Low salt and no guilt in this shellfish indulgence
Abalone is one of the four treasures in Chinese cuisine - along with sea cucumber, fish maw and shark fin - that are believed to not only bring good health, but also fortune, when eaten. So it's common for this pricey shellfish to grace dining tables during special occasions and festivals.
Low in fat and high in protein, abalone is a good source of selenium, a nutrient with antioxidant properties that protect the body's cells from damage.
From a Chinese medicine perspective, it's said to increase appetite and have a positive effect on the immune system, liver and kidneys. It is also supposed to brighten and heal eyes.
Instead of cooking it in the traditional way by stewing in a thick, salty sauce, this recipe by Megan's Kitchen restaurant in Wan Chai steams the abalone with just a sprinkling of sugar to bring out its natural flavour.
Each serving contains about 132 calories, six grams of fat, 15 grams of protein and five grams of carbohydrate.
Steamed abalone with ginger and fresh bean curd sheets
4 pieces Dalian abalone
160 grams fresh bean curd sticks
5 slices ginger
1 stalk spring onion
1 tsp sugar
2 tsp light soy sauce
2 tsp olive oil
Wash and trim abalone. Set aside.
Cut fresh bean curd sticks into shorter lengths.
Shred ginger and spring onion. Rinse.
Place the bean curd sticks on a plate, and the abalone on top.
Sprinkle with sugar and steam for 10 minutes.
Top with shredded ginger and spring onion.
Pour the pre-heated olive oil over it.
Serve with light soy sauce on the side.
This column features recipes provided by the Health Department as part of its EatSmart@restaurant.hk campaign. For more information, visit restaurant.eatsmart.gov.hk