Easy Japanese Recipes

Sautéed Abalone

Sautéed Abalone Recipe | JustOneCookbook.com

As Japan is surrounded by water, the Japanese eat a lot of seafood as part of their diet.  My mom used to serve fish and seafood way more frequently than I do for my own family.  San Francisco is located by the ocean so I’m lucky to be able to have pretty of fresh seafood available all year around.  Because enjoying seafood has been always part of my life, it wasn’t until I learned from food bloggers living in areas not close by ocean that seafood can be hard to get.  So today’s post may not be or everyone, but I thought it might be interesting for everyone to see how the Japanese typically cook and eat some seafood, and today’s menu is simple, easy, yet delectable sauteed abalone dish.

Sauteed Abalone | Just One Cookbook

My husband bought these baby abalone from the nearby Japanese supermarket and wanted to make it himself so I told him how to cook it.  It was interesting for me to watch him prepare food in the kitchen because he normally just barbecues.

I’ve learned from past experience the key to prepare delicious abalone is to not overcook them.  These abalone were really small so they were done cooking in less than 1 minute.  For regular sized abalone, I usually never cook for more than 4-5 minutes otherwise the meat loses the tenderness and becomes rock hard.  My husband really loves shellfish so I’ll share another one of his favorite abalone recipe in the future.

I hope you enjoy this simple dish with cold sake, or even without drinks.  You can of course substitute abalone with shrimp, chicken, white fish…as you like!   Have a wonderful weekend!

Sauteed Abalone | Just One Cookbook

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Sautéed Abalone
Prep time
Cook time
Total time
Serves: 1
  • 5 baby abalone
  • 1 Tbsp. butter
  • 1 garlic clove, minced
  • 2 Tbsp. dashi stock
  • 2 Tbsp. lemon juice
  • Finely chopped green onions for garnish
  1. Use a knife to remove from the shell. Remove the abalone guts and heart.
  2. Clean the abalone with tiny bit of salt under running water.
  3. Make some slits crosswise.
  4. Melt butter on the frying pan over medium heat.
  5. Add abalone.
  6. Then quickly add minced garlic.
  7. Lastly pour dashi stock and lemon juice and turn abalone and saute for 1 minute. Do not overcook. Remove from heat immediately.
  8. Garnish with green onions and serve immediately.
Recipe by Namiko Chen of Just One Cookbook. All images and content on this site are copyright protected. Please do not use my images without my permission. If you’d like to share this recipe on your site, please re-write the recipe in your own words and link to this post as the original source. Thank you.


Posted in: 30 Minutes Or Less, Appetizers, Easy Dinner Ideas, Healthy Recipes, Quick & Easy, Seafood, Side Dishes

Leave a Comment

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  • Belinda @zomppa July 26, 2012, 12:30 am

    You’re so fortunate to have fresh seafood readily available – what a lovely simple dish. Butter makes everything wonderful.

  • Sonia aka Nasi Lemak Lover July 26, 2012, 12:40 am

    I wish to have a small bite of your abalone, simple ingredients but great taste!

  • Marta @ What Should I Eat For Breakfast Today? July 26, 2012, 1:50 am

    I loved to live in Amsterdam, because we had a fresh seafood over there. Berlin is a bit different but it’s still possible :) And I love the plate you used :)

  • donna mikasa July 26, 2012, 2:10 am

    How wonderful to have your husband in the kitchen, preparing the abalone dish! It looks delicious! Have a fantastic weekend, Nami!

  • Medeja July 26, 2012, 3:08 am

    Japanese food is one of my favourite and one of the reasons that they have a lot of great tasting seafood recipes :)

  • Tania @ A Perfect Pantry July 26, 2012, 3:41 am

    This looks good… I’ll admit I’ve never tried abalone…I should give it a go I think.

  • Lorraine @ Not Quite Nigella July 26, 2012, 3:44 am

    Abalone can be so expensive here but sometimes you’ll find it reasonably priced in area where they catch it. You’re right about not over cooking it, sometimes it can be tough! :S

  • Choc Chip Uru July 26, 2012, 4:03 am

    A traditional dish from childhood surroundings is fabulous! This looks delicious!

    Choc Chip Uru

  • thyme (sarah) July 26, 2012, 4:30 am

    That does look delicious, simple, and a good source of protein. I can’t wait to look into more of your Japanese recipes. We used to live in Japan. Many times we ate dishes and we did not know the ingredients or the cooking methods. We were 2 hours north of Tokyo so very few people spoke English. I have never eaten Abalone before but I like pretty much all seafood.

