English name: Dried Abalone
Chinese name: 乾鮑魚 (bàoyú/gon1bao1yu4)
What is abalone?
- Abalone is a sea mollusk found in cold water off the coasts of Southern New Zealand, South Africa and Australia, and North America and Japan.
- For the Chinese, it is considered one of the big four delicacies of the sea "鮑、參、翅、肚".
- Abalone is a symbol of wealth and prosperity, thus a must-have at feasts and festivities.
What is dried Abalone?
- Dried abalone is an acquired, expensive taste, like caviar or truffles.
- Dried abalone is used to impart a distinct flavor to Chinese soups.
- It has a sweeter taste and firmer texture than canned or frozen.
- Each abalone has its own unique characteristics, but shares commonalities such as texture and strong flavor, 鮮味 (sin1mei6).
- The highest quality abalone species are 禾麻鮑, 吉品鮑, and 網鮑.
Are there any health benefits?
- Abalone is a yin food, known for relieving dry coughs and fever.
How do I prepare/eat dried abalone?
- Dried abalone connoisseurs enjoy abalone by braising it whole and eating it like a steak.
- Dried abalone can be added in (medicinal) soup. Canned or fresh abalone has far less concentrated flavor.
- It is usually simmered in broth for several hours to soften and served whole or in slices with a savory sauce.