Sunday, August 18, 2013

Freediving for Abalone Southeast Asian Sandwiches

"Bro, I made Abalone Southeast Asian sandwiches"-me
"Did you forage the soy sauce?"-my brother
"Then I am not impressed!"- my brother

We woke to a typical north coast summer morning; cold weather and such heavy fog it actually began to sprinkle down on us.

We made our way to the ocean and tried mooching for salmon again. After a few hours with no bites we switched gears.

The visibility was poor, but we managed 3 abalone each (daily limits).


Good foragers play by the our abalone were tagged as soon as we hit the shore.

Another benefit to finding abalone rich coves are the abundant water-worn shell fragments you can find in the surf zone.

Once back home we pried the abs from their beautifully iridescent shells, and began the process of cleaning and pounding the meat. Pearls are pretty rare, but we found a couple of them this day.

Waste not, want not. Abalone guts and trimmings make the best rock fish bait. It was frozen for later use.

The meat was set aside, wrapped in an old T-shirt and beaten mercilessly with a club. Abalone is very tough so it requires a thorough pounding. Some folks only pound it once it is filleted, but our family tradition is to give them a solid beating while whole, and then a secondary pounding with a meat mallet afterwards. This ensures butter-tender meat.

I gathered some carrots from the garden, matched them with a daikon radish and pickled them using some of my buddy Alex's delicious homemade Gravensein apple cider vinegar.

I churned a little fresh butter for the bread (as I hate mayonnaise with a passion).

And placed the pounded abalone fillets in a teriyaki marinade which used some garlic from my brother and his girlfriend's garden.

While these items soaked up the spices I played around with some of the shell fragments.

Keep in mind Abalone dust is a lung irritant, so if you plan on working with it, wear a mask, work in a well ventilated area, and keep the shell wet.

A few apple wood skewers held the meat over an apple wood flame...

And in no time flat we were enjoying the best Southeast Asian sandwiches I have ever had!

Well...I have to go now, the hops and walnuts need harvesting.

Keep the old ways alive!


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