  • Eha July 26, 2012, 4:50 am

    Have a wide smile on my face: was going to begin ‘Love abalone so much, but it is so expensive here in Australia’ and see Lorraine from NQN has gotten ahead of me!! Repetition does not hurt! Oh I do love these babies: the ones we get are usually a little bigger and I usually saute them very briefly with garlic and white wine: must try the dashi stock next time I get hold of the treasure :) ! Scallops as just as ‘touchy’ timewise, aren’t they?

  • Mandy - The Complete Cook Book July 26, 2012, 5:18 am

    Sensational Nami!
    :-) Mandy

  • Giulietta | Alterkitchen July 26, 2012, 5:46 am

    I never had abalone in my life.. but this looks like a great dish to me!

  • Rosa July 26, 2012, 5:48 am

    I’ve never had abalone nor seen any here at the supermarket (we are too far from the sea). It is something quite rare and expensive too, I think…

    This dish looks marvelous!


  • Mi Vida en un Dulce July 26, 2012, 6:47 am

    I think I never eat abalone, but you are right, we can use other seafood, in Peru we have a lot as we are in the Pacific coast.

  • Blackswan July 26, 2012, 6:48 am

    鮑!! わたしは大好き。Hahaha! I read my mind, dear! I’m a huge fan & have quite a few Abalone recipes in my blog, with one humongous size Abalone too! Is it expensive over where u live? It’s so costly in S’pore.

  • Tes July 26, 2012, 6:52 am

    I have never tried abalone before but the dish looks so amazing :) I will try it with squid :)

  • Sissi July 26, 2012, 8:37 am

    Nami, I have read and heard so often about abalone, but have never seen it here. I am sure it would be delicious! I like most seafood, so I would love this one too. I hope I can taste it when I finally I go to Japan. The list gets longer and longer every year… If I don’t go there quickly I will have to have six meals a day in order to taste everything I have spotted on my friends’ blogs ;-)

  • Laura (Tutti Dolci) July 26, 2012, 8:46 am

    I’ve never tried abalone but this looks simply wonderful, Nami! I’m envious of all the fresh seafood at your finger tips :).

  • A_Boleyn July 26, 2012, 9:07 am

    A perfectly presented dish. I haven’t had abalone that I recall. Is the texture more like tender creamy barely seared scallops or more chewy like fried clams?

  • Evelyne@cheapethniceatz July 26, 2012, 9:53 am

    Congrats to your husband for such a great recipe. Really nice recipe and love the crisscross with the knife. Definitely somehting that must not be overcooked.

  • Ashley July 26, 2012, 9:57 am

    I love fish! And since NYC is close to water, we get awesome fresh fish at the markets year round, too! I’ll have to try this.

  • Ramona July 26, 2012, 10:23 am

    I am giving you the title “Queen of Seafood” ! You make some of the best things with seafood I have ever seen. These abalone look great! :)

  • amy @ uTryIt July 26, 2012, 11:19 am

    What a beautiful dish and sounds like something my family would definitely enjoy. Yeah, just like you, my parents serve a lot more seafood and fish compared to what I usually cook for my family. I just love the fresh seafood from the market in Asia countries. :)

  • Lee G July 26, 2012, 12:04 pm

    Nami, this looks yummy and easy to make. I’m going to try it this weekend. Thanks for sharing.

  • candice July 26, 2012, 12:35 pm

    Sounds like a wonderful dinner, Nami. I love abalone. It’s great that it’s easy to make too. =) You mentioned pouring wine with the lemon juice in your demonstration. Did you replace the wine with the dashi stock (which was listed in the ingredient list)?

    • Nami July 26, 2012, 1:05 pm

      Hi Candice! Ohhh good catch! Thank you – no wine (or sake) for this recipe! I remember while I was writing this recipe, I was talking to my husband about the other abalone dish which we use wine! How silly. Thank you so much for letting me know my mistake!

  • Chung-Ah | Damn Delicious July 26, 2012, 12:58 pm

    You always have the best seafood recipes! I’ve never had abalone (or maybe I have and I just can’t remember) but I’m so intrigued! Once I get my hands on some, I’ll be making it ASAP. I think Jason is going to be over the moon about this dish.

  • Jenn and Seth (@HomeSkilletCook) July 26, 2012, 2:30 pm

    i’ve never had abalone – this makes me want to run out, track some down and sautee some up!

