The flavour of wild abalone is to be savoured. Eyrewoolf Abalone are a second generation SA fishing family harvesting and hand curating wild abalone from across the pristine waters surrounding the Eyre Peninsula, and they are experts in in ways to serve this delicacy of the ocean. Our thanks to everyone at Eyrewoolf Abalone for these delicious tasting notes and serving suggestions created to showcase their sashimi grade abalone and entice home cooks as well as fine dining chefs.
It’s all in the flavours
Sashimi wild caught abalone displays aromas of crisp sea air and fresh seaweed, complemented by a burst of salty oceanic flavour, sweet fresh oyster, umami and nutty notes. Try sake and lime-cured sashimi abalone served with furikake or a Japanese style ponzu citrus sauce.
Thin sashimi slices can also be heated briefly in a miso broth before serving.
Try steaming the abalone slices to enhance the tenderness and balance of salty oceanic and umami flavours. To steam: heat a frypan to hot, add a small amount of oil and then the abalone. Place a cube or two of ice on the abalone and quickly cover with the shell or a bowl just large enough to cover the slices, turn over and stir after about five seconds and then replace the shell/bowl. Remove as soon as the slices are heated through (about 10-15 seconds).
Searing the abalone brings out a springy chew, sweet and smoky attributes – think fried scallop and pork with a peanut/buttery finish. Simply sear the thin slices or the whole abalone on a hotplate or in a hot frypan sprayed with a little oil. Eyrewoolf’s Tobin Woolford recommends using rice bran oil for its high smoke point and says he waits until the pan is really hot and the oil is just starting to smoke before flash frying the abalone for 10-15 seconds, moving the pieces constantly as all you really need to do is warm them through. He serves his with an abalone butter sauce made from the abalone liver and pancreas, garlic and butter.
Sous vide or braising showcases abalone in a whole different way. If you are a master of the sous vide, program yours for 125C for six hours to cook whole abalone. Slow cooking with water, salt, sugar, xiao shing wine will give you a stock you can then turn into consomme with added veggies. Go super-luxe and add pureed Kangaroo Island scallops, and serve with pickled onions, cauliflower and heirloom tomatoes with a watercress garnish.
Other suggestions include wrapping your abalone in kombu and braising in a sake marinade or braising in soy sauce, sake and dashi.
Wondering which wines are best friends with abalone? Eyrewoolf Abalone have done the hard yards on this too – just for you.
- Match steamed or sous vide abalone with a dry South Australian Reisling or Methode Champenoise sparkling wine – the citrus and acidic properties of the wine boost the sweetness of the abalone and cleanse the the abalone’s buttery finish on the palate. The yeasty attributes in sparkling wines also higlight the nutty and toasty flavours of the abalone.
- South Australian Grenache, Mataro or Shiraz are great partners to abalone prepared on the hot plate – the seared abalone’s caramelised smoky pork and nutty notes pair elegantly with the vibrant fruit and spicy attributes of these varieties.
Eyrewoolf Abalone catch and supply sashimi grade abalone, individually quick frozen or canned with nothing more than water and salt. These methods preserve the intensity of the wild flavour. Find out more on their website, and sign up for their newsletter for special releases, events and tastings.