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Published October 17th 2012
The culinary favourite of the Chinese and Japanese, the abalone has now gained consumers in Australia and the US.
The body of this gastropod is mainly its large muscular foot which is removed cleaned, sliced and eaten raw dipped in soy and wasabi in Japan. Once removed, the inside of a shell resembles mother of pearl. Cantonese-style restaurants in Asia generally prefer to steam the live baby abalones whole in a marinade of light soy, spring onions and chillies.
In many parts of the world, abalone divers continue to swim deep to the bottom and pry these one-shell or univalve delicacies off rocks. In Australia, the abalone is increasingly farmed in order to meet global demand.
I couldn't resist these live baby abalones at Queen Victoria Market and decided to take some home with me for a sashimi and hot pot dish.