▲ A bowl of abalone porridge hits the spot on a cold winter day. Photo by Bethany Carlson
Ingredients 3 fresh abalone (300g) 1 cup white rice 1 tablespoon (15ml) sesame oil 5 cups of water 1 teaspoon (5 ml) of salt
When you purchase abalone make sure they are still alive in their shell, stored on ice or still in the water. When shopping for abalone, I discovered that the freshest ones can be found at the local market, however make sure the abalone do not have a fishy smell, as this is a sure sign that it is not fresh. As soon as you purchase the abalone, refrigerate them in the coldest part of the refrigerator in a bowl and cover with a wet cloth. Use within 24 hours.
1. Wash rice and then soak for 2 hours Drain completely.
2. Wash fresh abalone under cold water, take out of shell. Then thinly slice length-wise and chop into small pieces. This dish can be prepared with or without the internal organs. Jeju natives prepare jeonbokjuk with the internal organs as, not only does it add more flavor, but contributes to the many health benefits to the dish (see below). If using the organs, chop into small pieces.
3. In a large pot, stir fry abalone in oil until slightly grilled on both sides. Note: Do not grill for more than 30 seconds on each side or the abalone will turn tough.
4. Add drained rice to the pot and continue to stir fry until rice is transparent. About 5 minutes.
5. Add water and over medium heat boil the mixture until rice is soft and water is absorbed. This takes about 35-40minutes. Stir frequently as this will prevent the ingredients from sticking to the bottom. The heat can be turned down low so long as it continues to boil. Simmer until the porridge is tender and has a creamy texture.
6. Add salt to taste.
Serves 4 This dish is very simple to make. There is little preparation time except for the soaking of the rice and the short amount of time it takes to shuck the abalone out of the shell.
Six species of abalone exist along the Korean coasts (1), with five of the six species found along Jeju (2). Abalone is considered a delicacy in Korea and used to be presented to the king as a gift. However abalone porridge (jeonbokjuk) is also given to the sick and elderly as it provides many nutritional properties.
Jeonbokjuk is known to be easily digested and absorbed and can be used as a digestive aid (3). Research has shown that the organs of the abalone contribute many health benefits including stimulating the immune system and contributing to anti-tumor properties (4). Abalone also contains very good sources of protein, vitamin K, pantothenic acid (vitamin B5) and selenium.
Selenium is believed to play a crucial role in controlling the oxidation/reduction in the physiological processes (5). Abalone is also a good source of iron, phosphorus, vitamin B12, vitamin E (Alpha Tocopherol), thiamin, and magnesium. When abalone is cooked, it produces omega-3 fatty acid, which is essential to the human diet and is shown to have many health benefits.
Although abalone porridge has many health benefits, it should be eaten in moderation because it is naturally high in sodium, as it comes from the sea, and it is high in cholesterol.
2. Hye-Suck An, Young-Ju Jee, Kwang-Sik Min, Bong-Lae Kim, Seok-jung Han. Phylogenetic Analysis of Six Species of Pacific Abalone (Haliotidae) Based on DNA Sequences of 16s rRNA and Cytochrome c Oxidase Subunit I Mitochondrial Genes Received: 14 June 2004 / Accepted: 5 November 2004 / Online publication: 4 June 2005
4. Purification and bioactivity of a sulphated polysaccharide conjugate from viscera of abalone Haliotis discus hannai Ino Sun, L. Zhu, B. Li, D. Wang, L. Dong, X. Murata, Y. Xing, R. Dong, Y. 2010-01-01
5. Molecular cloning, characterization and mRNA expression of selenium-binding protein in abalone (Haliotis discus hannai Ino): Response to dietary selenium, iron and zinc Wu, C. L. Zhang, W. B. Mai, K. S. Liang, X. F. Xu, W. Wang, J. Ma, H. M. 2010-01-01
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