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Cooking Abalone


Abalone can be eaten hot or cold, but should always be cooked. They are delicious grilled or plain, with a vinaigrette or drizzled with lemon juice and olive oil. Marinated abalone is very popular. They can also be added to soups and casseroles. Their lean flesh is similar to that of land snails, so can be easily used as a substitution in most recipes.

Before cooking abalone

  • Only keep abalone that are alive and have the shell still intact
  • Shake the abalone well to make them go into their shells before washing
  • Wash well in cold water, changing the water several times to remove as much sand as possible

Cooking abalone

Add a pat of butter to the cooking water to help extract the abalone from its shell.

Poaching abalone in court-bouillon

  • Drop the abalone in a casserole filled with unsalted water
  • Cover and heat to a boil for 4 to 5 minutes
  • Check doneness by trying to extract the abalone from its shell with a pin (cooking time will vary according to size and provenance)
  • When ready, rinse them under cold water to stop cooking
  • Extract remaining abalone from their shells using a pin

Grilling abalone en brochette (kebobs)

  • Cook in court bouillon, as described above
  • Extract flesh and pat dry with paper towels
  • Thread 6 to 8 abalone onto a skewer
  • Broil in the oven or grill on the barbecue for 2 minutes, turning only once

Marinating abalone

  • Cook in court bouillon, as described above
  • Remove flesh from shells
  • Arrange abalone in a glass dish with a few grains of cracked black pepper
  • Pour in a mixture of vinegar and water over the abalone
  • Seal bowl tightly
  • Marinate for 24 hours for maximum taste