Abalone is a type of clam belonging to the family Haliotidae . This seafood has a scientific name Haliotis . Usually, abalone is cooked into various dishes; like stir-frying, made into soup, or sashimi.
However, during Chinese New Year celebrations like now abalone is one of the mandatory foods that also enliven the dining table. Even his presence is a symbol of good luck.
Tracing the history revealed by Zaini, a cook specializing in Chinese food , abalone is usually served only during Chinese New Year.
“Formerly abalone, cooked to be served specifically for the kings in China. Therefore, abalone is also a food for nobles; who has power or position. The privilege is what makes abalone enter the Chinese New Year menu,” said a man aged 54 that year to the coil some time ago.
Illustration of abalone Photo: doc. shutterstock
But, unfortunately, as time goes by, the interest in enjoying abalone starts to decline – even if it’s during Chinese New Year. The reasons vary, ranging from the small production so difficult to get it, to the exorbitant price.
Zaini revealed, imported abalone is usually sold in the form of canned food which costs around Rp. 1 million per can . The average is from Canada. Meanwhile, local abalone costs around Rp. 300 thousand per kilo .
“Abalone is sold in canned form, it’s clean and has no shell. It looks like an oyster, so in the tin it is usually only meat. One can contain one large fruit, there are two in contents. That costs more than Rp 1 million per can. “Therefore, when it is served, it is sometimes cut into small pieces,” added the man who works as a sous chef at the Millennium Hotel Sirih Jakarta.
Abalone . Photo: Azalia Amadea / coil
Abalone processing must also not be arbitrary. Zaini usually boils or stimulates the abalone in the can for three hours. This is done so that the abalone is sterile from bacteria or germs.
Furthermore, abalone can be sauteed with the addition of fried garlic, or made into soup. On the Yu Sheng dish, abalone is usually used as a topping by thinly sliced as a substitute for salmon to feel more luxurious.
Zaini himself prefers to cook it with additional oyster sauce to taste savory seafood dishes . Even though it is easy to process, Zaini suggested, when cooking abalone, the main key is to use low heat so that it is not hard and the seasoning will seep. Must be patient like when cooking rendang.
Not only does it taste luxurious, abalone also saves health benefits.
“There are no side effects, even abalone can increase stamina. Usually to balance drinking Chinese tea,” said the cook who has worked for 25 years in a hotel located in the Tanah Abang area.
Braised menu of abalone and fried rice at Pullman Thamrin Photo: Safira Maharani / coil
Like seafood , abalone is rich in protein, fiber, minerals, and vitamins; like vitamins A, B12, and E. Shells with a size of about five centimeters also contain potassium, magnesium, iodine, zinc, to iron.
The wealth of these nutrients makes abalone often used as a healthy seafood for the heart, bones, kidneys, to stamina enhancing food as Zaini revealed.