Cocktail Abalone with Asian Dressing
The secret to this recipe is slicing the abalone as thinly as possible; chilling them well in the freezer firms them up and makes this easier. The other trick is to leave them in the pan for just a few seconds, any longer and they’ll be tough.
Serves 4 as an entrée
8 cocktail abalones, shucked and cleaned (see notes)
Peanut oil, for frying
2 tablespoons lime juice
2 teaspoons grated palm sugar
1 teaspoon sambal oelek (see notes)
1 teaspoon grated ginger
Under running water, use a small knife to scrape off the thin black coating on the base and sides of the foot. Put abalone in freezer for 30-60 minutes to firm.
Meanwhile, wash abalone shells and set aside.
Make Asian Dressing by combining all ingredients.
Slice abalone horizontally as finely as possible. Coat liberally in peanut oil so that the slices don’t stick together.
Heat a large non-stick frying pan or wok until very hot. Add abalone slices and toss quickly for about 10 seconds, to sear all sides. Scoop them out of the pan and into the dressing.
Spoon into shells, drizzle a little extra dressing over the top and serve.
Large abalone can also be prepared this way, but they should be cleaned thoroughly then placed between two freezer bags and beaten lightly with a meat mallet to tenderise, before being placed in the freezer. Sambal oelek is an Asian paste of salt and chillies, a quick way to get a chilli kick into any dish, not just Asian ones; substitute a pinch of dried chilli flakes or 1 small red chilli finely chopped if you prefer.
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