Abalone Recipes by Michael Hutchings

Basic Pan-Fried Abalone

Makes 6 servings

12 baby abalone, 3-inch size

(available at the Santa Barbara Fish Market and through Plow to Porch)

3 large eggs, beaten

3 tablespoons vegetable oil

Salt, to taste

Freshly ground black pepper, to taste

Wondra or all purpose flour for dipping

Oil for frying

6 lemon halves, seeded

If you are using live abalone in the shell, prepare them by cleaning them. Using a flat bladed knife, like a scallop knife or the tip of a butter knife, slide under the abalone and lift it from the shell. Using a small sharp knife, trim the red mouth of the abalone and remove the intestines.

Lay out a damp kitchen towel and arrange the abalone in rows. Tap each abalone once with a tenderizing mallet. Cover with a second towel, and give a gentle bash with a smooth hammer to relax the muscle.

When you are ready to cook the abalone, prepare the egg wash by beating the whole eggs, salt, pepper and oil. Dip the prepared abalone in the flour, turning to coat both sides. Tap off excess flour and place the abalones in the egg wash and let them sit a few minutes. Remove the abalone and put them on a plate to drain a bit.

Note: Prepare your serving plates and garnish ahead, as the cooking time is extremely short.

Heat a small quantity of your cooking oil in a flat-bottomed pan. When the oil is smoking hot, carefully lay each abalone into the hot oil. They cook quickly, so limit yourself to four at a time. By the time the fourth one is in the pan, turn over the first. When the fourth is turned, the first should be cooked. Lay them on the serving plates and serve immediately. Serve with lemons on the side.

Cultured Abalone with a Butter Sauce

Makes 6 servings

18 baby abalone, 3-inch size

(available at the Santa Barbara Fish Market and through Plow to Porch)

Beurre Blanc Sauce

6 shallots, peeled and chopped

2 cups dry white wine

1⁄2 cup whipping cream

10 ounces unsalted butter

1 teaspoon lemon juice

Salt and freshly ground white pepper, to taste

4 ounces trimmed enoki daki mushrooms

4 ounces tomato, peeled, seeded and diced

4 tablespoons freshly chopped dill or tarragon

3 eggs

4 ounces vegetable oil or butter

6 dill sprigs for garnish

6 tomatoes for roses

6 teaspoons golden caviar (optional)

Prepare the abalone by running a small knife or blunt spatula between the meat and the shell. Remove the intestines by pulling them back and cut off the red mouth parts, located to the front. Split large abalone in half horizontally. Place the foot (remaining muscle meat) between two moist tea towels and lightly pound with a meat tenderizing mallet to even them out and to tenderize the meat.

Reduce wine and shallots until almost dry in a heavy-bottomed sauce pot (stainless or anodized aluminum is preferred). Add cream and reduce by one half its volume. Cut butter into small pieces and whisk into the reduction over medium heat. DO NOT BOIL. Adjust seasonings, add lemon juice and strain through a fine-meshed strainer, retaining the butter sauce. Keep the butter sauce warm. When ready to serve, add the mushrooms, tomatoes and fresh herbs to the sauce, mixing well. Heat gently over a low flame, do not boil. Reserve in a warm place while the abalone is cooked.

Categories Main Dishes