Braised Abalone, Mushroom, Sea Cucumber & Bamboo in Abalone Sauce

Sunday, February 10, 2013

If you enjoy cooking, CNY is a good opportunity to indulge your hobby. It may be stressful at times, but it will be satisfying.

This blog is almost likened to my cooking notes; I do want to remember what I did for the Reunion dinner this year. It will not be often that these kind of dishes will be cooked and the next time I cook them (next CNY?), this post will be a helpful reference point.

I will give more details here on braising an Abalone dish. If you receive these cans as gifts, this can give you some idea on cooking it well. It does require some prep work but cooking attention is minimal as you leave the pot to simmer.

We needed superior stock (for this dish) and normal stock (for the rest). I used lean pork (0.8 kg, cubed), one "kampung" chicken (remove the skin and fat, cut into smaller pieces), yunnan ham (80g), chicken feet (15) and some herbs like aniseed (2 pieces) and bay leaves (3). After blanching, it was simmered in a deep pot for 3 hours (with about 3 liters of water, so that the stock ingredients are covered.

Abalones placed on top of the simmering stock

I placed the abalone (already steamed in their cans for 4 hours) on top of the stock as well, and so they were also braised. This is one way of making abalone flavored sauce.

The superior stock before it is flavored 
I then strained the stock. Sugar crystals (bing tong), chicken stock granules, dark soy sauce were added. Adjust to taste. I then added the large flower shitake mushrooms (already pre soaked briefly in cold water), sea cucumber and goose web feet. The stock is simmered again. I removed the sea cucumber at the 40 minute mark (depending on the type, some should cook longer). As for the goose web feet, remove when it is soft enough and before the skin breaks apart. The mushrooms should be done after an hour.

I then thickened the sauce with corn flour and made final adjustments to the taste. Remove the oil layer on top and whatever bits and pieces you find.  Keep the sauce smooth and thick. The fire was switched off and as I am only serving this dish later, I put all the ingredients back into the pot to keep them soaked and flavored.

To serve, slice the ingredients and plate. Then heat up the stock, pour and serve immediately, garnished with some coriander leaves. It will be good to add some green blanched veg. This time round, I added fresh bamboos, another wonderful delicacy. They were steamed separately for about 15 minutes.

Prepared properly, the abalone slices should have the right texture, soft but firm. It should not be chewy or taste raw.

Now, I added some water to the strained stock ingredients and let it simmer again to make "normal" stock. The meat and stuff inside can certainly go for another round of stock making. You can add some more bones and meat if you like. This stock came in handy for the other dishes, i.e. vegetarian mixed veg dish (lo han chye or chap chye), sauce for the asparagus and scallop dish.

We ordered one dish in - the "yee sang" Chinese: 鱼生; pinyin: yúshēng; Pe̍h-ōe-jī: hî- seⁿ or hû-siⁿ) or "low hey" dish. That is a good way to start the dinner, with a refreshing Chinese salad dish appetiser. After that, it buys you some time to bring the rest of the dishes in, some which you want to serve hot. It brings a sense of order to the meal, rather than having the dishes on the dinner table before everyone is seated. Not everyone is keen on raw fish, and so we aded prepared jellyfish (I had a pack, from Hong Kong) and sliced braised abalones (I used the smaller variety as they were not suitable for the way the treasures dish was plated).

Stay tuned for a few other CNY-related posts.

Plated and before the sauce is poured over.

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  1. Hi do you have a recipe for braising mushroom? Can you share? My email address is Thank you. Jenny ong