Aged Sun-Dried Japanese "Tong Sum" Abalone F18-19
- Abalone is a large sea mollusk found in cold water off the coasts of Southern New Zealand, South Africa and Australia, and North America and Japan.
- Often a status symbol in Asia, dried abalone is widely eaten for wealth and prosperity during the Lunar New Year and at feasts and festivities.
- Chinese considered it one of the big four delicacies of the sea among sea cucumbers, shark fins and fish maws.
- Compared to fresh abalone, dried abalone has a more intense and concentrated flavor and a nicer tender texture to the bite. However, it is also sweeter in taste and firmer in texture than canned or frozen ones.
- Each abalone has its own unique characteristics, but shares commonalities such as texture and strong and fresh flavor.
- Many may not know that abalone has an iridescent, blue or turquoise mother of pearl shell. Its shell camouflages with the surroundings, hiding among jagged rocks blending with the algae making harvesting by hand a challenging feat, if not sometimes impossible. The sun and air drying process is equally complicated which makes them more so rare and valuable.
- The highest quality abalone species are "ho ma" abalone, "mong" abalone (both from Amori, northern part of Japan's main island) and Iwate abalone (from Iwate, Japan's northeastern coast).
- Abalone is rich in protein, vitamin K, vitamin E and iron.
- In Chinese medicine, abalone is a yin food. It moistens the lungs, cleanses the liver and clears away heat relieving dry coughs and fever.
- Dried abalone connoisseurs enjoy abalone by braising it whole in broth and savoring it like a steak or some prefer in slices with a savory sauce.
- Dried abalone can also be added in soup or combined with Chinese herbs for medicinal soup. It will impart a distinct flavor to the soups.
- To soften dried abalone, soak them in a pot of fresh water for 2 days. Change water daily and clean the abalone thoroughly each time. When the soaking is complete, prepare a pot of fresh water with ginger and scallion and bring to boil. Briefly cook abalone for 5 minutes. Add chicken, ham or pork and more water. Cook for 6-8 hours in medium heat. Turn off the heat and let sit. After 30 minutes, use low heat to cook them for another 2-3 hours to finish.
- The drier and bigger the abalone, the longer it takes to soften. It may take about 3-5 days.
These statements have not been evaluated by the Food and Drug Administration. This product is not intended to diagnose, treat, cure or prevent any disease. Anyone currently under medication should consult their physician before taking any health supplements.