Authentic Korean Abalone in Shell Recipe - Seafood Delight

Abalone in Shell

Authentic Korean Abalone in Shell Recipe - Seafood Delight
Region / culture: Korea | Preparation time: 30 minutes | Cooking time: 5 minutes | Servings: 6


Abalone in Shell
Abalone in Shell

Abalone in Shell is a luxurious and elegant dish that showcases the delicate and unique flavor of abalone, a prized sea mollusk known for its tender texture and sweet, oceanic taste. This recipe combines the succulence of abalone with the freshness of cabbage and the tangy zest of lemon, all brought together with a homemade catsup sauce that adds a spicy kick to the dish. Perfect for special occasions or a gourmet dinner at home, this recipe is not only a feast for the palate but also a visual delight.


The tradition of cooking abalone dates back centuries, with its origins deeply rooted in East Asian and coastal cultures around the world. Abalone has been considered a delicacy and a symbol of good fortune and prosperity in many cultures. The method of serving abalone in its shell not only preserves its natural flavors but also presents it in its most authentic form. Over time, various cuisines have adopted and adapted abalone recipes, incorporating local ingredients and cooking techniques to enhance its exquisite taste.



How to prepare

  1. Select medium-sized abalones and scrub the shells with a brush.
  2. Wash the slippery surface of abalone meat and slide a knife into the shells to free the meat. Parboil the abalone meat in salted, boiling water for 5 minutes and return it to the shells.
  3. Finely shred the cabbage, dip it into cold water for 20 minutes, and drain.
  4. Cut the lemon into thin rings, then cut the rings into half-moon shapes.
  5. To make the sauce, add red pepper oil, minced garlic, sugar, and salt to tomato ketchup.
  6. Place the shredded cabbage at the bottom of a dish and top it with the abalones in shells.
  7. Garnish with lemon and parsley in the middle of the dish. Serve the abalones with the ketchup.


  • For a spicier version of the ketchup sauce, consider adding a teaspoon of finely chopped chili peppers or a dash of hot sauce. Alternatively, for a more complex flavor profile, a splash of white wine or rice vinegar can be added to the sauce during preparation.
  • 1. For a spicier sauce, add a teaspoon of hot sauce or chili flakes to the CATSUP sauce.
  • 2. Replace cabbage with thinly sliced fennel for a different texture and a hint of anise flavor.
  • 3. Lemon zest can be added to the CATSUP sauce for an extra citrusy kick.
  • For a different flavor profile, try substituting the catsup sauce with a soy-ginger sauce or a lemon-butter sauce.
  • Add a variety of vegetables, such as bell peppers or carrots, to the cabbage mix for added color and nutrition.
  • For a spicier version, incorporate chili flakes or a dash of hot sauce into the catsup sauce.

Cooking Tips & Tricks

To ensure the best results when preparing Abalone in Shell, consider the following tips and tricks:

- Use a soft brush to clean the abalone shells thoroughly to remove any debris or sand.

- When freeing the abalone meat from its shell, be gentle to keep the meat intact.

- Parboiling the abalone meat is crucial for tenderizing it. However, avoid overcooking as it can become tough.

- Soaking the shredded cabbage in cold water helps to crisp it up, adding a refreshing crunch to the dish.

- The catsup sauce can be adjusted according to taste. Feel free to experiment with the amount of red pepper oil for a spicier or milder flavor.

Serving Suggestions

Serve the Abalone in Shell on a platter, with the shredded cabbage forming a bed for the abalones. The lemon and parsley garnish adds a fresh, vibrant touch. This dish pairs beautifully with a side of steamed rice or a light salad for a complete meal.

Cooking Techniques

The key techniques in this recipe include cleaning and preparing the abalone, parboiling the meat, and creating a flavorful sauce. Mastering these techniques will ensure the abalone is cooked to perfection and the flavors are well-balanced.

Ingredient Substitutions

If abalone is not available, scallops or mussels can be used as a substitute, adjusting the cooking time accordingly.

- White vinegar or apple cider vinegar can replace lemon for a different acidic component.

- For a healthier sauce option, use tomato paste mixed with water, a touch of honey, and spices instead of ketchup.

Make Ahead Tips

The catsup sauce can be made ahead of time and stored in the refrigerator for up to a week. The cabbage can also be shredded and kept in cold water in the fridge a day in advance. However, it's best to prepare and cook the abalone fresh to maintain its quality and flavor.

Presentation Ideas

Consider serving the Abalone in Shell on a bed of sea salt or crushed ice for an elegant presentation. Garnish with edible flowers or microgreens for an added touch of sophistication.

Pairing Recommendations

A crisp white wine, such as Sauvignon Blanc or Chardonnay, pairs wonderfully with the delicate flavors of the abalone. For a non-alcoholic option, a chilled cucumber or mint-infused water complements the dish well.

