By John Cox, chef at La Bicyclette and Casanova
- Rinse the abalone under cold water to remove any loose pieces of shell or seaweed.
- Locate the shallow, narrow end of the shell and slide a thin metal spoon between the shell and the foot of the abalone.
- When the spoon is halfway under the foot, push down on the handle of the spoon to dislodge the abalone.
- Gently pull the abalone from the shell—taking care not to rupture any of the internal organs or digestive tract (though if that does happen it is just slightly messy and not a big issue).
- Using a small paring knife and hands, separate the organs from the foot (or meat) of the abalone.
- Put the abalone under cold running water and, with a small sanitized brush, aggressively scrub to remove as much of the black layer as possible. (On small abalone this is primarily for aesthetic reasons—so don’t worry if there are some stubborn sections that refuse to budge.)
Now your abalone are ready to prepare any number of creative ways.