Whether served pan-fried, braised, or raw, the rich ocean fresh flavor of abalone is hard to resist. Read on to learn how to choose, prepare, and cook this luxurious culinary delicacy.
What does Abalone taste like?
Abalone has a delicate briny flavor with a slight buttery richness and a hint of sweetness. Its taste and silky tender texture are reminiscent of other mollusks such as oysters or scallops.
How to choose Abalone
As with similar kinds of shellfish, you should always use live abalones. You can buy abalones from a fishmonger, purchase them frozen, or even dive for them yourself – you can’t get any fresher than that!
Choose ones that have a clean, ocean scent. They shouldn’t smell foul or strongly fishy. You’ll also want to steer clear of any discoloration spots.
For the best experience, try to find abalones that have a deeper hue. These have a more palpable ocean flavor than the white and clear ones.
How to prepare Abalone
Before cooking the abalone, give it a thorough wash and separate the meat by cutting along the inside of the shell with a sharp paring knife. Then, slice off the dark outer ring of the meat. To tenderize, gently pound it with a rubber mallet.
What to do with Abalone
You can enjoy abalone raw or cooked. To make abalone sashimi, cut the prepared abalone against the grain and into paper-thin slices. Serve it with a drizzle of lemon juice or ponzu dipping sauce and wasabi.
Abalone is a prized delicacy in Chinese cuisine and is typically served steamed, braised, or in soup. It’s most commonly eaten during the Chinese New Year and is usually paired with mushrooms, chicken, or pork. Bright, vegetal flavors like ginger, cilantro, and scallions balance out the abalones’ saltiness.
Abalones can also be pan-fried or grilled. Pan-fry your prepared abalones in butter and garlic with a splash of lemon juice or white wine. Serve them with crusty bread and fresh herbs Follow our recipe for Roast Scallops with Herb Butter, but substitute an equal amount of abalone for the scallops to try this simple, yet delicious preparation for yourself. For a more rustic preparation, blanch whole abalones in salted water to loosen and remove their outer mantle, then grill them in their shells over coals.