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Substiution for Abalone?

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I've really been into abalone jook lately, but I feel guilty every time I eat it. Abalone populations have become devastatingly low in our area and prices prohibitively high. Any suggestions on a good, sustainable substitute?

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  1. They farm red abalone in California.

    I visited a farm a few years ago, very interesting how it's done. You can order it online from http://www.americanabalone.net/

    1. You can try Scungilli , aka Conch.

      Have you tried the Abalone in cans?

      5 Replies
      1. re: fourunder

        I've never been able to locate abalone in cans. What's the flavor like? Intense? I like the mild flavor of the abalone. I haven't seen conch in our area either (Seattle). Would I find it at an asian store?

        1. re: soypower

          Large chinese supermarkets or chinese dry seafood markets would have abalone in cans, but they are usually behind the counter, since they are rather expensive.

          1. re: soypower

            I have not purchased Abalone in the can in ages....but it's pretty mild from what I remember....and it's already tender for the most part.

            I not familiar with availability of of certain seafoods, but I would imagine someone at Pikes Place Market would be. Normally, I would get it in NYC Chinatown, as every seafood market has it. In restaurant supply houses, you can possibly purchase them in IQF bags, 12 count.....IQF - Individually Quick Frozen. I do not recommend canned Scungilli...it has no flavor.

            1. re: fourunder

              Luckily, the local Chinese grocer has had some thawed abalone at a reasonable price this past week. However, I think it was just for the Lunar New Year so I'm making plans for when they stop carrying it. I'll have to check out the seafood shops in Chinatown to see if they have anything that looks promising. And I may have to try that canned abalone.

              1. re: soypower

                HMart Lynnwood has (or has had) live abalone in a tank, as well as frozen ones. I've also seen frozen at 99Ranch. I believe these are all the California farmed ones. Price is roughly $5 each.

                In California, wild ones can only be harvested recreationally, and there is per person limit. Though I'm sure there is commercial poaching.

        2. Abalone mushrooms, or squid.

          1. Really, no. Scallops, but same probs with the best Day boat, diver etc. And not at all the same. If I could get great fresh abalone once or twice a year, I would not feel guilty at all.

            1. Any thoughts on periwinkle meat? I see that regularly at my local grocer...

              1. 'poulpe' properly cooked. I 'SV' octopus now. I add a few drops of lemon juice and a few drops of clam juice to the bag. Excellent results.

                1. My mom used to make a phony abalone dish with pounded boneless skinless chicken breasts and clam juice.

                  1. ISTR that you can find conch in Asian groceries with labels that say, "imitation abalone". I think it's in Chinese on one side, English on the other.

                    1 Reply
                    1. re: ricepad

                      I ordered a sample of canned abalone but what I got says "abalone-like shellfish". Even the ingredient list says the same thing. I got the shipment while my sister from San Diego was visiting and we had a bit of a laugh. I haven't opened it so no further comment. It's Roland brand, I just went and got it and it has Chinese writing on the back, so probably the same as above mentioned. They do sell real canned abalone but the price is probably prohibitive, at least for free samples.

                    2. You don't say where you live. In NYC, I have seen live farmed abalone in Korean markets, occasionally also in Chinese markets. My local Japanese market used to carry very high quality frozen abalone, in the shell. I don't like canned abalone. it's OK, that's all. Most of the frozen abalone I've picked up from Asian markets has an ammonia smell. Best substitute, on the East coast, is live channeled whelk (scungilli) sold in Asian markets. Knobbed whelk is too tough, but channeled has the right combination of chewy and tender, and a similar flavor.

                      1. I think either razor clams or geoduck would be decent substitutes.

                        1. "Substitutes: ormer (smaller) OR geoduck clam OR conch OR other clams OR Flatten skinned and boned chicken or turkey breasts with a mallet, marinate in clam juice and crushed garlic, then sauté."

                          From: http://www.foodsubs.com/Shelfish.html