Kona Abalone with Asparagus and Abalone Liver

Makes 4 appetizer servings

Abalone liver is good in sauces and is a good finish for abalone risotto. The taste is clean and sweet with a hint of marine. It is typically used in the Korean dish jeonbokjuk, a delicious abalone and rice porridge.

1 live Kona abalone
6 (120 g) medium asparagus spears, trimmed
1 tsp (5 mL/5 g) soy sauce
1 tsp (5 mL/5 g) mirin
1/2 tsp (2.5 mL/2 g) fresh ginger juice
1 abalone liver
1 tsp (5 mL/2.5 g) toasted white sesame seeds

Prepare the abalone as per the instructions below. With the foot down, score the abalone lengthwise 4 or 5 times, about 1/4-inch (0.6 cm) deep. Thinly slice the abalone crosswise.

Cut the asparagus on an angle into 1-inch (2.5 cm) pieces. Mix the soy sauce, mirin and ginger juice together in a small bowl. Press the abalone liver through a small sieve into the soy mixture.

Heat a small amount of vegetable oil in a heavy, nonstick pan over high heat. Add the asparagus and stir-fry until bright green. Add the abalone and give a few stirs then add the soy mixture, stirring constantly untilĀ  it evaporates. Sprinkle with the sesame seeds 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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