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Abalone Stir Fry

Abalone Stir Fry

2-3 Servings

00:20 Prep

00:05 Cook

Easy - You got this

Thinly sliced blacklip abalone delicately stir-fried to retain its natural umami, and complemented with crispy seasonal vegetables. This recipe asks for either fresh or individually quick frozen (IQF) abalone.

Growing up, fresh or individually quick frozen (IQF) blacklip abalone was hard to come by for our family but when we did it was always enjoyed stir-fried with seasonal vegetables. These days with many IQF blacklip and greenlip abalone options in the market, this dish is appearing more frequently in our household. Our go-to for IQF abalone is Eyrewoolf Abalone; a family of second generation abalone harvesters on Flinders Island (35km off the southern coast of Australia). Their IQF abalone is prepared from wild abalone that’s harvested by hand-diving. On harvest they are chilled then promptly frozen on shore to assure their quality and freshness.

I recall asking my Uncle how to cook abalone and how long to cook abalone at a very young age. He’s one of the best cooks in our family and always said that when cooking fresh or frozen abalone, it’s crucial to slice the abalone paper thin to ensure the abalone is soft, tender and delicate when cooked. He would often combine abalone with snow peas but in this version I’ve opted for crisp seasonal vegetables. I believe seasonal vegetables play an important role in connecting the flavours of the sea with the freshness of the land.

In this recipe, I’ve chosen to use garlic shoots and carrots but other vegetables that work well in this stir fry include asparagus, snow peas, snow pea tendrils, bok choy, or Chinese cabbage. It is important to note to not use more than two vegetables at once, as doing so can overwhelm the natural sweetness of abalone. The other deviation I’ve made from his recipe is cooking the abalone off the heat, in hot oil that’s been fragranced with garlic and ginger.

So if you already love simple stir fries and are keen to level up, do yourself a favour and give this abalone recipe a whirl to experience how natural umami in abalone and seasonal vegetables can come together to deliver flavours that will delight any household.

Love cooking with abalone? See my Abalone with Crispy Noodles and Braised Abalone with Mushrooms for more inspiration.

Abalone Stir Fry
Abalone Stir Fry

Ingredients:

  • 5 tablespoons neutral cooking oil

  • 2 cloves of garlic, minced

  • 1 small knob of ginger (20g), julienne

  • 1 Eyrewoolf frozen blacklip abalone (150-200g), thawed 

  • 1 bunch garlic shoots or asparagus, cut into 3-4 cm pieces

  • 1 small carrot, cut into thin batons. 

  • 1 ½ teaspoons oyster sauce

  • ½ teaspoon anchovy salt or sea salt

  • ½ teaspoon sugar

  • 100 ml chicken stock or water

  • 1 tablespoon water

  • ½ tablespoon potato starch or corn starch

  • 1 teaspoon sesame oil

  • ½ teaspoon cracked white pepper

Method:

How to prepare abalone:
1. Using your hands, vigorously agitate abalone with 3-4 tablespoons of salt to remove any slimy residue, then rinse off all the salt.


Duncan’s tip: Use a tooth brush to clean the abalone thoroughly.


2. With a small pairing knife carefully separate the frilly outer layer of the abalone from its main body.


3. Chop the frilly layer into 2-3 cm pieces and slice main body of abalone into medium sized thin slices.


Duncan’s tip: Use a sharp knife to slice the blacklip abalone as thin as you can.


How to make stir fry:
1. In a medium bowl, add carrot, a pinch of sea salt and pour in boiling water to cover well. Allow carrots to blanch for 2 minutes, then strain and rinse well under cold water and set aside.


Duncan’s tip: Rinsing under cold water will stop the cooking process and retain the carrots vibrant colour.


2. In a large fry pan or wok on medium heat, add 3 tablespoons of oil, garlic and ginger. Cook until fragrant then remove pan off heat. Add abalone and toss for 30 seconds or until abalone starts to cook through then remove and set aside.


Duncan’s tips: Slightly undercook the abalone as it’ll be warmed through again in a later step. Avoid searing or scorching the abalone as this will give it a tough texture.


3. Return pan to medium-high heat, add 2 tablespoons of oil and heat to smoking point. Add carrot, garlic shoots, oyster sauce, anchovy salt and sugar and stir fry for 1 minute then add chicken stock and bring to the boil.


4. In a small bowl, mix 1 tablespoon of water with ½ tablespoon of potato or corn starch, and stir well until combined. Drizzle evenly into stir fry and immediately mix well.


5. Return stir fried abalone and cook on medium-high for 30 seconds or until sauce thickens.


Duncan’s tip: Have all ingredients ready to go as the stir frying process is quite rapid.


6. Remove from heat and season with cracked white pepper, a light drizzle of sesame oil and serve with freshly steamed rice.

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