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Abalone


Prawncrackers
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Following on from my recent good form finding for me novel ingredients to cook with (sea urchin and woodcock last week), this morning I found some fresh abalone at the market. At £18.50/lb they were expensive but not extortionate and big, as I write this now they were as big as my computer mouse! Having the well-trained Chinese food buying instinct i was going to snaffle up four of the suckers but then I realised that I have no idea how to cook them. Dried Abalone is very popular in Cantonese cuisine and I have no doubt that I could find recipes for dried abalone. But I rarely recall seeing any for fresh abalone.

So, before I spend my hard earned cash on this delicacy. Does anyone have any tips or recipes for fresh abalone? Especially how one would go about preparing them i.e. how to extract them from the shell and how to clean them. Doesn't have to be an Asian preparation, in fact these abalone were from France; so a tasty French method would go with the terroir. :huh:

Thanking you folks in advance .

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I had a buddy who used to free-dive for ab off the Mendocino coast. All I remember is he used to slice the meat nice and thin, pound the living shit out of it till it was good and thin, lightly bread it and saute it for like a minute a side. Absolutely delicious stuff.

Mitch Weinstein aka "weinoo"

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I found one from the internet that says Abalone in a Shell. The recipe is korean.

Abalone in a shell

Ingredients :

18 x Abalones

1/2 tsp Salt

1/2 cup Cabbage

1/2 x Lemon

Parsley

CATSUP SAUCE

3 tbl Tomato catsup

1 tsp Red pepper oil

1/2 tsp Minced garlic

1 tsp Sugar

1/3 tsp Salt

Method :

(1) Select medium-sized abalones and scrub shells with brush. Wash slippery surface of abalone meat and slide knife into shells to free meat (2) Parboil abalone meat in salted, boiling water for 5 minutes and return to shells.

(3) Shred cabbage finely, dip into cold water for 20 minutes, and drain. Cut lemon into thin rings, and cut rings into half- moon shape.

(4) Add red pepper oil, minced garlic, sugar and salt to tomato catsup to make sauce.

(5) Place shredded cabbage in bottom of dish and top with abalones in shells. Garnish with lemon and parsley in middle of dish. Serve abalones with catsup.

by Sook Joung Ha

Note:

*Red pepper oil is made from red pepper powder dissolved in sesame oil and boiled once over low heat. Drop 1-2 drops into stuffing for dumplings and other sauce dishes to enhance the flavor.

Doddie aka Domestic Goddess

"Nobody loves pork more than a Filipino"

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My dad used to steam them with ginger and onion. Then pour a little warmed soy sauce and oil with more ginger and onion on top. The exact manner you would steam a fish.

It was only lightly steamed, or else it would get too tough. I used to really enjoy this b/c i highlighted the sweetness fo the abalone. But he had to really watch it because it got really tough really quickly.

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Like $50, pound, slice thin, coat w/panko and quickly fry. Used to get loads of these tank diving off Ft. Bragg in No Cal in the 60's. When young and stupid it was fun to see the sharks try to get at your dive buddies ab bag.

"I drink to make other people interesting".

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Does anyone have any tips or recipes for fresh abalone?  Especially how one would go about preparing them i.e. how to extract them from the shell and how to clean them.

I've prepared and eaten some freshly gathered Red Abalone in California, which are considerably larger than these. Extracting from the shell is fairly easy once you figure out the right angles. For your size, probably work a butter knife or metal spoon between the shell and meat until you can find the small point of attachment to the shell. Come at that from the correct direction (try and see) and it comes off easily.

Then remove everything that doesn't seem like firm white meat, and trim off the dark colored skin. You don't need to trim too well -- the trimming is mostly cosmetic. I'd suggest slicing into pieces a little thicker than you might guess: maybe 1/4 to 3/8". Pound firmly but not violently with a blunt object like a rolling pin or wine bottle about 10 times. The flesh should end up much softer and relaxed than it started, but not particularly flattened. You aren't trying to tenderize them like a tough steak, just to cause them to relax.

