Abalone makes a delectable meal if you know how to cook them.
David Kinch, chef of celebrated Manresa restaurant in Los Gatos, Calif., serves farmed abalone year-round.
Using a tablespoon, he shucks each abalone from its shell, then with a sharp knife slices off the innards. The meat can be cooked right then, Kinch says, but he likes to cover the steaks with plastic wrap and refrigerate them overnight to allow the muscle to relax.
To tenderize the steaks before cooking, wrap each piece foot-side down in a kitchen towel, then with a flat mallet pound it two or three times. Dredge it in all-purpose flour and shake off the excess.
In a saute pan over medium-high heat melt 1 teaspoon of butter for each steak. Add the abalone, foot side up. Do not crowd the pan. Shake and tilt the pan while allowing butter to slowly turn hazelnut brown. Saute two minutes, then turn the steaks with tongs or a spatula and cook one minute more. Add chopped fresh parsley and a squeeze of lemon juice to the pan, then sprinkle the hot steaks with sea salt before serving.
Photography by Tom Ebert
This article was first published in November 2009. Some facts may have aged gracelessly. Please call ahead to verify information.