Kona Abalone and Matsutake Mushroom Rice

Makes 4 servings

The abalone becomes very tender when cooked this way and the matsutake add a depth and roundness that plays well with the abalone.

2 live Kona abalone
2 tsp (10 mL/10 g) sake
1 1/2 cups (375 mL/280 g) short grained rice
3 cups (750 mL/750 g) dashi, or water
1/2 cup (125 mL/10 g) dried, sliced matsutake mushrooms, torn into 1/2-inch (1.25 cm) pieces
1/2 tsp (2.5 mL/2.5 g) sea salt
2 tsp (10 mL/8 g) mirin
2 tsp (10 mL/10 g) soy sauce
1 tsp (5 mL/5) sake
1/4 cup (60 mL/35 g) diced carrot

Prepare the abalone as per the instructions below. With the foot down on the cutting surface, score the abalone evenly  lengthwise 4 or 5 times, about 1/4-inch (0.6 cm) deep. Thinly slice the abalone crosswise and place in a bowl. Stir in the sake and let sit while you prepare the remaining ingredients.

Wash the rice and drain well. Place in a rice cooker with the dashi, mushrooms, salt, mirin, soy sauce and carrot. Add the abalone and turn the rice cooker on. When done, fluff up and serve immediately.

How to Prepare Fresh Abalone

Using a metal spoon, pry the abalone out of the shell. It will do a better job if you press the spoon against the inside of the shell rather than trying to cut through the attached on the meat to remove it. Trim off the innards neatly without breaking the sac. Remove the liver and reserve if using.

Holding the abalone in your hand, pour salt liberally over it then briskly rub the abalone between your palms, massaging the salt into all the crevices. Rinse, then scrub the abalone down with a stiff brush to remove the black membrane. Rinse well. Trim off the mouth and tough frill.

Recipe courtesy of Karen Barnaby

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