what is a japanese abalone?
The Japanese abalone are a small mollusk compared to the 3 to 5 inch larger red abalone. Nicknamed “sea ears” due to its flat shell, it lives in the Western Pacific and feeds on the algae that grow on the rocky bottom of the coral reefs. The edible parts of the abalone are considered to be a delicacy all over the world.
In California, abalone is famously enjoyed in the form of steaks rolled in cracker meal and flour, on pizza, or sautéed. In Japan, live and raw abalone are simmered in soy sauce, as well as served steamed, chopped, salted or boiled, and used in awabi sushi. Fermented, salted abalone entrails are the main ingredient in Honshu’s tottsuru.
The menu of the upscale Chinese restaurant Hakkasan in the Hell’s Kitchen neighborhood of Manhattan currently features an $888 Braised Japanese abalone with black truffle (made to share). 888 is a lucky number in China.