Steamed with a minimum of seasonings, this abalone dish is delicate and tender, making it a lovely hors d’oeuvre. Prepared in this manner, it may well change the minds of many who think of abalone as rubbery and tasteless. If you can’t find abalone, try steaming shucked cherrystone clams on open half shells for only 2–3 minutes.
Scrub the shells lightly and rinse off any sand. Trim the abalone meat of any spongy growth around the edges. Lightly salt the abalone and place them, shell down, in a steamer. Pour
Over high heat, bring the water in the bottom of your steamer to a rapid boil. Adjust the heat to maintain a steady flow of steam and cook the abalone for 20–25 minutes. Test by piercing the flesh with a toothpick; the abalone should be very tender. Pour off the steaming juices and remove the abalone meat from the shells. (Rinse and save the shells if you wish to use them for serving.)
Cut the abalone, slightly on the diagonal (sogi-giri cut), into
© 1986 Elizabeth Andoh. All rights reserved.