Braised Abalone, Dried Scallops and Black Mushrooms (紅燒瑤柱鮑魚)
A few people asked me for the recipe of a braised abalone dish I made a few weeks ago in honor of Chef Dejah's birthday. Here it is for all who may be interested.
Picture of the finished dish:
Serving Suggestion: 2-3
Main ingredients (upper right, clockwise):
- Dried scallops (a.k.a. "conpoy"), about 20
- Garlic, use 4-5 cloves
- 1 can of abalone
- 1 head of lettuce
- Dried black (shitake) mushrooms, about 20
- (Not shown) 5 star anises
- (Not shown) 3 pieces of "chan pei" (dried mandarin peels)
(Not shown in picture): The night before cooking, soak all dried scallops with 1 cup of water (just enough to cover all the dried scallops) for 16 to 24 hours. Before cooking, drain and save the soaking liquid.
Use 4-5 cloves of garlic, peel and mince.
Use 5-6 star anises and 3-4 pieces of "chan pei" (dried mandarin peels). Soak the dried mandarin peels in water for about an hour before cooking.
Open a can of abalone. Drain and save the "juice". Cut the abalone into thin slices.
One technique to slice an abalone is to hold it down with your fingers, and use the knife to slice horizontally. Abalone meat is very soft. You can slice them up slowly.
Here are all the abalone slices for this dish.
Soak the dried black mushrooms for about 2-3 hours before cooking. Drain and save the soaking liquid for cooking. Trim off the ends and leave the mushrooms whole.
Wash and peel the lettuce. Cook the leaves whole. No need to cut them.
Use a medium size pot. Set stove to medium. Add 2-3 tblsp of cooking oil.
Add minced garlic. (No salt is needed) Stir quickly. Add 1 tsp of brown bean sauce. Dash in 3-4 tsp of ShaoHsing cooking wine. Optionally you may add 1 stalk of green onion - cut into 1 to 2 inch in length. (Discard the green onions in the end.)
Sorry the garlic was burnt a little bit. Hard to take pictures while cooking. But this would not matter. Use a strainer to filter off the undesirable burnt residue in the sauce before serving.
Add 1 cup of "water" - should first use up the "abalone juice", then the soaking liquid from the dried scallops, then the soaking liquid from the black mushrooms. Add 1 cup of chicken broth, 3-4 tsp of oyster sauce, 2 tsp of dark soy sauce, 2 tsp of sugar, soaked mandarin peels and star anises. Mix well. Bring this to a boil.
Once the mixture starts boiling, turn down the stove to a simmer immediately. For the rest of the cooking, only simmer. Gently add the soaked dried scallops. Try not to break any of them for good presentation reasons.
Make sure that all dried conpoys are completely immersed in the liquid. Add water/broth if necessary.
Add the abalone slices.
Finally, add the whole reconstituted black mushrooms. From this point on, do not stir. Leave everything as it. Put the lid on and simmer for 2 hours.
10 minutes before serving, set a pan on top of a stove. Set for high. Boil 1 cup of water.
Quickly blanch the lettuce leaves.
This is what the pot of ingredients look like after 2 hours of simmering.
To assemble this dish, use a big round plate. Strain the excess water from the blanced lettuce and lay them in a circle near the rim of the plate.
Use chopsticks to pick the whole black mushrooms from the pot and lay them on top of the lettuce.
Pick the abalone slices from the pot. Set aside.
There are only dried scallops, star anises and dried mandarin peels left in the pot. The dried scallops should stay whole but are very easy to fall apart. Pick and discard the star anises and dried mandarin peels. Use a large spoon to spoon off the conpoy from the pot, one by one, and transfer them onto the center of the serving plate.
Like such. Then lay the abalone slices between the conpoy and black mushrooms.
With the sauce in the pot, turn to stove to high and bring the sauce to a quick boil. Add corn starch slurry (suggest: 1 tsp mixed with 1 tsp of water, adjust) to thicken it to the right consistency. Spoon the thicken sauce and pour on top of the finished dish.
Picture of the finished dish.
Keys to cooking this dish
1. The art of braising - once the sauce is brought to the initial boil, turn down the stove to a simmer. Simmer the ingredients for about 2 hours or more.
2. Once the conpoys are in the pot, do not stir any more so that they can stay whole.
3. You may use other whole spices of the "five spice" group to enhance the flavor.
Edited by hzrt8w, 26 June 2006 - 09:34 PM.