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How to prepare abalone...

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Home Cooking

How to prepare abalone...

susancinsf | May 11, 2008 08:59 AM

On the CA board, a question was asked re how to prepare abalone, since the poster had never tried it, and apparently it is available (live, farmed, in tanks) at Ranch 99 in San Diego (and perhaps elsewhere at Ranch 99)...

Two methods I use follow. Note that I have only made very fresh abalone out of the ocean. I presume farmed would be the same, assuming you buy it while still alive (ie out of the tank). You also want it to be alive until just before you prepare it...

First of all: the cooking is the easy part. It is the prep that is a challenge if you don't know what you are doing...and would discourage me if I wasn 't serving as apprentice to someone who had done it before: if you screw it up you've spent a LOT of money to screw it up....but still, here is a good description of what to do:..

http://diver.net/seahunt/d_raprep.htm

and a version with pics:

http://www.sfgate.com/cgi-bin/article...

(link within article)

both articles have recipes too...

pounding is the key...the pounder looks like a small wooden hammer with a square head with ridges. A local dive or cooking supply store should be able to get one or tell you where you can get it. You can also use a metal meat tenderizing mallet.

prep can be messy; lots of people I know do it all while wearing a plastic garbage bag.

and yes, they are slippery so be careful when working with them: I once had one slip out of my hands and right into a nearby hot tub! :-)

Once you've prepped them into steaks, the rest is relatively easy.

Two versions:

salt, pepper, squeeze some lemon juice, and grill on a weber. Yes, if pounded properly you just can grill it. Just don't overcook. Two minutes per side should do it.

however, grilling is not my favorite prep. I prefer the classic butter and breadcrumbs: slice the steak into very, very thin strips (no more than a half inch thick and preferably a quarter inch); dip in beaten eggs and then in a mixture of bread crumbs, salt and pepper, then fry in either olive oil or melted butter (preferably butter) for about a minute per side over medium heat until golden brown, sprinkle with lemon juice, serve immediately. It is the opposite of pancakes in that the first ones will usually be the best: after a while the 'dregs' in the pan will interfere with getting them just right, and you will need to get a new pan or start over (but that is only if you are making lots of abalone, and you probably don't have the budget for that)....

the rest of your dinner should be ready to go: good with a salad, grilled vegies, some sort of rice pilaf dish...

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