  • Kim Bee July 26, 2012, 2:55 pm

    Very unique dish Nami. I can’t do seafood cuz mini-me is allergic. But I grew up eating it so I have a great appreciation for it. Never had this though.

  • Roxana | Roxana's Home Baking July 26, 2012, 3:36 pm

    Now that we’re in South Carolina there are seafood restaurants everywhere and we enjoy fresh fish almost every night. When we’re at home in Virginia we rarely eat fish since we know it travels hundreds and even thousands of miles before getting to us.
    The abalone looks delicious!

  • Jean (Lemons and Anchovies) July 26, 2012, 3:37 pm

    My hubs used to dive for abalone on the coast decades ago and raved about how great they were. I’ve had them a few times and enjoyed them–just like you said–when they’re not overcooked. I’ll have to try sautéing them sometime. Did you save the shells? They’re so pretty. We have a couple old ones hanging in our yard just because they’re so nice to look at. :)

    Have a great weekend, Nami. :)

  • Bam's Kitchen July 26, 2012, 4:22 pm

    Lovely dish Nami-san! The last time I had really good abalone was in Japan in tokyo over a teppanyaki grill. The abalone was so fresh, he was trying to make a run for it off the grill. Now that is fresh.

  • Liz July 26, 2012, 5:27 pm

    I don’t think I’ve ever eaten abalone! But your simple recipe and beautiful cross hatch preparation make me know I’d love to try some :)

  • Sammie July 26, 2012, 6:12 pm

    oh wow Nami!! I LOOOOOOOVE abalone! And I love how you make it look so easy!! By the way, today I went to my Asian Supermarket store (T&T) and was so happy to find dashi stock, mirin AND sake!! yay!! So excited to start trying out all your recipes!! :D :D

  • ChopinandMysaucepan July 26, 2012, 6:45 pm

    Dear Nami,

    I’ve only had these baby abalone the usual chinese style which is steamed with ginger, shallots and special soy sauce. I imagined this recipe would be great as butter and the dashi stock will make it so tasty.

  • anna July 26, 2012, 8:57 pm

    beautiful, simple dish! im sure there is abalone somewhere here in oregon, but i wouldn’t know where to find it!

  • Fern @ To Food with Love July 26, 2012, 8:57 pm

    Oh wow, I’ve never seen baby abalone before! Are you able to get them fresh? These look and sound delicious, something I would get at a nice restaurant. If the house next to yours is vacant, can I move in please? :p

  • Sophia July 26, 2012, 9:08 pm

    I love seafood so much so that just looks like jewel to me!! When I was sick, my mom sometimes made me abalone porridge. This is more fancy with the whole abalone. :)

  • Jeno @ Week Nite Meals July 26, 2012, 9:18 pm

    Hi Nami! It’s awesome that Shen cooked this dish! I’ve never actually seen fresh abalone so this is an eye opener! The ones I’ve tasted from the restaurants were never that great, tough and with a weird after taste, though yours look very delicate and tasty, almost got a squid type of glow to them!

    It’s almost the weekend again, can’t believe Summer vacation is half way done. Trinity is keeping herself VERY busy this year. Camp, piano, math, reading, building models with Jon, she even started an accessory business with a few friends, selling them like hotcakes! On the weekends I sometime let her help me in the kitchen doing some baking or popsicle making, it’s been a great time. Hope you are enjoying your Summer also!

  • Lisa H July 26, 2012, 9:28 pm

    You are making me hungry Nami… :D
    Beautiful dish and love the photos

  • Jen Laceda | Tartine and Apron Strings July 26, 2012, 10:30 pm

    Abalone is prized in Chinese culture also :) Everytime we have a special celebration banquet, abalone makes an appearance. I have not tried cooking it at home because I fear overcooking it or destroying such a specialty, hehe. You make it look so effortless and easy, though, Nami!

  • Sandra's Easy Cooking July 26, 2012, 10:39 pm

    I will say it again even though I can dare myself to try it this looks mighty good. Wonderful post and yummy pictures, Nami! Shen did fantastic job making this…
    Wishing you both wonderful weekend!

  • Jeannie July 26, 2012, 11:19 pm

    Looks simple yet must be delicious! Abalones are not the cheapest of seafood, that’s for sure!

  • Reem | Simply Reem July 27, 2012, 12:27 am

    Simple and Delicious… Beautiful as always!!!!
    I am loving that bowl Nami… Gorgeous!!

