Fried Abalone

Fried Abalone

Thanks to our generous neighbors, Mike and Beth, who provide us with the succulent shellfish fresh on the day it is plucked from the ocean and without whom our experiments in abalone perfection would not be possible. If you are going to eat abalone, fried is about as good as it gets. If you pound it well it will be so tender it can be cut with a fork, and the simplicity of the breading doesn't add a lot of complex flavors to overwhelm the sweet subtle flavor of the abalone. This recipe is the result of many attempts to make the most perfect dish from this lovely and hard-to-come-by shellfish.


1 Abalone
1 cup Flour
2 eggs
1/3 Cup Milk
1 tube Ritz or Saltine Crackers, or other breading of choice*, crushed
Oil (Peanut or Canola) for frying
Lemon for garnish

  * We use whatever breading we have available, but our favorite is 50/50 crushed Ritz Crackers and Corn Flake crumbs.
   Crush Ritz Crackers (or Saltines) thoroughly in a baggie with a rolling pin or in a food processor

Preparing the Abalone:

Step one of this recipe is to get the sharpest knife you can find!

Remove black rim from Abalone and cut crosswise into 1/6" slices. I don't cut it in big round steaks - cutting crosswise across the short side yields smaller strips which are easier to cut and a great size for eating. We have discovered that if you don't cut off the black rim the edges will be tough no matter how well you pound them (they must be cut off - washing the black off doesn't remove the tough rim).

Pound slices with waffle side of meat tenderizer mallet until thin and tender. I really whack them good. Don't worry if they tear a bit. The breading holds them all together, and even the smallest pieces are delicious and never wasted around here.

Prepare egg wash by mixing egg and milk, place in shallow bowl.

Put flour into large baggie to shake abalone pieces a few at a time

Put breading of choice into shallow bowl.

After everything is together, Prepare as follows:

Shake abalone in flour, dip in egg wash, then dredge through crumbs of choice. The Abalone can be breaded and placed on wax paper in a single layer prior to cooking. They cook quickly and it's impossible to bread them as fast as they can cook.

Cook in large cast iron skillet (425 degress is ideal) in about 1/6" oil for 30 seconds to 1 minute per side.

Serve immediately with squeeze of fresh lemon.