Monday, January 26, 2009
Today is the first day of the year of the ox! Happy Chinese New Year! To begin this year, I want to share with you this luxurious delicacy - the abalone!
Abalones are medium to large edible sea snails, according to Wiki. Actually, I thought they were giant sea-shells like clams or oysters. But apparently, I was wrong. :)
Abalones are known as Bao Yu in Chinese. This seafood delicacy is quite rare and expensive; it is usually made into a dish that is a common part of the Chinese banquet. Like the shark's fin soup and the bird's nest soup, it is considered a symbol of wealth and prestige. Therefore, it is always reserved for special occassions like weddings, new year and other celebrations.
However, the availability of commercially farmed abalone has allowed more common consumption of this once rare delicacy. Here in the Philippines, with our more than seven thousand islands, abalone farming is thriving. I am fortunate to have a friend who is into this business, so we can access cheaper (though not that cheap) supply of abalones. He makes canned abalones for export. So I get my abalones in cans.
For our new year's eve dinner, we had abalone steaks. Recipe is once again courtesy of brother-in-law (Ah-pe). He recreated the recipe based on the abalone dish served at the famous sharks fin restaurant here in Manila.
1 can abalone (contains 3 pieces)
1 head of brocolli, cut, washed,
1 C chicken stock
1 T Chinese cooking wine
2 T dark soy sauce
1 T oyster sauce
a dash of ground black pepper
4 T cornstarch, dissolved in 5 T water
1. Pour the contents of the entire can, abalone meat and broth into a microwave-safe bowl. Microwave on high for 1 minute, until meat is warm.
2. Blanch the cut brocolli florets in boiling water for 1 minute, drain.
3. Boil all the ingredients for the sauce. When boiling, add the cornstarch mixture to thicken the sauce.
4. Arrange one abalone meat on a serving plate, add some brocolli florets. Pour some sauce on top. Serve immediately.