VARIETIES | ABALONE
Western Australia’s ultimate seafood delicacy
Abalone are considered a delicacy in many parts of the world, particularly Asia. This tasty morsel comes in 11 species, but only three varieties that are large enough to be fished. Roe’s abalone is most common across the Perth metropolitan region and northern areas of the state, with the larger Greenlip and Brownlip varieties preferring the cooler waters off the south coast.
Don Hancey’s Cooking Tip
Using a very sharp knife, slice the abalone into thin slices and use a meat mallet or rolling pin to give each slice a whack to tenderise the silky pearl coloured flesh. Use a medium hot pan or wok with a touch of olive oil and cook for a matter of seconds, tossing the slices as you go. I never season abalone, I prefer to lets its unique ocean seagrass, almost ‘scallop-like’ flavours shine.
Another way to cook a green-lip, is to grill or pan fry it whole. Use a medium-sized hot pan with a smear of olive oil and give the abalone a whack with a rolling pin or similar, not to squash it but to simply break the surface tension in a couple of places. Place the abalone in a pan and fry for approximately 3 minutes, depending on the size. Turn it over and cook for another couple of minutes. Place a normal kitchen knife vertically on the top of the abalone and apply a gentle pressure. When the abalone is cooked, the knife will slide in almost like butter. If you meet resistance, keep cooking until the pressure is no longer required (a matter of a minute or two).
In the south of WA there are intergenerational fishing families that offer a behind the scenes look at how abalone farms operate.
Along the south coast of Western Australia, Roe’s Abalone Fishery operates in shallow coastal waters from the South Australian border to Shark Bay where commercial fishing runs from 1 April to 31 March the following year. The Western Australian Greenlip and Brownlip Abalone Fishery is a dive fishery that targets the two largest species of abalone found off the south-west and south coasts of WA. Two Oceans have established an innovative method to naturally grow their own abalone in the waters around Augusta in the south west.