Abalone is one of the most extraordinary seafoods of the world, and a treasure of Chinese cuisine. My fishmonger has begun selling fresh abalone, and I've been eating them as fast as I can, taking advantage. Just amazing. You cut off the muscle to take them off the half shell, and remove the dirty innards underneath - the interior of the shell has just the most dazzling colour and shine.
There are many ways of eating them. Chinese gourmands generally prize dried abalone more than fresh, and I have to agree. Eating them live is an entirely different experience, and I thoroughly enjoy both. There are many methods to prepare these - as always, the simplest methods are the best, preserving both natural flavour and texture. As for how I prepared mine, I decided to cook them two ways . . .