoonTip: If the salmon is stuck to the bottom of the pan when you try to flip it, it’s not crispy enough yet.

    Photo by Blake McGuinness
  • Step 5

    Cook the other side for about 6 minutes.

    #SpoonTip: If the filet is thicker, the inside may take longer to cook. (This happened to me). Grab the pan’s lid and steam it for a few more minutes. When you poke the middle, it should be firm, not too squishy.

    Photo by Blake McGuinness
  • Step 6

    That’s all. Seriously.