Captain Paul’s Fried Abalone
Abalone is my favorite seafood to eat. Fried abalone is by far, my favorite recipe for abalone. This is a simple recipe, but the key is in how the abalone is cleaned and “pounded” before cooking. Most people will clean an abalone and then pound the slices into lace. I pound the abalone as soon as it comes out of the shell and then clean it. This results in more tender abalone and allows for much thicker slices that remain tender. My pounding tool of choice is a 20oz framing hammer handle.
Prep Time 45 minutes
Cook Time 10 minutes
Total Time 1 hour
flour for dredging
Using an abalone iron, remove the abalone from the shell. Using a fillet knife, carefully cut the gut sack from the abalone being careful not to cut the gut sack open. Remove the head/mouth with a V cut. Place a dish towel in your hand and place the abalone on the towel. Using the flat side of the hammer handle, begin striking the abalone to tenderize it. Start on the pedestal and work your way down. Turn the abalone in your hand as to-do you work. The striking motion should result in a smack and not a thud. You should feel a bit of the sting in your hand. Think of this as a slap instead of a punch. Work around the edge of the fringe with glancing blows. Periodically feel the abalone to see if it is softening up. Flip the abalone over and pound the foot side. The whole abalone should be limp and give way if you grab the edge and shake it. Using the fillet knife, trip the skin, fringe, and foot off. Make sure to remove all of the black skin. Trim off any tough edges. The tough edges can be saved for abalone balls.
In bowl, crush the crackers into crumbs. You want fine to medium crumbs. Place the flour and a bowl or ziplock bag. In a bowl, scramble the eggs well for an egg wash. Put the garlic through a press or finely chop with a knife.
Place the abalone foot side down on a cutting board. Cutting at an angle, cut 1/4″ to 3/8″ slices. Dredge the slices in the flour, dip in the egg, then into cracker crumbs. Place the breaded slices on a plate and let the slices set for 20-30 minutes to let the coating set.
Heat a non-stick skillet on medium-high. Add 2tbsp olive to the pan and then 2tbsp of butter. Once the butter is melted, add the abalone slices. Sprinkle half of the chopped garlic on top of the slices getting a little garlic on each slice. Cook the slices about 2-3 minutes on each side or until golden brown. You may need to add another tbsp of butter when you flip them. When cooking the abalone, you will need to work in batches, wiping the pan clean after each batch. The butter and oil should make two batches. Adjust as necessary.
Place cooked slices on a plate with paper towels to drain. Serve hot and eat with your fingers! Left overs (Yeah, right.) can be placed in the fridge and eaten cold the next day.