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Old 05-22-2009, 08:46 PM   #1
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Wink Abalone

Here's a video slideshow for you:

How to prepare a fresh caught abalone and turn them into fork tender and mouth watering melt in your mouth abalone steaks:


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Old 05-22-2009, 09:02 PM   #2
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Bull! I grew up at the beach in San Diego, as did my father. Abalone was cheap meat in our house, usually eaten as burgers. We literally had mounds of abalone shells in our back yard -- 100s if not 1000s of them -- and I still have the shell to the first ab I ever took, an 8-inch green.

In those days (early 60s) we could get them in waist-deep water in Bird Rock, or simply by overturning the rocks along Point Loma. And it was even easier when my dad was a kid. And my mom talked about plucking them off the rocks at low tide on Vancouver Island when she was a kid.

In any case, suffice it to say there was NOTHING we didn't know about catching or preparing abalone.

First, the abalone is alive when it's taken from the shell. The Japanese know how to kill it and put it out of its misery with a quick stab of the knife, but we just gave it a few quick whacks with a mallet. Seems cruel to slice off its innards when it's still kicking.

Second, AFAIK there is no such thing as the "protective liquids" -- pure nonsense, IMHO. Gut it, wash it off, and you're good to go.

Third, I have NEVER seen anyone slice abalone that way; it's ALWAYS sliced parallel to the bottom of the shell. The way this guy cuts it would be like slicing brisket WITH the grain. Idiocy!

But he cooks it correctly. And it's also good sauteed plain.

A decent ab dinner now runs maybe $65 or more. I once bought one for my MIL, who had never had the stuff, and she thought it was band! Truth be told, she was right. But it made **** good burgers in the 1960s and before!
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Old 05-22-2009, 09:25 PM   #3
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Hi Scotch,
Thanks for your comments!
We have been ab hunting since the 60's along the northern coast near pt. arena, getting reds. We slice the "foot" of the ab into steaks which are 10" long. We like eating the steaks, and do not make burgers with ours..glad you enjoy them a different way!
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Old 05-22-2009, 11:05 PM   #4
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Make that enjoyED! Ain't no abs to be had no more down here, unless you go 60 feet or more! Too old for that. Too expensive in the few restaurants that have them, and often it's just canned stuff from the far east.
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Old 06-30-2009, 03:15 AM   #5
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I've heard abalone is really good but pretty hard to come by now days, and if you do it's pretty expensive.

Question though,
what's the texture like?
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Old 06-30-2009, 10:40 AM   #6
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Abalone is one big, strong muscle that the single-shelled mollusk uses to attach itself to rocks; the bottom is essentially a big suction cup, and the muscle pulls up to maintain suction when it's under attack. The muscle on a 7- or 8-inch ab is about 6 inches across and 2 inches thick -- nearly the entire creature other than the shell and a small gut sack. They are not stationary but move around like snails, only more slowly.

The trick is to slip your iron (a flat piece of steel about an inch wide and a foot long with a beveled end) under the shell and pry the ab off the rock before it has time to hunker down. Once it does, it's very difficult to get your iron under the shell and to remove the ab from the rock. Otters and other creatures that like to dine on abs have the same problem. Also, the ab has to be strong enough to withstand the pounding of heavy surf. Anyway, they're tough creatures.

Because of this, the texture of abalone meat is like leather -- unless you know how to prepare it. Done right, it's very tender with a sweet taste somewhat like scallops, only milder. It has to be sliced about to ⅓ inch thick and then pounded with a mallet until it's tender. But too much pounding and you'll cut it to shreds and end up with abalone-flavored mush.
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Old 06-30-2009, 09:55 PM   #7
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Hi Scotch,

We just got back from abbing, got the limit of 3 again. No really big ones, says my hubby, only about 8 1/2 " or so..a lot of talk in changing the season for abaloneing, maybe even closing it. Currently, to even take any abs, you have to abide by some new changes to the process of bringing your catch in. Zip ties, yellow tags, must be attached to each ab shell and noted with a waterproof pen marker specific info. There are regular checkpoints along the Coast where the Fish and Game Wardens will direct a random sample of vehicles to pull over to a check point. There a couple of the officers will do a preliminary question/answer process and ask to see your ab license, and card, plus have a look at your gear and your place of storage of the abs you're taking down the road. It was about a 20 minute stop for us last week, then we were on our way. There must have been about 18-20 wardens doing the checkpoint that morning. As long as you are not undersized or over the possession limit, you're a-ok..
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Old 06-30-2009, 10:32 PM   #8
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Where do you dive?
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Old 07-01-2009, 10:23 PM   #9
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Near Pr. Arena, CA
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Old 07-27-2009, 02:05 PM   #10
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How taste is it?? I've never tried Abalone before. It's quiet expensive for me!!
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