Sometimes it’s absolutely amazing how recipes travel. This originally Creole recipe has traveled to France and China, morphing in each place into locally developed specialities.

Abalone Meuniere Mandarin
Recipe type: Shellfish
Serves: 8 to 10
  • 5 (7 1/2-ounce) cans Mexican abalone
  • 8 ounces shrimp
  • 4 ounces fat pork
  • 4 ounces water chestnuts, minced
  • 1 pinch chives
  • ginger water, to taste (see note)
  • salt and MSG (optional)
  • 1 ounce maize (corn) flour
  • 4 ounces chive and ginger oil (see note)
  • 2 ounces flour
  • 3 eggs, beaten
  • 5/8 ounces shaoxing wine
  • 6 ounces chicken stock
  1. The following four recipes are from an article called "Foreign Intrigue" by Alice Cuneo that featured recipes from various consulates in San Francisco. This first one is from the Consulate of the People's Republic of China. It's a sophisticated (but uncomplicated) banquet dish featuring abalone, shrimp and porkfat.
  2. Abalone stuffed with minced shrimp, from Shen Xuliang of the Chinese consulate.
  3. Trim the abalone, removing rough parts, and cut into flat rounds. Chop shrimp and fat pork to a paste consistency; stir in the water chestnuts, chives and ginger water. Season with salt and MSG.
  4. Create the abalone "sandwiches" by spreading an abalone round with shrimp paste, then topping with another round. Dredge "sandwiches" in maize flour and set aside.
  5. Heat chive and ginger oil in a wok over medium heat, swirling the oil to coat all sides of the wok.
  6. Dip the abalone "sandwiches" in the flour, then in eggs. Fry in the hot oil until abalone is tender and golden. Add Shaoxing wine, chicken stock, salt and MSG. Bring to a simmer, adjust the seasonings and simmer for 3 to 4 minutes. Serve immediately.
  7. NOTE: Chive and ginger oil is oil in which chives and ginger have been cooked. To make at home, heat 4 ounces oil in a wok set over medium heat. Toss in 1 or 2 Tablespoons fresh snipped chives and 3 slices fresh ginger. Stir-fry until fragrant, then proceed with recipe. (Remove ginger slices before serving.)
  8. Ginger water is available in Chinese markets.

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