I would like to apologize to my readers that I have neglected this foodblog for a while, primarily because I was on vacation to South America, and have been engaged in posting all my travel photos on my other blog My Notebook. Although the work has not been completed yet, I need to write this post as my family and friends really want to know how I cooked the abalone, my most recent experiment which has proved to be successful!
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First of all, I must confess that I am not a big fan of abalone, as it is expensive and not always good enough to deserve such a high price. Therefore I never thought that I was able to cook abalone at all. I will only eat them in restaurants, if I am invited to a dinner party with abalone in the menu (which is usually of very high price).
I am interested this time, because my friend LL told me that she had tried cooking abalone and had been very successful. Most of all, it is very easy. Wow, it is very tempting, but where can I buy these frozen abalones which she has used? I went to a few super markets, but there was none. Eventually, my friend brought me to at least three different Chinese supermarkets before I found them. They were even on sale! They used to be priced around $22 per packet, but this time it was only around $15 each. So I bought two packets, with a total of 6 abalone.
- 2 packets of frozen fresh abalone. It is frozen but fresh because it has been frozen right after it was caught. The ones that I bought were from Chile. While i was in Chile a month ago, we were unable to find a restaurant to eat abalone. The restaurant which was supposed to be famous in the abalone dish, was not open that day when we only had a very short time to eat before we fly out from Santiago
- Chicken broth – I used the organic chicken broth, about half a box, just enough to cover all the six abalone in the cooker. If you prefer, you can use a can of chicken broth instead.
- Chinese broccoli – half a pound.
- Cleaning and washing the abalone pieces — You can see how dirty they are! Remove them from the packets, and wash them thoroughly with baking soda and salt, with a new tooth-brush. See the” before” and “after” pictures above.
- Drain the abalone and leave them aside.
- Pour the chicken broth into the inner pot of the thermos pot, and bring it to a boil.
- Put all the abalone into the pot and cook them for about half an hour.
- Turn off the fire, and put the pot into the thermos container.
- Leave it overnight. Boil the pot again the next morning, and put it back to the thermos container.
- When it is dinner time, bring the pot out. Boil the whole mixture again till it is boiled.
- Take the abalone out, and slice them into thin pieces.
- Meanwhile, cook the Chinese broccoli and use them to garnish the plate of abalone. If you are inviting guests, it is even more important to place the abalone pieces on a full bed of vegetables, as there are not too many pieces of abalone! After boiling, they will even be smaller in size..
- Pour the sauce over the abalone. As the sauce is now chicken broth plus abalone broth, it is very tasty. No need to add salt. Unlike the abalone dish with oyster sauce served in most restaurants, this abalone dish retains its original abalone taste.
- Done. This dish is good enough for 4 to 6 people. Isn’t it as easy as ABC?
- My friend had added a small piece of sugar cube to the chicken broth and said that the abalone would become more tender with sugar. She used canned chicken broth which was more salty, and therefore adding sugar was appropriate. I am not sure if the sugar will really make the abalone more tender. I may try it next time. Since this experiment was successful and had good reviews from my family, I would like to share this recipe with you now. if I try the experiment using sugar cube, I will definitely keep you posted! In fact, after eating the abalone, my sister asked me right away: When will the sale end? You can imagine the outcome of my recipe!