Shucking and Tenderizing Abalone

The following screen shots are from the instructional recipe video ‘Abalone Gourmet Essence from the Sea’ available through

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Produced by Blackstone Media Group, CA,

1. File the edges and tip of an old tablespoon to create a somewhat sharp surface.
2. The area under the shell where the abalone connector muscle is located is behind the open holes .
3. Hold the abalone as shown, foot side up. Invert the spoon and insert between the meat and shell. Shuck from the long edge of the shell, not the curved edge.
4. Following the inner surface of the shell, use the edges and tip of the spoon to loosen and cut the meat from the shell. The area of connection is less than 2″ across and does not cover the entire inner surface of the shell. You will feel a ‘pop’ when you have severed the connection.
5. Place your thumb between the meat and the back/rounded side of the shell. Using the other hand, gently pull the meat from the shell. If done properly, your carefully placed thumb will hold the viscera in the shell.
6. Using the sharpened edge of the spoon as a knife, remove the head.


  • Abalone meat must be tenderized prior to cooking or it will become tough.
  • Make 1/4″ horizontal or vertical slices through the meat
  • Wrap the meat slices in saran wrap to hold in place during tenderization.
  • Pound firmly but slowly using a meat tenderizing mallet. Tenderize both sides and be prepared to use 20 hits or more per side.
  • Alternate between the flat and toothed sides of the mallet. Be careful; don’t rush tenderizing as the slices can break into pieces.
  • When properly pounded, the abalone will feel soft, velvety and will drape over your fingers like wet paper.
  • The abalone is now ready for your favorite pan sautéed or grilling recipe.