How to Cook Live Abalone
How to Cook Live Abalone
Abalone is the common name for a family of sea snail species found all over the world. They vary in size from small to large, and there are up to one hundred thirty species recognized world wide. There are many uses for abalone, including using their shells as decoration. The insides of the shells are quite beautiful, with iridescent multicolored designs. They can be displayed on their own, with a larger collection of shells, or be used to bring some light into dark corners as a collectable night light.
Abalone Shells as Jewelry or Art Pieces
Another use for abalone, and a way to obtain the shells for later use, is to cook them as part of a delicious seafood dinner. To prepare your abalone for cooking, simply take a short bladed knife and slide it around the edge where the shell meets the flesh to remove the meat from the shell. From there, remove the unnecessary parts such as the intestines and the surface of the foot that abalone use to attach themselves to rocks when they’re alive. Then you can clean the meat and begin preparing the abalone in whatever style you desire.
The first style to prepare abalone is to steam them. This is a favorite dish in Australia that requires minimal time and effort. After removing the meat from the shell, trim and clean it, then return it to its shell. Add ginger and finely chopped garlic to taste and then steam it all together for between three and five minutes, or until done. When it is finished cooking, add a tablespoon of soy sauce and hot oil, sprinkle on some coriander, and serve with a sprig of spring onion.
Japanese Style Grilled Abalone
Another great way to enjoy abalone is to grill it Japanese style. Grilling live abalone is one of the most common ways to eat abalone in the Japanese fish markets, and it’s an easy recipe to mimic. Simply remove the meat from the shell and grill all of the meat on a charcoal grill. Let it cook in its own juices for the most authentic taste, or add your own sauces and seasonings for a more personalized dining experience. If you’re partial to congee, try out the Korean abalone congee recipe. After cleaning, slice the meat into thin slices. Add the slices to rice and sesame oil, and slowly simmer until everything finishes cooking. Once done, top with chopped spring onion for a light and sweet congee that you are certain to enjoy.
A western style recipe for abalone is to saute it. Slice the abalone into strips that are a quarter inch wide, and then season with salt and pepper. Flatten the strips by using a tenderizing mallet or, if you don’t have a mallet, a heavy kitchen utensil like a rolling pin or empty skillet. Next, cover the strips with flour and then an egg wash. After the egg wash, dip into bread crumbs and cover thoroughly. For the bread crumbs, you can use panko bread crumbs, or regular or seasoned bread crumbs. Once the abalone is covered, saute it in a frying pan using butter. The abalone only needs to cook for about twenty seconds on each side. Longer can ruin the meat.
A tip to help make the most of your abalone cooking experience is to remember not to overcook the abalone. It can be eaten raw in sushi, so it’s safe to cook for only a short time. Overcooking abalone makes the meat tough and difficult to chew. Cooking abalone doesn’t need to be difficult, so remember this tip when you set about preparing your dinner. If you like sushi, you can also skip cooking your abalone altogether and prepare the abalone by cleaning and slicing the meat into strips. Pour a dipping dish of soy sauce and wasabi, and enjoy your fresh abalone sushi.
After you have enjoyed your abalone dinner, keep the shells for decor, if you enjoy ocean themed touches around the home. Find creative ways to incorporate them into your existing decor, and consider an abalone night light to complete your theme and add some soft light for when you need to get out of bed in the middle of the night.