Abalone Shell


Abalone with Confetti

Daily photo #24

This beautiful shell belongs to one of the tastiest sea creatures I’ve ever eaten. The creatures are so prized that, according to the Monterey Bay Aquarium, the meat of just one 10 inch abalone can sell for as much as $100. My family has been diving for them ever since my Dad was a young man. My husband and sons now struggle down in free dives up to 50 feet deep–it is illegal to use tanks to harvest the abalone –to gather the odd looking but tasty beast.

The shell is used for inlays on guitars and furniture as well as jewelry but around my house I use around 50 or so as edgings for my garden.

The abalone can create a pearl, which in my opinion, outshines traditional white pearls. In addition, the abalone’s pearls are even rarer than those of an oyster. The abalone’s creations are irridescent and range from gray, to turquoise to pink. They often have unusual and breathtaking shapes.

Over the years I have collected a few small ones but, unfortunately, nothing so impressive as the specimen above.

Many people believe that all abalone shell but particularly the pearls have special calming energy because of this belief many Buddha statues incorporate the pearls into their decoration.

There are pages of ways to cook abalone but the recipe below is our family’s favorite and variations have been in use since I was a little girl


Cleaned thinly sliced abalone pounded until tender(This is a whole art in itself)

raw egg beaten with a touch of milk

Finely ground cracker crumbs (either Stone Ground Wheat or Ritz are the best)

wok filled with oil heated till smoking

Dip abalone in egg, then in crumbs. Deep fry until golden brown.

Serve hot with Lemon.

It melts in your mouth.



  • I was raised on that recipe. People in Japan find it really odd that the only seafood I ate up until high school was abalone.

  • I was sent here by silverstar and i’m glad I followed the advice. your photographs are exquisite especially the flower and skull

  • I learned something new. I had no idea abalone’s had pearls! And I’ve never seen anything like that pearl above. It is huge and gorgeous!

  • I used to have a small matchbox with abalone pearls in it. Come to think of it I still do. It has just been so darn long since I went diving.

    I use the same recipe, but I use canned milk with the egg, and half Saltine mixed with half Ritz. And we pound it, and cook it on a gas stove outside, the mess is a lot easier to clean up!

    In Montery Calif they used the juice that comes of the abolone for the liquid instead if egg and milk. I’ve never tried it. it’s just too good the way we cook it.

    My cousin Roy gets enough Abalone for our family reunion every year. By your estimate, we must eat about eight hundred dollars worth.

    Kym, you and I have have lived with luxury like few will ever know!

  • Ren, I can’t believe you never ate surf fish? Or Salmon caught at the Cove? What was Uncle Hale thinking of depriving his son of that?

    NurseMyra, I’m glad you came over. I’ve seen your comments on Anita’s site so I almost feel like I know you.

    Aunt Jackie, I’m not much for jewelry but I have to say that that pearl above arouses a touch of lust in me.

    Ernie, Do me a favor and check out the pearls in the matchbox. Have they kept their luster? I keep mine in a jar with olive oil but I’ve wondered whether it was necessary.
    When I see venison or abalone or salmon in stores, I feel like a duchess. The money that rich people spend to duplicate what we take for granted should wake us up to how lucky we are here.

  • I was just picky (like my mom). I was offered more fresh seafood than your average kid from Humboldt.

  • yeahhh, so del.icio.us…..nyam,nyam

  • I feel a hankerin’ for some genuine seafood coming on… It (genuine seafood) rarely happens here in Chicago. Hence, I go for sushi every time I make it back to the Coast. 🙂
    I too was ignorant of abalone pearls before reading this post. They are so much more fascinating and beautiful than the pitiful things (by comparison) that come from oysters.

  • Just Thursday we went to Gallaghers in Eureka and had wonderful fish. Sometimes though I can get frustrated at how little fresh seafood is available around here for living in county where fishing used to be a major industry.

  • The pearls are fabulous aren’t they? Kevin once found one about 1/4 inch in diameter. It was gorgeous. Most of the ones are about seed pearl size that I’ve seen though.

  • Yes, those pearls are fabulous. I can’t believe it 1/4 inch in diameter? Hope you found a special spot for it;-)

  • It’s lovely. His mother has it for him.

  • Abalones with pearls, good stuff

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