Red Abalone (Haliotis rufescens)
These abalone come live in the shell. To prepare them, first cut the meat out of the shell by running a small pairing knife along the top of the shell. Once the meat is detached from the shell, carefully trim off the dark edges. Then slice the meat into 1/4″ pieces and tenderize by gently tapping all over the abalone slice with the back of a large spoon. What you are left with are beautiful slices of ready to eat or cook sliced abalone.
Raised as if they were wild
The Monterey Bay used to be widely populated by wild abalone, but there are now strict regulations that heavily limit abalone harvesting due to over-harvesting. Additionally, only red abalone can be farmed. We receive our red abalone from the only two farmers that use environmentally friendly methods: the Monterey Abalone Company and the Pacific Abalone Company. They raise their abalone as if they were wild — the abalone are grown in the Monterey Bay, and eat what wild abalone eat: Monterey Bay kelp. They also add red algae that abalone naturally eat to gain their red color and distinct taste. These methods of raising farmed abalone in their natural environment eliminate negative effects of agriculture. There are no foreign diseases to be introduced into the environment; there are no new invasive species to take over the surrounding area if they escape; there are no harmful chemicals to be dispensed from the feed and into the surroundings.
The main safety and sustainability concerns for Red Abalone are industrial pollution and natural toxins. However, this is easily addressed because the abalone farms use inland tanks; they treat the water before using them in the tanks. To safeguard against natural toxins, the abalone are genetically selected against those that accumulate high levels of these toxins.