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Braised Abalone with Sea Cucumber


Braised Abalone with Sea Cucumber Recipe

4 dried South African Abalone
2 dried South African Deep Sea Cucumber
1 knob ginger, pounded
3 stalks scallion, roots removed
8 dried Japanese scallop, rinsed with water before using
4 oz broccoli florets
Corn starch + water

Supreme Chicken Stock:

1 stewing hen, skin removed and chop into big pieces
1 lb pork spare ribs, cut into riblets
4 oz Chinese ham (or Virginia ham), cut into pieces
5 quarts water


Soak the dried abalone in cold water for 24 hours. The next day, clean and brush thoroughly and cook the abalone in boiling water for 15 minutes. Turn off the heat and cover the pot and let stand for a few hours until the water is cool. Clean and brush the abalone again, remove the tail-end of the abalone, discard the impurities and then soak in clean cold water again for another 10 hours or overnight.

In the meantime, soak the sea cucumbers overnight in a clean pot that is completely free of oil. The next day, bring a big pot of water to boil. Turn the heat off and put the sea cucumbers in. Cover the pot and let stand for a few hours until the water is cool. Repeat this process for 3-4 times until the sea cucumbers are relatively soft. At this point, clean each sea cucumber by following the steps here: picture 1, picture 2, picture 3, picture 4.

Bring a pot of water, preferably in a stainless steel pot, to boil. Add the ginger, scallions, and sea cucumbers to cook on low heat until they are soft enough for cooking.

While you’re prepping the dried ingredients, you can make the Supreme Chicken Stock. Bring the water to boil in a deep stock pot. Add the chicken, ribs, and ham and bring to boil. Then lower the heat and keep boiling and simmering for 8 hours until all the meat falls off the bones and the stock reaches an extremely flavorful taste. Discard the residue and save the stock. You can keep the stock in the fridge.

When you’re ready to cook, use a smaller stock pot and add about 3-4 cups of the Supreme Chicken Stock, abalone, sea cucumbers, and scallops and bring to boil. Turn down to low heat and let simmer for 10 to 12 hours until the abalone become tender/soft (not rubbery) and absorb the essence and flavor of the stock. To check for doneness, use a chopstick to poke through to get a feel. As the sea cucumbers cook faster than the abalone, check the texture of the sea cucumbers often. As soon as the sea cucumbers become soft and jiggly, remove from the pot and set aside. Add them back and reheat right before serving. DO NOT overcook the sea cucumbers as they will dissolve into gel-like texture.

To serve, quickly blanch the broccoli florets with boiling water. Drain and set aside. Use some of the soup base and thicken with a little bit of corn starch mixed with water. Arrange the abalone, sea cucumbers, broccoli florets and on a serving plate, drizzle the thickened sauce on top of the dish. Serve immediately.

Cook’s Notes:
  1. To save some cooking time, you might slice the abalone into slices before cooking. If you do so, make sure you cut the sea cucumbers into bigger pieces so they cook at a similar rate as the abalone slices.
  2. You can keep the remaining Supreme Chicken Stock in the fridge for a week or so. It’s great for a variety of Chinese recipes such as stir-fries that calls for water, soups, noodle soup, stews, etc.

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21 COMMENTS... read them below or add one

  1. Elaine Yeh Lee via Facebook

    Wow, those abalone and sea cucumber look absolutely first class. It’s a high class dish requiring “high class” expense.

  2. Foodjunkie

    The sea cucumber will be a bit of a tough sell for western palates but an interesting dish just the same. I would urge your readers to avoid wild abalone for this dish and use the farmed product. Wild abalone is severely over harvested in many areas.

  3. Corrie

    When living in Fiji for a while my in-laws had a friend the would dive for sea cucumbers. He smoked them till dry over coconut husks. While visiting I tried cooking them in a slow simmer in young coconut water. They didn’t taste like much on their own but are very good at absorbing the flavours of the other ingredients used in the dish. I haven’t cooked abalone yet so that is next on my list. :-)

  4. Yen Yen

    Abalone + Sea Cucumber = Love. But I’ll never make it because like you’ve said & experienced, it’s way too much work :)Kudos to your tenacity.

  5. Will

    This looks great. I recently went shopping at my local Ranch 99 Market. They sell fresh or not dry Abalone and See cucumber. How would you adjust the cooking time and method with non dry sea food?

  6. Faris

    I am a diver in Maldives. And i or we never eat this. I must give it a try. We export sea cucumber to china and other places. If you want i could post some to you even.

  7. Yean

    Entasked with this dish coming cny eve. First time for me, newly married so hope this turns out well for the parents-in-law. *Fingers crossed! Thanks for the recipe.

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