  • Jenny @ Ichigo Shortcake July 27, 2012, 1:06 am

    I’ve always been to scared to make abalone at home because they really do overcook easily! My mother makes them sometimes to perfection and sometimes overcooked…you make it look so easy Nami! But they really are delicious…I really should overcome that fear and try this recipe. :D

  • Lynna July 27, 2012, 1:34 am

    Ohh…that butter…I can taste this delectable beauty right now…
    I simply love seafood! I don`t actually eat abalone much. However, I would definitely try these!

  • Jen @ Savory Simple July 27, 2012, 4:48 am

    I think we had seafood just about every day we were in Japan. This is a lovely dish!

  • Andrea July 27, 2012, 5:08 am

    Nami, your bowl with the abalone looks simply stunning! I have never tasted this dish before but I am sure it is just wonderful – you make every single thing that you prepare and post about look like something fantastic! Love everything about your post!

    Have a good weekend!

  • Tina (PinayInTexas) July 27, 2012, 6:11 am

    Wonderful dish, Nami! I envy you for having fresh seafood readily available to you!

  • Patty July 27, 2012, 7:32 am

    Beautiful abalone dish Nami! Some friends of mine offered me abalone from the coast here in Nor Cal but I never connected with them to pick it up;-( Next time I will get some and try your recipe, thanks;-)

  • Laura @ Family Spice July 27, 2012, 7:48 am

    I don’t think I’ve ever had abalone. But, I’ve been told even in San Diego it’s pretty expensive. We don’t eat seafood nearly as often as we should. And I stick to what I know: salmon, shrimp, scallops! And they all start with ‘s’ – that’s funny!

  • Rhonda July 27, 2012, 8:07 am

    I have never had abalone before but I would definitely be willing to give it a try, this looks delicious. Have a wonderful weekend!

  • Jenny July 27, 2012, 9:38 am

    so simple Nami, and it looks delicious – I confess I have never eaten abablone! how sad is that! On the other hand, I’ve always believed that’s why Japanese have such beautiful hair – lots of fish and iodine!

  • yummychunklet July 27, 2012, 1:27 pm

    Looks delicate and delicious!

  • Kristy July 27, 2012, 3:47 pm

    I’ve never heard of abalone before. This looks just wonderful!!! It would totally be something the four of us would enjoy. We’re such seafood junkies. :) And isn’t it great to sit back and watch someone else cook for you sometimes! Have a great weekend Nami.

  • Charles July 27, 2012, 5:19 pm

    Hi Nami, I’m so jealous – I only had abalone once in my life… I was staying in a traditional old-style Japanese hotel on the Izu peninsula and we had a feast served to us in our room as the evening meal. These brought in all these dishes and then left us to enjoy them… one of them was two live abalones which you were supposed to put a big lump of butter into the shell and then cook it by a little candle underneath. We didn’t realise they were alive and forgot to add the butter at first… I lifted the tin-foil to see them squirming around in the heat… oh my God, I felt so bad… I wasn’t used to that at all, but I covered it over and added the butter and forgot about it and my God, it was so delicious! I can imagine the taste of your dish, even though it’s been many years since I had it myself!

  • mjskit July 27, 2012, 8:06 pm

    Like Charles, I’m jealous, but I’m jealous of your having access to such an abundance of fresh seafood! The only place I can find abalone here is at a Japanese restaurant. This looks so simple and anything cooked in garlic butter has to be good! Beautiful bowl of abalone!

  • Marina@ Picnic at Marina July 27, 2012, 8:39 pm

    Nami, your dish looks fantastic. The best and tastiest food is a simple one… :)

  • love2dine July 28, 2012, 2:06 am

    It looks like you’ve come up with amazingly impressive and tasty variations.

  • Nancy/SpicieFoodie July 28, 2012, 6:07 am

    Hi Nami,
    I love the Japanese diet. It is so fresh, healthy and plenty of my favorite-seafood! How wonderful that your husband wanted to cook the abalone:) I love watching my husband cook too. The abalone look delectable, thanks for sharing. Have a great weekend!

  • Ira Rodrigues July 28, 2012, 8:19 am

    I use abalone the one sells in the tin for our steamboat. You are so lucky to have fresh abalone which i have never taste it before. Your recipe absolutely delicate!

  • mycookinghut July 28, 2012, 9:17 am

    Looks absolutely divine!

