How to pan fry salmon

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Salmon is a great meaty fish that, when cooked properly, is absolutely phenomenal on the palate. Many cooks who are not familiar with cooking seafood will look at salmon as a daunting culinary task, but it is really easy to cook and is probably one of the easiest seafood dishes to prepare.

Picking out your salmon fillet

Take a trip to your local supermarket and head toward the fresh seafood area, because salmon is a very flavourful fish and should always be fresh and never frozen.

Look for the salmon that is cut to about 1 to 1 1/4-inch (3-4 cm) thick. Your salmon should be a very bright pink; this is a sign of freshness.

Find the salmon that looks the best and smell it. It should smell like the water and not "fishy"--another sign of freshness.

Preparing your salmon

Season both sides of your salmon fillet with salt and pepper. Let it rest 5 minutes.

Drizzle olive oil over the top and bottom of the salmon fillet, rubbing it into the meat. Let rest 5 minutes.

Preheat your frying pan over high heat until droplets of water "dance" on the metal, then turn the heat down to medium.

Place 1 tsp butter into the frying pan and allow to melt.

Add the salmon to the hot butter in centre of the pan.

Let sizzle for 2 minutes, then use your tongs to loosen the fillet from the pan to avoid the flesh from sticking (unless using a non-stick pan).

Cook the salmon for 5 minutes on each side, then check for doneness by inserting a tooth pick or paring knife into the centre of the fillet and pulling it out. If it comes out clean, the salmon is ready.

Using your tongs, remove the fillet to the serving plate and serve.

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