Abalone Taste Reviews and Uses In Chinese Cuisine
Table of Contents
Why the Chinese Love Abalone?
Abalone is considered as a symbol of wealth and fortune in China. Right from ancient times, the cost of Abalone is considerably high, which is one major reason why you can’t afford to eat it every day. Despite the attention it has gathered, it’s still a surprise that most people don’t know that Abalone is seafood like fish and scallops. In fact, Abalone is a class of snail with a unique shell.
If you’re a fan of Chinese TV, you must have stumbled on chefs ranting about how good Abalone is and why most Chinese cuisines can’t be prepared without it. To most people, the cost of Abalone is perceived as the reason why it’s highly sought-after. As many Chinese have come to believe that expensive means good.
What Does Abalone Taste Like?
The taste of Abalone largely depends on a number of factors that includes its species, how they’re prepared, and it’s size. The texture of Abalone tends to affect its taste. The texture of Abalone varies from species to species. For instance, the Greenlip Abalone is more tender than the backup; hence, the former tastes better.
Abalone sourced from the ocean has a stronger taste than farmed Abalone. For first-timers, the strong taste is something you may not like, but most people prefer farmed Abalone for its mild taste.
In addition to size and texture, the cooking method also affects the taste of Abalone. The difference between fried, grilled, and canned Abalone are distinct. For instance, fresh and frozen Abalone are crunchy when eaten raw, but the taste becomes hard to explain when cooked.
In reality, few people know that Abalone is a snail. However, this doesn’t mean it tastes exactly like snail. It has a shell and a mantle but its actually tougher. Most first-timers think the taste of Abalone is weird when compared to that of crab, shrimp, and lobster. Rather than weird, the right word would be unique.
Truth! The taste of Abalone may be unusual when tasting for the first time and if this is ordered in a restaurant, try not to show you’re displeased. The taste of Abalone is a lot similar to that of scallops except that it’s tougher. If cooked for long hours, it becomes tender but tastes like rubber if overcooked.
How to Use Abalone in Chinese Cuisines?
Your best shot of getting the best result from Abalone is by braising the whole flesh. Abalone will be delicious if packed with several stocks – including that of chicken, pork broth and ham which gives most Chinese dishes its umami taste.
Braised Abalone tend to be chewy but provided it is highly flavored; there will be no complaint. Whether you’re frying, sauteeing or braising, ensure its never overcooked. The medium heat for braising Abalone is 300-degree Fahrenheit. Anything above this will damage its texture. If you want your Abalone to be crispy when frying, ensure its sliced and tenderized.
Braised abalone recipes:
- Cantonese Flavour Abalone Chicken Pot Recipe
- Braised Abalone With Winter Bamboo Shoots Recipe
- Abalone Flavour Stewed Assorted Seafood Recipe
- Chinese Braised Abalone in Tomato Sauce Recipe
- Chinese Simmered Abalone With Rice
Abalone Soup & Porridge
Abalone is perfect with porridge. Since the juice of abalone is light sweet and fresh, it brings a refreshing taste within the porridge or congee.
Abalone Porridge recipes:
- Simple Abalone and Shrimp Congee Recipe
- Abalone with Assorted Seafood Porridge
- Chinese Abalone and Pok Ribs Soup
- Abalone Soup With Cordyceps Flower Recipe
- Abalone with Angelica, Sealwort, Fleece-flower Root Soup
- Stewed Abalone And Fish Maw Soup Recipe
- Chinese Abalone Winter Melon Soup Recipe
- Stewed Abalone With Lean Pork Soup
Fried Abalone is a lot similar to Pan-Fried ones. Before frying your Abalone, ensure its very clean. The cleaning phase for Abalone involves separating the flesh from the shell and making it a bit tender since they become firm when cooked. When cleaning, ensure you cut off the visceral after separating the meat from the flesh.
However, most Chinese still use the visceral in soup and stew, but it may be too chewy to enjoy. If you’re using wild Abalone, you will notice a black layer on each side. You will want to get rid of this part since it has a bitter taste.
Most Chinese fry their Abalone with a little bit of butter for some minutes. In another fashion, you can pound or sautee before adding a few squeezes of fresh lemon juice to finish it up. Fried Abalone tends to be crispy.
Fried and stir-fried abalone recipes:
- Chinese Fried Mixed Squid and Abalones Recipe
- Abalone and Chicken with Hoisin Sauce Hot Pot Base
- Stir-fried Abalone in Oyster Sauce Recipe
- Chinese Oyster Sauce Flavour Abalone
- 3-Step Stir-fried Abalone With Broccoli
- Fried Aromatic Crab Roe with Abalone Slices
- Fried Abalone With Scallops Recipe
- Stir-fried Pepper and Abalone Mushrooms Recipe
Regardless of the cooking method, you’re using to prepare your Abalone, ensure its thoroughly cleaned. To prepare grilled Abalone, you have to refrigerate rather than rehydrate. This allows the Abalone to relax overnight, which makes it crunchy.
For fried Abalone, you can slice, but for grilled Abalone, you should only pound. Pound the flesh until it’s limp but ensure you don’t overdo it. If you’re using a gas grill, cook over low heat. But if you decide to use a barbeque, keep the Abalone away from the red hot charcoal to ensure it gets tender before getting burnt.
Grilled abalone recipes:
Steamed & Blanching Abalone
Steaming and blanching abalones is the easiest way to main its original taste and aroma. For steaming, add some garlic or ginger to remove fishy taste. After seasoning with a little salt or sauce, the abalone meat is fresh and juicy. For blanching, the key is to control the cooking time. Blanching removes the fishy taste, then add other seasonings, such as lemon or dipping sauce, to have authentic sea favour.
Steamed & blanching abalone recipes:
- Steamed Abalone with Meat Pie Recipe
- Assorted Vegetable and Abalone Salad Recipe
- Steamed Abalone in XO Sauce Recipe
- Simple Steamed Chili Abalone Recipe
- 4 Steps Chinese Golden Soup Abalone Recipe
- Steamed Abalone With Minced Garlic Recipe
Is Abalone Healthy?
If you’re concerned about the nutritional value of Abalone considering the amount it costs, you have nothing to worry about. Abalone is one of the most Healthy seafood you will ever consume. It’s packed with a whole lot of minerals which includes magnesium and sodium.
Fresh Abalone sourced from the farm provides Omega-3 fatty acid, iodine, and phosphorus. This property, in addition to its low-fat content, helps reduce the risk of heart disease and minimizes the development of cancer.
One of the essential nutrients present in Abalone is selenium. From scientific research, selenium is a mineral that strengthens the immune system. The mineral works by activating several enzymes and proteins to carry out antioxidant functions.
The Phosphorus present in Abalone improves kidney health. It stimulates the release of waste products from the kidney and also improves the quality of urine that leaves the body. This single action alone balances the acid-base level in the body.
Before preparing a meal with an abalone, there are things you need to put into consideration. For instance, the texture and taste. In reality, those two are dependent on each other. Also, it is important to know how to buy and choose abalones. Abalones that are tough tend to be less tasty while those that are tender are more enjoyable since they are less chewy.
If you want an abalone with a strong taste, you should use those sourced from the ocean. If you want something soft and easy to incorporate into a lot of dishes, farmed Abalone will be the best option for you.