It’s good to have friends who dive. Sometimes they’ll just show up at your house on a Sunday evening with beer and abalone. I haven’t had abalone in years. It is a very special food and on a Sunday a couple weeks back, the abalone showed up and I got to decide how to cook it with the stuff I had in the house.
1. Southeast Asian Abalone Ceviche
2. Pan-fried Abalone
3. Poached Abalone
All that and the alliterative salad you see below and a variation on the caramelized rice dish from my new favorite cookbook, My Bombay Kitchen by Niloufer King and it really was a memorable meal.
Abalone season is over so you’ll have to file this advice away until April or so. That should give you plenty of time to cultivate a few diving friends. Sorry no pictures of all the dishes. We were too busy stuffing ourselves.
Salad: Persimmons, pomegranate seeds, and pumpkin seeds along with arugula and fennel.
Ceviche: Cut the pounded abalone into strips and add a little dressing of fish sauce, lime, chilies, cilantro, shallots, and a little bit of sugar. It sat for about an hour and became incredibly tender.
Panfried: Slice the abalone first and then pound. Dip each piece in flour seasoned lightly with salt and pepper and pan fry for just a minute or two on each side in a mixture of butter and olive oil.
Poached: (Pictured) Pound the abalone whole and then put it in a casserole dish just large enough to contain it with 1/2 cup-3/4 cup white wine, a splash of olive oil, a dab of butter, a couple slices lemon (with rind), 2-3 garlic cloves, peeled and sliced, and 2-3 sprigs parsley, and Salt and pepper. Bring to a boil on the stove, remove from heat, cover tightly and place in a 350 degree oven for 45 minutes or so. Check abalone for tenderness before serving.
This one was transformative. I had no idea poached abalone could be so good. It was also by far the easiest of the three dishes to prepare.