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Preparation of Abalone for Cooking

Click here to watch a video of  San Francisco Chronicle food writer Olivia Wu shucking abalone and preparing them to eat. (runs 9:06)

Written instructions
1. Live abalone should be well chilled prior to processing. Chilling will reduce the amount of “bleeding”, and improve the yield. If the abalone are to be processed soon after they are received, they can be placed in a freezer for 20-30 minutes.

2. Remove the abalone from its shell. Remove stomach, gills, and head. Immediately place the foot in a refrigerator or freezer ( for a short time, don’t let the foot freeze). The abalone can be placed flat, not piled up, in a Tupperware container with a lid. If there isn’t time, then the abalone can be placed in a freezer for 20-30 minutes before slicing.

3. To slice the abalone, begin by slicing off the bottom most part (the “sole”) of the foot. Set the slicer (on number 2) for a thin slice, and orient the foot so that the head side of the abalone gets cut first. Slowly push the foot into the slicer until the thin slice appears, and can be grabbed in your fingers. Pull on the slice, and at the same time, push the foot into the slicer. Pulling on the slice is important, and will ensure that the slice is of a uniform thickness. The sole can be sautéed (with or without pounding), or it can be used in soups or sauces.

4. Now set the slicer for a thicker slice, and slice the rest of the foot using exactly the same technique described in the paragraph above. Take your time, and be sure to grab each slice as soon as it starts to appear below the blade. Push the foot, and pull the slice evenly so that the result is a uniform slice of abalone.

5. Part of the top slice of the foot may have a shiny surface. This is due to a membrane that has a different texture than the meat underneath it. The difference in textures can cause that slice to curl up when it is pounded, so you can cut across the shiny part with a pair of scissors, and pound that part a little more than the rest. Also, the round “knob” on top of the foot (called the shell muscle) should be sliced along with the rest of the foot, and is of excellent quality.

6. During the slicing process, most of the black, frilly, fringe will separate from the slices. These too can be saved for use in other recipes. If there are pieces of the fringe remaining attached to the slices, they can be removed with a pair of scissors, or a sharp knife.

7. Tenderizing, or pounding the slices is an important part of the process. It is recommended that a piece of plastic wrap be placed over the slice in order to help protect it from being cut. Blows of the tenderizing hammer should be done lightly, and the hammer should be “released” as soon as contact is made so that the hammer is not driven through the slice.

8. At this point, the process is complete, and the slices can be segregated into serving portions.

 

Monterey Abalone Company
160 Municipal Wharf No.2   Monterey, California 93940
Tel/fax (831) 646-0350     info@montereyabalone.com