What is it?

Chinese New Year is around the corner, when we started hearing this word “abalone” or “bao yu” in every other sentences. Many of us know what abalone is, but for the benefits of those living under a rock, abalone is an edible sea snail. It is considered as a delicacy in many part of the world; a luxury item reflected by its price.

When abalone became more popular and less common, prices were adjusted accordingly. Therefore, in the late 1950s, people start to farm abalone. Now, there are about 100 to 130 recognised species worldwide.  With so many to choose to form, how do you choose the right one for you?

How to choose?

1)       Country of Origin – Mexico, South Africa, Australia, New Zealand? That is the list most people will go through when buying abalones. So, superior Mexican abalones, or the cheaper ones from China?

2)      No. of head or pieces of abalone – do you want everyone in the family to get a piece or one bigger piece to be sliced and shared?

3)      Farm or wild abalone – wild abalones tend to be naturally salty.

4)      Drained weight – we all always look at the can and see the weight (e.g. 420g) but that is mostly brine / sauce weight. So it is important to look at the DW to see how much abalone you will be getting.

5)      Abalone species – the different species are harder to figure out. So far from our Haton’s wild abalones, we know that the Greenlip is chewier in texture and the Brownlip is softer. 

6)      Price – get something you can afford. That’s why abalone prices vary.

What can we buy from BenMart?

BenMart carries 8 different types of abalones which can be found here.

Haton Natural New Zealone Frozen Abalone 500G is also a good alternative for anyone who wants to try their hands on cooking unprocessed abalones.

How to prepare canned abalone?

Most people will steam the abalones, but they can be served once open or chilled before consumption. Most chef prefer to leave out the sauce when preparing brined abalone. However, the abalone can also be soaked in dressing sauce, using Spices of the Orient Dressing Sauce and chilled overnight in the fridge. It will take a whole lot of patience to wait, but you will be rewarded with an abalone dish of restaurant quality.

If eaten for steamboat, the best way is to place the abalone on an empty bowl and pour the hot soup in. Boiling the abalones will only turn them to a rubber-like texture.

For Amidori abalones: open the can and set abalones aside. Pour the sauce into a pot and heat to boil. Placed the abalones in the sauce and stir for just 10 seconds and serve!

 

Now that you know how to prepare them, we at BenMart would like to wish you 
Happiness, Prosperity and Longevity this Chinese New Year!