abalone 鲍鱼［Holiotis gigantea］
Latin name : Haliotis spp. (Haliotis means sea ear, referring to the flattened shape of the shell)
Synonyms : Awabi (Japan), muttonfish (Australia), ormer (English Channel), paua (New Zealand), loco
Origin :Pacific coasts (California to Chile), Indo-Pacific coasts (Asia, Japan, Africa), English Channel, Mediterranean Sea
Description : A large, ear-shaped univalve mollusk with iridescent shell protecting body and foothlike adductor muscle with which it moves and cling to rocks. Abalone ranges from 5-25 cm in length and weighs up to 3 kg.
Edible parts : Only the adductor muscle is edible. The mild, sweet-flavoured white meat must be tenderized to soften the naturally tough, rubbery texture.
Sold as : Fresh steaks; frozen steaks (from Mexico); canned, either minced or cubed (from Japan); dried; salted; dried and shredded (called kaiho; from Japan); dried and powdered (called meiho; from Japan)
Best cooking : It is essential to gently tenderize the meat by with a rolling pin or mallet. Abalone can be eaten raw, cubed or cut into strips and prepared as a salad. It is often briefly sautéed in butter (20 to 30 seconds per side), or seasoned and lightly coated with flour and egg and pan-fried. Try to avoid overcooking, which toughens the meat.
Buying tips : Abalone is best purchased alive, with an adductor muscle that moves when touched. Choose small specimens that smell sweet rather than fishy. Refrigerate as soon as possible after purchase; cook within 24 hours.
Unopened canned abalone can be stored for up to a year in a dry, cool place. Once opened, it will keep for up to two days if you wrap it well and refrigerate it.
Nutritional value (based on the US nutrition database):
Beware : as with all fish and shellfish, the nutritional value varies among (sub)species, place of origin, freshness and size. The data below thus are provided as indication only.