Fry in butter in a hot pan for a short time on each side --- maybe 30-45 seconds per side. Use egg and dip in panko if you must, but after the first time I decided that even that detracted too much from the delectable meat. I'd suggest cooking it bare, and eating it by itself as an appetizer with fresh squeezed lemon juice, salt. You can certainly use it in a dish, but if the quality is good I think you'd be better appreciating them directly.

Here's a link that provides more information about cleaning, although realize that he's talking about abalone with dishplate sized shells:

http://sonic.net/~rocky/abhandlingcleaning.htm

And here's some suggestions for preparing them California style (although like I said, I'd eat the first batch with just butter, lemon juice, and salt):

http://sonic.net/~rocky/abrecipesbreaded.htm

Good luck, and tell us how it goes!

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Does anyone have any tips or recipes for fresh abalone?  Especially how one would go about preparing them i.e. how to extract them from the shell and how to clean them.

I've prepared and eaten some freshly gathered Red Abalone in California, which are considerably larger than these. Extracting from the shell is fairly easy once you figure out the right angles. For your size, probably work a butter knife or metal spoon between the shell and meat until you can find the small point of attachment to the shell. Come at that from the correct direction (try and see) and it comes off easily.

Then remove everything that doesn't seem like firm white meat, and trim off the dark colored skin. You don't need to trim too well -- the trimming is mostly cosmetic. I'd suggest slicing into pieces a little thicker than you might guess: maybe 1/4 to 3/8". Pound firmly but not violently with a blunt object like a rolling pin or wine bottle about 10 times. The flesh should end up much softer and relaxed than it started, but not particularly flattened. You aren't trying to tenderize them like a tough steak, just to cause them to relax.

Fry in butter in a hot pan for a short time on each side --- maybe 30-45 seconds per side. Use egg and dip in panko if you must, but after the first time I decided that even that detracted too much from the delectable meat. I'd suggest cooking it bare, and eating it by itself as an appetizer with fresh squeezed lemon juice, salt. You can certainly use it in a dish, but if the quality is good I think you'd be better appreciating them directly.

Here's a link that provides more information about cleaning, although realize that he's talking about abalone with dishplate sized shells:

http://sonic.net/~rocky/abhandlingcleaning.htm

And here's some suggestions for preparing them California style (although like I said, I'd eat the first batch with just butter, lemon juice, and salt):

http://sonic.net/~rocky/abrecipesbreaded.htm

Good luck, and tell us how it goes!

Nathan is right on about the best way to prepare & eat abalone.

I grew up near the Northern California coast and spent many a low tide wading amongst the rocks with my tire iron hoping to surprise an abalone. This, of course, was a long time ago. Later wet suits & snorkeling/ scuba decimated the abalone population as it became a bit too easy to find them & prise them off their rocks.

Ah well.

The only other way I've ever liked fresh abalone prepared was at a restaurant in Tokyo. This was on a teppan griddle; the chef put the abalone shell & all down on the griddle & covered it. After a minute or two he lifted the lid and cut & cleaned the abalone then put the lid back on with several chopped cloves of garlic. One minute later he started cutting the abalone into bite sized pieces and distributing them. Fantastically delicious.

Enjoy your bounty.

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Thanks guys this is all terrific information especially those links on deshelling them. So the general consensus is to cook them thin and fast. I don't think these abalone were still alive btw, at least they weren't moving when i poked them. Will the fast cooking for these still keep them tender? My first inclination was that a slow braise would be really good for them. Either way i'm now really looking forward to the next trip to the market.

Edited by Prawncrackers (log)
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Mate, uncover your cricket bat from distant summer memories. Whack the shit out of it, marinate in a little ginger, scallion, garlic, sesame oil, and soy. Fire up the barbie and run with it.

The first time I had abalone was after the first match of rugby I played in Australia. I'd been picked up by a semi-pro team and during the social a guy was griddling up heaps of them and serving them on white bread with tomato sauce!

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We have a nearby red abalone aquaculture operation and I think the demand for product is escalating. Whenever I see the vendors at the market they are sold out so I have yet to even get a sample. All I have is a business card - not too tasty! This thread has reminded me to phone in an order.

