Abalone is eaten in china at festival times, especially at new year as the chinese name bau yu sounds just like the words for 'guaranteed wealth'. Dried abalone is often used in china, but fresh or tinned abalone is much easier to prepare.
1.3 kg (3 lb) fresh abalone (450 g/1 lb prepared weight) or 450 g (1 lb) tinned abalone
300 g (10½ oz) snowpeas (mangetout), ends trimmed
150 g (5½ oz) oyster mushrooms
2 tablespoons oil
2 garlic cloves, finely chopped
2 teaspoons finely chopped ginger
2 tablespoons oyster sauce
2 teaspoons light soy sauce
1 teaspoon sugar
3 teaspoons cornflour (cornstarch)
1. Prepare the fresh abalone by removing the meat from the shell using a sharp knife. Wash the meat under cold running water, rubbing well to remove any dark-coloured slime. Trim off any hard outer edges and the mouth as well as any hard patches on the bottom of the foot. Pound the meat with a mallet for 1 minute to tenderize it, but be careful not to break the flesh.
2. Place the fresh abalone in a saucepan of simmering water and cook, covered, for about 2 hours, or until the meat is tender (test it by seeing if a fork will pierce the meat easily). Drain the abalone and, when it is cool enough to handle, cut it into thin slices.
3. If you are using tinned abalone, simply drain, reserving the juice, and cut into thin slices.
4. Cut any large snowpeas in half diagonally. Halve any large oyster mushrooms.
5. Heat a wok over medium heat, add the oil and heat until hot. Stir-fry the snowpeas and mushrooms for 1 minute. add the garlic and ginger and stir for 1 minute, or until aromatic.
6. Reduce the heat slightly and add the oyster sauce, soy sauce, sugar and the sliced abalone. Stir well to combine. combine the cornflour with enough water (or the reserved abalone juice if using tinned abalone) to make a paste, add to the sauce and simmer until thickened.