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Calmex Abalone


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6 replies to this topic

#1 cabrales

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Posted 02 December 2002 - 12:08 PM

I'd appreicate your thoughts on the quality of Calmex brand canned Abalone (understanding this is clearly not as promising as many non-canned abalone; rough translation from Cantonese, "car wheel spoke" abalone, after the piccture, as you know, from its pink label). Is there a better brand of canned abalone in your view, leaving aside price considerations?

http://www.dchfood.c...ubcat=38&v_id=8

How have you prepared canned abalone (if at all)? :blink:

#2 hollywood

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Posted 02 December 2002 - 01:01 PM

I'd appreicate your thoughts on the quality of Calmex brand canned Abalone (understanding this is clearly not as promising as many non-canned abalone; rough translation from Cantonese, "car wheel spoke" abalone, after the piccture, as you know, from its pink label).  Is there a better brand of canned abalone in your view, leaving aside price considerations?

http://www.dchfood.c...ubcat=38&v_id=8

How have you prepared canned abalone (if at all)? :blink:

Don't know the answers but I'm wondering if these are farm raised abalone (there's at least one abalone farm in Baja) or if they are captured in the wild?
I'm hollywood and I approve this message.

#3 eatingwitheddie

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Posted 02 December 2002 - 01:33 PM

I'd appreicate your thoughts on the quality of Calmex brand canned Abalone (understanding this is clearly not as promising as many non-canned abalone; rough translation from Cantonese, "car wheel spoke" abalone, after the piccture, as you know, from its pink label).  Is there a better brand of canned abalone in your view, leaving aside price considerations?

http://www.dchfood.c...ubcat=38&v_id=8

How have you prepared canned abalone (if at all)? :blink:

CALMEX ABALONE

This brand has a reputation as the best, and it is one of the few canned foods that I think is quite good. It is often the only brand available. I have never done a formal tasting of it vs. the competition. It just needs to be sliced and served. But frankly, when was the last time you wanted to eat canned shrimp or mussels? I usually want my seafood fresh.

These days live and fresh frozen abalone are available. The frozen Australian abalone (Australia has absolutely awesome fish/shellfish) is a very good product.

Most Chinese, however, when wanting to eat this delicacy prefer the sinfully expensive dried abalone. Like some mushrooms, drying somehow intensifies and improves it. A single portion is in the $100-200 range.

#4 annchang

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Posted 06 December 2002 - 02:20 AM

Dear Cabrales,

There is on japanese canned abalone called Ji Pin (I have to check the japanese name) consider as the best in canned version. Calmex is the second best. However, it is exteremely expensive and rare, only few even get chance to buy it. Check all th top Japanese department store in Tokyo. ( I mean really top gourmet shop)

Be frankly, I never have the luck to try the abalone especially the one made be Chef Young in Fook Lam Moon. Last month he just introduce a la cate based on abalone which per head is around US$ 720. If you ever try it, please share the experience with us.

Ann

#5 Huevos del Toro

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Posted 06 December 2002 - 08:10 AM

Cabrales;

Try it my way. Buy a wet suit, go to N. California and harvest them yourself! Take cheese and wine to tide you over while you regain some feeling in your limbs. Then use a Coke bottle to beat the h*ll out of them and "flash fry" 'em. Yum!
--------------
Bob Bowen
aka Huevos del Toro

#6 cabrales

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Posted 06 December 2002 - 08:35 AM

Be frankly, I never have the luck to try the abalone especially the one made be Chef Young in Fook Lam Moon. Last month he just introduce a la cate based on abalone which per head is around US$ 720. If you ever try it, please share the experience with us.

Ann -- I have had abalone at Fook Lam Moon a number of times. I don't know when I will resample the dish.

At FLM, as Ed suggested is commonplace for restaurants, the dried abalone is utilized. The drying might not entail just drying (?), for the resulting flavors appear more complex and French (one form is "hormeaux"), Mexican and Australian fresh abalone do not appear to have the depth and intensity of flavor than the dried ones, particularly at FLM. Following rehydration, the abalone is braised in a medium-to-dark-brown colored sauce that itself has gelatinous textures (likely from the utilization in the braising/stewing of chicken feet or certain pork spareribs, which can impart that texture and which are not served to the client -- this is at least one of the traditional methods for conferring texture). The sauce is a key part of the abalone dish at FLM and elsewhere, and typically contains soy, some sort of stock predicated on meat (?) and some type of Chinese wine with which I am unfamiliar. It must contain some sugar as well, for it has a balance that would be difficult to achieve without it.

In more informal parlance, abalone price is determined based on "tow" (translated, "heads"), meaning the number of abalone that make up a specified weight (with the smaller "tow" representing larger abalone and becoming more expensive in a non-linear fashion).

At least for some clients (?), FLM allows BYO without corkage. I have taken in abalone there with, for example, Lynch-Bagues, Ducru Beaucaillou (spelling?) and Mouton-Rothschilds. All work reasonably well. Some regular clients can keep bottles of digestifs at the restaurant for their own use. Clients of FLM appear to favor cognac.

I have never sampled "Ah Yut" (that's not the English name, but merely the informal translation of a name that means humbly "Number One" in Chinese), which appears to be among the stronger perceived competitors for FLM with respect to abalone and which is an abalone specialist. I hear from multiple sources that Ah Yut is not as good as FLM, however.

One has to be very careful in purchasing dried or canned abalone, whether in Asia or in the US. There are even "imposter" cans of Calmex. In NY, I checked with the importer from Hong Kong to verify that Kam Moon (informal translation, probably not the name of the place in English) on Canal (one of the larger supermarkets, the one with the top floor that has a counter for tea smoked eggs, chicken, BBQ duck and with a basement area) carries authentic cans. At Kam Moon, a can of Calmex runs more than US$40 or 50 (unclear), I vaguely recall. A Calmex can might contain a single large abalone, or it might contain 1 medium sized one and a part of another. The liquid inside the can should be preserved, if one wants to heat up the abalone. The Calmex variety lacks the feeling of elasticity and depth one finds in the best abalones, and I am looking for a substitute (if available). However, it is the best canned abalone I have sampled (I will pursue the alternative mentioned in this thread) and it is appropriate. :laugh:

Huevos -- That sounds wonderful. I have thought about doing that for geoduck, after hearing on the Pacific Northwest board that certain beaches have geoduck spottings. :wink:

Edited by cabrales, 06 December 2002 - 08:37 AM.


#7 eatingwitheddie

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Posted 06 December 2002 - 01:18 PM

I have had abalone at Fook Lam Moon a number of times. I don't know when I will resample the dish.
k:

Cabrales

Thanks for the great post about abalone at FLM. You're a previleged person to have eaten there many times.

FYI - A few years back some chefs from 'Ah Yut' the other restaurant you referred to, visited here from HK and had a festival at the Godlen Unicorn,18 E. Bway. I was not there to eat the abalone, but I did try some of their other dishes which were excellent. I particularly remember a mixed vegetable flavored with a house cured pork. Wow!