Edible Monterey Bay


By John Cox, chef at La Bicyclette and Casanova

Serves 4

This recipe is inspired by Ernest “Pop” Doelter’s classic preparation. The acidity of the fresh heirloom tomato and briny capers complement the tender abalone sautéed in brown butter.

4 small live abalone
3 eggs
2 cups flour
1 small yellow onion, finely diced
3 teaspoons minced garlic
1 large heirloom tomato, diced
3 tablespoons capers
1 teaspoon lemon zest (reserve lemon for juicing)
9 Castelvetrano olives, pitted and sliced
1 bunch parsley
1 bunch basil
6 chive blossoms
5 tablespoons butter
Salt and pepper

  1. Clean abalone using instructions in accompanying recipe.
  2. Using a sharp knife, slice each abalone in half to form two thin medallions.
  3. Let the abalone rest at room temperature for 20 minutes until they become pliable.
  4. With a meat mallet or other heavy object, pound the abalone medallions so that they are slightly flattened, but not torn.
  5. Toss abalone in flour seasoned with salt and pepper.
  6. Crack eggs into metal bowl and whisk until aerated; season with salt and pepper.
  7. In a large sauté pan, melt the butter and continue to cook until it starts to turn brown; turn down heat to medium.
  8. Quickly dredge the abalone in the whipped eggs and set them into the hot pan with brown butter.
  9. Cook over medium heat for 30 seconds or until the egg coating becomes golden brown.
  10. Add the garlic and onions.
  11. Flip the abalone with a spatula and add the remaining ingredients (except the chive blossoms and salt and pepper).
  12. Give the pan a few good shakes to mix the ingredients and coat evenly with the brown butter.
  13. Season the mix with salt, pepper and a squeeze of lemon.
  14. Sprinkle with chive blossoms and serve immediately, using the brown butter as a sauce.

* Note: The abalone should take less than 2 minutes to cook; if you leave the abalone in the pan too long they will become rubbery. Be sure to remove them from the pan as soon as they are golden brown.