Abalone with Beurre Blanc Sauce

Here is a classic preparation for abalone — the key to preparation is to not overcook the abalone. Prepare the buerre blanc sauce first, and then quickly sauté the abalone.

Buerre Blanc
2 large shallots, finely chopped
2 tablespoons white wine vinegar
3 tablespoons dry white wine
2 tablespoons heavy cream
1 cup butter, cut into 16 pieces
Salt and pepper

1/2 cup flour
Salt and pepper
1 egg, beaten well
12 abalone medallions, tenderized*
4 tablespoons butter melted
1 lemon, cut into wedges


For Sauce:
In a small sauce pan, combine the shallots, vinegar and wine. Bring to a boil, reduce heat to medium and simmer mixture uncovered until liquid is reduced to about 2 tablespoons.

Whisk in the cream and reduce heat to low. Simmer mixture, whisking occasionally, until liquid is reduced to about 3 tablespoons.

Add butter one piece at a time, whisking constantly. When the butter is blended in, add another piece, still stirring constantly. Continue adding one piece at a time, whisking constantly until all of the butter is incorporated. The sauce should be pleasantly warm and should thicken. If it becomes too hot and and breaks (drops of melted butter appear), remove the sauce pan immediately from heat and whisk vigorously. When the temperature of the sauce cools slightly, return to heat and continue adding and additional pieces of butter. Whisk continuously until desired thickness is achieved.

Strain sauce if desired. Season with salt and pepper, to taste. Serve sauce as soon as possible. It can be kept warm in sauce pan, but it must be whisked and kept on very low heat to avoid separation.

For Abalone:
Place flour in shallow bowl or plate. Season with a dash of salt and pepper. Place beaten egg in a shallow bowl or plate.

Dip prepared abalone meat in beaten egg.

Lay abalone in the flour and coat both sides, shaking off excess flour.

Heat sauté pan over medium heat and melt the butter. When it’s bubbling, add the abalone to the pan and cook for 15-30 seconds per side. The coating of the abalone should turn golden brown. The abalone meat will become tough if it is over-cooked.

Serve on a plate with a lemon wedge and spoon the beurre blanc sauce over the abalone.

YIELD: Serves 3 – 4

*If you purchase abalone from H & H Fresh Fish Company, the abalone has already been tenderized and is ready to cook.

How to Tenderize Abalone

Abalone is a large mollusk that is as delicious as it is tough. If you’re not buying pre-tenderized abalone, you’ll have to do the “tenderizing” yourself.

  1. Start by trimming away the dark, curly edges, which tend to stay tough. Then, slice it into thin 1/4 inch slices.
  2. Place a piece of plastic wrap or parchment paper on your cutting board, then place the abalone pieces on it, and top with another piece of plastic wrap or parchment.
  3. Using a wooden mallet or the back of a heavy spoon, gently pound the strips to flatten them slightly. Be careful not to pound too hard — you don’t want to shred or tear the meat. The abalone is now ready to eat or cook.

If you enjoy abalone raw, serve the chilled abalone with a spritz of lemon juice and extra virgin olive oil, or a bit of soy sauce with a dab of wasabi.