Braised Mushrooms with Abalone
I’m still on my Chinese New Year recipes posting spree with the holiday just peeping around the corner. Many people like to buy canned abalone during this season as it’s a sign of auspiciousness (“年年包有余”), and also because ’tis the season to indulge in luxurious food. You can see canned abalones flying off the shelves these few weeks and various promotions enticing shoppers to part with their money. A can of abalone (usually containing 1 1/2 abalone) can easily set one back by S$30 to S$80 (on average), depending on the grade and size of the abalone. This is a recipe for serving canned abalone in a simple braising sauce with simmered Chinese mushrooms.
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In fact, I rationed a can of abalone to make 3 dishes (abalone chicken congee, fish maw soup and this dish) to stretch my dollar since I’m only cooking for two. This is so far my favourite way of using canned abalone. The individual plating (first photo) reminds me of the serving style at Chinese restaurants, while the communal plating (above) is more ideal for sharing among more people. The ones from restaurants are typically using dried abalone (serving one small whole abalone per plate) and take hours (possibly days) of simmering to cook the abalone until tender. My sliced abalone from the can is a cheap and short-cut way of recreating this expensive Chinese restaurant dish.