Braised Abalone with Sea Cucumber

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Braised Abalone with Sea Cucumber Recipe

Ingredients:

4 dried South African Abalone
2 dried South African Deep Sea Cucumber
1 knob ginger, pounded
3 stalks scallion, roots removed
8 dried Japanese scallop, rinsed with water before using
4 oz broccoli florets
Corn starch + water

Supreme Chicken Stock:

1 stewing hen, skin removed and chop into big pieces
1 lb pork spare ribs, cut into riblets
4 oz Chinese ham (or Virginia ham), cut into pieces
5 quarts water

Method:

Soak the dried abalone in cold water for 24 hours. The next day, clean and brush thoroughly and cook the abalone in boiling water for 15 minutes. Turn off the heat and cover the pot and let stand for a few hours until the water is cool. Clean and brush the abalone again, remove the tail-end of the abalone, discard the impurities and then soak in clean cold water again for another 10 hours or overnight.

In the meantime, soak the sea cucumbers overnight in a clean pot that is completely free of oil. The next day, bring a big pot of water to boil. Turn the heat off and put the sea cucumbers in. Cover the pot and let stand for a few hours until the water is cool. Repeat this process for 3-4 times until the sea cucumbers are relatively soft. At this point, clean each sea cucumber by following the steps here: picture 1, picture 2, picture 3, picture 4.

Sea Cucumber

Sea Cucumber

Cut a slit on the bottom side

Cut a slit on the bottom side

Cut a slit on the bottom side

Clean out the intestine and sand

Clean out the intestine and sand

Cleaned Sea Cucumber

Cleaned Sea Cucumber

Cleaned Sea Cucumber

Bring a pot of water, preferably in a stainless steel pot, to boil. Add the ginger, scallions, and sea cucumbers to cook on low heat until they are soft enough for cooking.

While you’re prepping the dried ingredients, you can make the Supreme Chicken Stock. Bring the water to boil in a deep stock pot. Add the chicken, ribs, and ham and bring to boil. Then lower the heat and keep boiling and simmering for 8 hours until all the meat falls off the bones and the stock reaches an extremely flavorful taste. Discard the residue and save the stock. You can keep the stock in the fridge.

When you’re ready to cook, use a smaller stock pot and add about 3-4 cups of the Supreme Chicken Stock, abalone, sea cucumbers, and scallops and bring to boil. Turn down to low heat and let simmer for 10 to 12 hours until the abalone become tender/soft (not rubbery) and absorb the essence and flavor of the stock. To check for doneness, use a chopstick to poke through to get a feel. As the sea cucumbers cook faster than the abalone, check the texture of the sea cucumbers often. As soon as the sea cucumbers become soft and jiggly, remove from the pot and set aside. Add them back and reheat right before serving. DO NOT overcook the sea cucumbers as they will dissolve into gel-like texture.

To serve, quickly blanch the broccoli florets with boiling water. Drain and set aside. Use some of the soup base and thicken with a little bit of corn starch mixed with water. Arrange the abalone, sea cucumbers, broccoli florets and on a serving plate, drizzle the thickened sauce on top of the dish. Serve immediately.

Cook’s Notes:

  1. To save some cooking time, you might slice the abalone into slices before cooking. If you do so, make sure you cut the sea cucumbers into bigger pieces so they cook at a similar rate as the abalone slices.
  2. You can keep the remaining Supreme Chicken Stock in the fridge for a week or so. It’s great for a variety of Chinese recipes such as stir-fries that calls for water, soups, noodle soup, stews, etc.

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