  • Lisa (AuthenticSuburbanGourmet) July 28, 2012, 11:22 am

    Happy Saturday Nami! I adore abalone and have ever since being a kid. My uncle would go ab diving quite often and we enjoyed this treat. Love your recipe and photos!!!

  • Shirley July 28, 2012, 5:07 pm

    This is fascinating … I’ve had abalone before but never seen it in its shell. I like your minimal prep and seasonings to let the flavor shine through!

  • Valerie Brunmeier July 28, 2012, 6:48 pm

    It would be VERY interesting for me to see my husband prepare something in the kitchen too! He doesn’t cook at all so I’m very impressed to see your husband’s lovely dish. Looks wonderful!

  • Rebecca July 28, 2012, 6:53 pm

    Looks so tasty so I guess they are like little mussels new to me

  • Christine July 28, 2012, 8:36 pm

    Easy and tasty. A little is more.

  • Parsley Sage July 29, 2012, 8:11 am

    Way to make me hate my genetic makeup. I can’t do shellfish but I CAN recognize delicious dishes when I see them. And well done on your hubby stepping up! :)

  • kitchenriffs July 29, 2012, 9:04 am

    I’ve never had abalone, but always wanted to try them. I almost never see them in my fish markets here (my impression is they’re much more common on the west coast). I really should have my fish monger order some, though – I’m sure he’d do it. Nice way to cook any sort of shell fish, actually – scallops would work well in this dish, I’ll bet.

  • Katerina July 29, 2012, 10:07 am

    I live in a country surrounded by sea too Nami! And I really enjoy eating seafood too! We only cook it in a different way. The great thing about blogging is that you can expand your culinary horizons and try make things in different but equally tasty ways. This is a beautiful dish!

  • Carolyn Jung July 29, 2012, 1:25 pm

    I’ve actually shucked my own abalone. But they were larger ones. Never seen such itty bitty ones before. I bet they are super tender.

  • Sylvia July 29, 2012, 1:28 pm

    I haven’t seen fresh abalone in the market or supermarkett here i think but I know that this dish will taste fab!

  • Yudith @ Blissfully Delicious July 29, 2012, 5:21 pm

    How delightful! I can imagine how wonderful and fresh tasting is this dish! Stunning pictures as always Nami :)

  • Suzanne July 29, 2012, 9:04 pm

    Cute, little and simple sounds great to me. I have been thinking about those grilled calms since you posted those a month or so ago but haven’t got any yet. I should have in CA. but I was not adventurous enough :)

  • Raymund July 30, 2012, 12:47 am

    Very nice as always your presentation rocks!
    Abalones are expensive here in NZ and way much bigger in size, I hope they become cheap so I can make some of this but for now I will just drool over this photo

  • Elizabeth @Mango_Queen July 30, 2012, 7:48 am

    I love how simple and easy you made this abalone. And it looks so delicious! I’m going to rush over to the Asian grocery soon and to get some ingredients so I can make this. Thanks for sharing, Nami! Thanks for the blog-visits and kind comments! You are so nice to me and I appreciate it!

  • Lan | angry asian July 30, 2012, 7:54 am

    i don’t think i’ve ever had abalone before, which is such a shame, as this dish looks absolutely fantastic.

  • wok with ray July 30, 2012, 1:45 pm

    That is one of the great things I love about the Northern Coast of our state is the abundance of seafood and of course much better weather. This looks very delicious, Nami. :)

  • Magic of Spice July 30, 2012, 5:16 pm

    Looks like your husband did a wonderful job, these look perfect! We are so lucky to live close to the ocean, fresh seafood in abundance :)

  • Baltic Maid July 30, 2012, 11:29 pm

    I have eaten abalone before but I have never prepared it myself. Thank you for sharing this. I can’t wait to try it.

  • claire @ the realistic nutritionist August 1, 2012, 9:30 am

    this is not only delicious looking, it’s beautiful!! :)

  • Lori Lynn August 1, 2012, 7:39 pm

    I must search out baby abalone!
    When I lived in a frat house for summer school in the summer of 1976 in San Diego, the guys deep-fried abalone almost every night. That is my abalone memory – it was so good, crispy, exotic, pure ocean heaven. Must have been overfished after that time… but now that it is available again, I can’t wait to try your recipe.

  • love2dine August 3, 2012, 5:57 am

    wow! i love that.

  • Alyssa August 5, 2012, 8:51 pm

    I love the simplicity of this recipe. Sometimes when you have good ingredients, you don’t need a bunch of stuff.