Everyone says you need to learn how to cook at home, because it's healthier and more economical. Well how come the best tasting stuff is so damn expensive? What is the world coming to, when the cheapest items in supermarkets is the type of stuff that is most likely to kill you. Right, and all the hippies and vegan activists yapping about farmers markets - charging $7.99 a pound for haricots verts isn't supporting local farmers, it's theft.
These mofos are delicious and all, but they're $4 each. EACH. Which is a complete ripoff, because you'd need to eat a good dozen of them for it to constitute a proper dish. But what am I saying, I'm such a sucker for suggestive-looking shellfish. A perfect combination of briny and savoury flavours, with the most amazingly firm texture. You start off the meal with two each; you can fill up later with sausages and yams on the grill.
When you buy abalone, look for a firmness in the meat, and just like oysters, they should feel weighty.
Scrub the shell with a brush, and rinse off all the grit. With a sharp knife, sever the single adductor muscle attaching the bottom of the abalone and the shell.
There is a pouch containing the digestive system and waste in the cup of the shell. It will be black. It will be dirty. Tear off the layer of film with your fingers and rinse the shell thoroughly, as you'll use it to serve the abalone.
The abalone goes back onto the cleaned shell. Finely julienne ginger root and green onion, placing an even amount of each on top of each abalone. Splash just a few drops of Shaoxing cooking wine - no other seasoning required.
Ring them on a plate, and steam them for no more than 3 minutes - remove from the heat as soon as the abalone is cooked through. Place the ginger and green onion under the abalone; thick slices and place back on the shell. Serve immediately.