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Kona Coast Abalone

Stopped by the KCC Farmers’ Market once again on a beautiful, sunny Saturday morning today where I decided to try the Kona Coast Abalone.


Live Kona Coast ‘Ezo’ Abalone (moving and squirming around)

These ‘Ezo’ or Northern Japan Abalone are raised exclusively on the big island of Hawaii by Big Island Abalone Corporation and shipped to finer restaurants, specialty retailers and distributors in Japan, the mainland US and all over the Hawaiian islands.

While being self-promotional, this YouTube video about the Big Island Abalone Corporation is never the less very interesting. Check it out…

httpv://www.youtube.com/watch?v=JbXIfgmtHqw

At KCC Farmers Market, you can buy these Kona Coast Abalone in precooked giftbox sets, or as a “Farmer’s Market Special” a bag of 5 small-sized  live Abalone sells for $10.

And believe me, they’re alive and moving ‘n squirming around in there.

But the biggest seller at Big Island Abalone’s booth at KCC Farmers Market are the Barbecued Abalone…

Here they are all cleaned and ready to hit the fire…

Here’s a whole heap of ’em right off the grill…

These sell for $6 per two 50-60 gram fully-cooked Abalone.


Grilled 50-60 gram Kona Coast Abalone (with optional Shoyu drizzle). 2 for $6

They’re not seasoned at all when put on the grill except for their natural briny flavor from the pumped Kona coast deep sea water they’re raised in. There’s a condiment station at the service counter where they have Shoyu, spray butter, Lemon Juice and Tobasco Sauce. I asked if they had Ponzu Sauce and the girl said they ran out. Darned it.

I lucked out, as I decided to get my Abalone right before closing time (11am), so they were offering an even sweeter deal, giving 3 grilled Abalone for $6. Nice!

Here’s my three Grilled Kona Coast Abalone…

I asked the girl which condiment was her favorite and she said simply lemon juice. I decided to do a “sampler”, putting lemon juice on the one on the left, Spray Butter on the center Abalone, and Shoyu on the one on the right.

Here’s a shot of me holding one (with Shoyu on it) so you can get a scale of how big they are…

They’re already shucked, so you can easily pull it out of the shell and just eat away…

Like all shellfish, the physical design of the Abalone is almost alien-like from another planet (Venus perhaps? lol)…

Here’s the underside or “foot”…

Why the underside of this one looks entirely different from the one above is beyond me….

Could one of these Abalone be male and the other female?  I wish I had those folks around when I was eating them so I could ask these questions.

Here you see how they’re shucked and really easy to pull of the shell…

So that’s how they look. Now let’s have a taste!…

As said earlier, there’s an ocean-like briny flavor to it, yet not where it’s “fishy” but more “clammy”. I’d say they taste like a cross between a clam and a scallop, with a bit more “meatyness” to its flavor profile. Texture-wise, they’re quite dense and not as fibrous as scallops. They’re tender and tough at the same time in a good way, just like a beautiful woman. It’s a nifty balance of the two.

The grilling (not “barbecue” which is what they mistakenly call it) didn’t really impart much smoked flavor, but it did have a slightly toasty texture on the top side of the “meat”.

As for the three different condiments, my favorite by far was the Shoyu. It added this flavor-packed “Umami” factor to it. I also noticed the Shoyu really absorbed well into the Abalone’s meat. It didn’t just “float” around it. It was even better when all the juices from the condiments blended together: the butter, the lemon juice and the shoyu, really tantalizing my tastebuds.

Rating? 4 SPAM Musubi. Oishii! I highly recommend you go with Shoyu as your Grilled Kona Coast Abalone condiment of choice. Or you can “Ponzu-ize” it by adding some lemon juice to it as well. That’s a winnah’ right there.

The Kona Coast Abalone’s shells are just as fascinating, with this beautiful “Mother of Pearl” iridescence on the inside. These are the cleaned shells from the Abalone I ordered (which are included with the Grilled Abalone!)…

The topsides…

Without even “Googling” for it, I can certainly imagine so many culinary possibilities with this Abalone product. Wrapped in Puff Pastry. Served like Escargot with Garlic Herb Butter. Tossed with Pasta. “Stuffed” with a Lobster Tail. Gumbo. New England Abalone Chowder. Oh, the possibilities!

Next time you hit KCC Farmers Market, I highly recommend you sample the Grilled (not barbecued) Kona Coast Abalone. Good stuff!

14 thoughts on “Kona Coast Abalone

  • March 27, 2010 at 7:11 pm
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    Not sure if it was the same people, but I remember a Big Island company selling grilled abalones at costco..

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  • March 27, 2010 at 11:22 pm
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    That line is always so long…don’t care for them but my friend loves them :) I was at the market today too

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  • March 28, 2010 at 6:49 am
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    Pomai, that it! I got to head to KCC Farmer Market again this weekend for the abalones cause I missed it.

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  • March 28, 2010 at 11:25 am
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    Kimo, remember to buy them right before closing (11am) so you can get the 3 for $6 deal!

    Lisa, again, right before closing, not only is the line short, but you get the deal!

    Ricky, Big Island Abalone Corporation is the only company raising Abalone in Hawaii. That must have been them. I don’t recall seeing their Abalone for sale in Costco, but maybe only because I wasn’t specifically looking for it. I’ll keep an eye out for it next time I shop there.

     

     

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  • March 28, 2010 at 8:31 pm
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    Looks wonderful. I adore raw abalone, but the BBQ grilled kind look pretty amazing as well!

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  • November 11, 2010 at 7:34 am
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    I am from Hilo side. Where can I buy some as an Omiyage gift for a friend?

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  • July 12, 2012 at 8:10 pm
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    Pomai, Big Island Abalone was at Costco, Kapolei today (7/12/12). I got an order of 5 Grilled for $9.99 and 5 Live for $9.99 to grill at home. They are so sweet!!!!!

    Reply
  • July 18, 2012 at 7:21 pm
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    Yummmm, had some at the canoe race regatta here in Kahului last Saturday,
    it was tender and tasty!!!

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    • July 19, 2012 at 5:41 am
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      Paddling canoe, then grinding some grilled Abalone… yummmm for sure! Can’t go wrong with that combo’! You doing Molokai Channel again?

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      • July 19, 2012 at 8:26 pm
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        I don’t know about DCOhana, but I spent a couple too many times on the Molokai beach. No sleep and then paddle.

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  • October 19, 2013 at 2:59 pm
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    Aloha! I live on oahu and make jewelry, I am looking to buy in bulk big Island abalone shells about 2′ in size. Please email back with any info you can give me on making a purchase. Or any leads where I might be able to just buy the small abalone sea shells.

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    • October 20, 2013 at 6:43 am
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      megan,

      Either contact Big Island Abalone Corp. here:
      http://www.bigislandabalone.com/contacts

      Or, since you live on Oahu, go hang out at the KCC Farmers Market every Saturday morning, and dig the trash every time you see people throw away their just-consumed grilled Abalone on the half-shell. Small kine “make-A”, but at least its FREE! ;-) IIRC, the Abalone booth also had a few bags of Abalone shells for sale. Call them to confirm that.

      Reply

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