Appetizer & Snacks

Pan-Fried Abalone Steaks


Sydney Seafood School

by Sydney Seafood School

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Pan-fried abalone steaks are popular on the Pacific coast of the USA. In 1919 ‘Pop’ Ernest Doelter opened the first restaurant on Fisherman’s Wharf in Monterey Bay, California. He specialised in abalone steaks and chowder served in abalone shells, and this recipe is inspired by his way of preparing the steaks. Pop felt that the secret was in pounding them enough to tenderise them, but not so much that they turned to mush.

Serves: 2 as an entrée




  • 1 abalone, shucked and trimmed
  • 1 egg, lightly beaten
  • 1 tablespoon fino sherry
  • ½ cup plain flour
  • Salt flakes and cayenne powder, to taste
  • 50g butter
  • 1 lemon



Step 1

Slice abalone horizontally into 4 steaks. Place between 2 freezer bags (or sheets of ‘go between’) and pound both sides gently with a meat mallet for a minute or 2.

Step 2

Beat sherry into egg. Season flour with salt and cayenne. Dip abalone slices into egg then into flour, shaking off excess.

Step 3

Heat butter in a frying pan and, when sizzling, add abalone and fry for about 1 minute each side, until golden

Step 4

Serve with a squeeze of lemon juice.

Alternative species: Squid tubes, Bailer shell, cooked large octopus tentacles sliced into discs.

Recipe supplied by Sydney Seafood School.

Visit for more great seafood recipes and cooking tips, answers to frequently asked seafood questions and the full program of Sydney Seafood School cooking classes.


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