Needless to say I have zero experience handling abalone but look forward to doing so in the near future. The guys here say raw is best, like a fresh scallop. In my opinion, a little butter, garlic and heat will enhance just about anything.

Peter Gamble aka "Peter the eater"

I just made a cornish game hen with chestnut stuffing. . .

Would you believe a pigeon stuffed with spam? . . .

Would you believe a rat filled with cough drops?

Moe Sizlack

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  • 1 month later...

I met Brad Buckley of The Abolone Farm Inc (www.abalonefarm.com).

He was out in Boston at the Seafood Show and we met him at Clio when they were having an abalone tasting menu featuring his product. Brad lives at the farm and is committed to bringing great product to market that has been raised using ecologically sound practises (the farm has been in busines for forty years).

Short story is, the product is great, I have steaks and live ones meetng me in San Diego for a dinner party that he shipped today and the price is reasonable considering the level of memories it brings to us old time Californias who remember near limitless takes during shore dives.

I will post some pictures after the feast.

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I will post some pictures after the feast.

Please do. They are $4.99 each (about 3 to 4 inches across the long way) at my local Korean market. I have the So Cal memory (Catalina actually) and would love to recreate it, but I need direction.

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  • 3 years later...

My first time preparing abalone will be tonight. Previous posts indicate a light breading and flash fry is the way to go (after pounding the hell out of it and slicing it thin) but I'd really prefer to grill it as it's HOT tonight. Anybody have a preference for fresh, large, free-diver sourced abalone? To grill or to pan-fry. That is the question!

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Although it is uber-fresh (friends free-dove for it last weekend, then cleaned it for me and froze it immediately), it's not going to be fresh enough for sashimi, alas. I'll slice it thin, pound it, and pan sautee it very quickly so it doesn't get tough. I'll let you know how it comes out!

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When I was down at Cockle Creek in Tasmania a few years back we had fresh dived abalone, whole, grilled on the hotplate until it was tender enough to pierce with a fork (much like testing a baked potato). No pounding or slicing involved. It was one of the most memorable things I've ever eaten. Sitting outside a little hut on the beach, with just the abalone, some sea salt and lemon.

I told my chef at the time about it when I got back to work, and he almost had a coronary on the spot.

Edited by Broken English (log)

James.

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A million years ago in northern CA we used to get it at a local seafood restaurant. not expensive at the time.

pound it with a thick heavy dinner plate ( the thick edge ) more the better. then cook whole pan saute or very hot grill. i wouldnt cut it up first.

lemon

lucky you.

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Thanks to all for your input. Here are the results of my first abalone attempt:

I gathered as much info as I could from sites around the web and went to town.

I decided to try pan frying. It was a very large muscle, maybe 2-2.5 lbs. Too big to cook whole.

I used just half of the abalone so I could try another version tonght.

I cut it into 1/4 inch slices and pounded it with a meat tenderizer. Most sites said just to pound it till it was not so rubbery, to loosen the muscle, and not to make it super big and flat, so I went that route.

Each piece was sprinkled with kosher salt and fresh cracked pepper.

I clarified some butter so I could have the pan and cooking medium nice and hot.

Into the hot clarified butter, I scattered some freshly minced garlic.

I decided not to use any breading so I could just taste the delicious sweet meat.

In went my precious abalone cutlets.

30 seconds on one side, 30 seconds on the other. I counted. This was the recommended cooking time from around the internet.

Onto the plates, we immediately cut into our catch and...

Rubber. Some pieces we were able to cut into, but definitely not with a fork. Delicious flavor, but really unacceptable texture.

Most pieces were edible, but many were just too tough.

What went wrong? I don't know if the problem was that we didn't tenderize them enough, or if we cooked them too long, or if we cooked them too short.

The questions now are how do you know when you've pounded them enough, and how do you judge when they are done?

Any assistance out there from anyone who has actually cooked abalone themselves, for tonight's attempt?

Thank you! I'm new here and really appreciate your help.

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