Storage and Reheating Instructions

Leftover Abalone in Shell should be stored in an airtight container in the refrigerator and consumed within 2 days. To reheat, gently warm in a steamer or oven at a low temperature to prevent the abalone from becoming tough.

Nutrition Information

Calories per serving

A serving of Abalone in Shell is relatively low in calories, with an average of 150-200 calories per serving. This makes it an excellent choice for those monitoring their calorie intake or seeking a lighter meal option.


This Abalone in Shell recipe is relatively low in carbohydrates, with the primary sources being the cabbage and the sugar used in the catsup sauce. A serving of this dish contains approximately 5-10 grams of carbohydrates, making it a suitable option for those following a low-carb diet.


Abalone itself is very low in fat, and the minimal amount of oil used in the catsup sauce does not significantly increase the fat content of the dish. Overall, a serving of Abalone in Shell contains less than 5 grams of fat, most of which are healthy unsaturated fats from the oil.


Abalone is an excellent source of high-quality protein, essential for muscle repair and growth. A single serving of this dish provides approximately 20-25 grams of protein, making it a great option for those looking to increase their protein intake.

Vitamins and minerals

Abalone is rich in various vitamins and minerals, including Vitamin B12, iron, magnesium, and phosphorus. These nutrients play vital roles in energy production, oxygen transport, bone health, and nerve function. The addition of cabbage and lemon also contributes vitamin C, vitamin K, and dietary fiber to the dish.


The primary allergen present in this dish is shellfish, as abalone is a type of mollusk. Individuals with shellfish allergies should avoid this recipe. Additionally, the catsup sauce contains garlic, which some individuals may be sensitive to.


Abalone in Shell is a nutritious dish that offers a good balance of proteins, vitamins, and minerals while being low in carbohydrates and fats. It is an excellent option for those looking for a healthy, gourmet meal that is both satisfying and visually appealing.


Abalone in Shell is a refined and nutritious dish that combines the delicate flavors of abalone with fresh vegetables and a tangy sauce. With its rich history and cultural significance, this recipe offers a gourmet dining experience that is both healthy and visually impressive. Whether you're celebrating a special occasion or simply indulging in a luxurious meal, Abalone in Shell is sure to delight and satisfy.

How did I get this recipe?

The memory of discovering this recipe for the first time is a cherished one. It was many years ago, when I was just a young girl living in a small coastal town. My grandmother, who was known for her incredible cooking skills, had invited me into the kitchen to help her prepare a special meal for our family.

As we gathered the ingredients and began to work, she told me the story of how she had learned to make Abalone in Shell. It was a dish that had been passed down through generations in our family, originating from my great-great-grandmother who had lived near the ocean and had perfected the recipe.

My grandmother explained that Abalone was a delicacy that was highly prized for its tender meat and unique flavor. It was a challenging dish to prepare, as the abalone had to be carefully tenderized and cooked just right to ensure that it remained tender and juicy.

She showed me how to clean and tenderize the abalone, using a special tool to gently pound the meat until it was soft and supple. Then, we marinated it in a mixture of soy sauce, ginger, garlic, and sesame oil, allowing the flavors to infuse the meat and enhance its natural sweetness.

Next, we carefully placed the marinated abalone into the cleaned shells, topping them with a mixture of breadcrumbs, cheese, and butter. The shells were then placed in the oven and baked until the abalone was cooked through and the topping was golden and crispy.

As the aroma of the dish filled the kitchen, my grandmother smiled and told me that cooking was not just about following a recipe, but about creating memories and traditions that would be passed down through the generations. She said that each time we cooked a family recipe, we were honoring our ancestors and keeping their spirit alive.

When the Abalone in Shell was finally ready, we gathered around the table with our family and I watched as everyone took their first bite. The tender meat melted in our mouths, while the crispy topping added a delicious crunch. The flavors were rich and savory, with a hint of sweetness from the marinade.

As we ate, my grandmother shared more stories about our family's history and the traditions that had been passed down through the years. I listened intently, savoring not just the delicious dish before me, but the memories and connections that were woven into every bite.

Since that day, I have made Abalone in Shell many times, each time remembering that special moment in the kitchen with my grandmother. The recipe has become a treasured part of our family's culinary tradition, a reminder of where we come from and the love and care that goes into every meal we share.

As I sit here now, surrounded by my own family and with the aroma of Abalone in Shell wafting through the air, I am grateful for the lessons my grandmother taught me and the memories we created together in the kitchen. Cooking this dish will always remind me of her and the love she poured into every meal she made. And I know that as long as I continue to cook and share these recipes with my loved ones, her spirit will live on in our hearts and in the flavors of the dishes we create.


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