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Pan-fried Abalone with Sweet Soy Glaze – Vino Vargas

December 31, 2020

Pan-fried Abalone with Sweet Soy Glaze – Vino Vargas

By Vicky Vargas, Owner of Vino Vargas

Wine Pairing: Vargas Paso Doble Blanc de Blanc Sparkling Wine

Did you know we have an abalone farm in SLO county? We do! And it pairs wonderfully with the Paso Doble sparkling wines. Nothing says “wow, this is a special occasion” like abalone AND sparkling wine from Paso Robles.

Pan-fried Abalone recipe with sweet soy glaze is my simplified take on the classic Korean dish Jeonbokcho that came from the royal cuisine. Tender but slightly chewy, flavorful sauce but not overpowering the delicate flavors of the abalone, this truly is a luxurious appetizer dish fit for special celebrations, holidays, or your most honored guests.



6 abalone

1 Tbsp soy sauce jin ganjang (sempio, kikkoman)

4 Tbsp water

1 Tbsp sugar

1 Tbsp maple syrup or corn syrup, oligo syrup

1 Tbsp rice wine or cooking sake, mirin, or any white wine

1/4 tsp Korean Soup Soy Sauce Guk Ganjang (this really makes this dish so try it but can be omitted, in which case, reduce sugar)

1~2 tsp pine nuts finely chopped

1 piece fresh ginger (1/8 in thick slice) or a pinch of ginger powder


Pre-cook abalone: Clean abalone by lightly brushing the top and sides with a soft brush but still leaving the abalone intact in the shell. You don’t have to remove all the black stuff – just clean and rinse enough so the dirt and grime are removed. Steam abalone (still attached to shell):  for 10 min or until a metal skewer or chopstick goes in easily. No need to cook all the way. *Steaming the abalone still attached to the shell is the trick to making a tender abalone. When cooked, take it out of the steamer and let it cool for a few minutes so you can handle it. Keep abalone covered while you cool it so it doesn’t get too dry. Once cooled, remove abalone from shell and strip off intestines and cut out the mouth/beak. Score abalone by slicing just the top part of it in a grid pattern. This is so the sauce will get absorbed into the meat. Cover and set aside.

Make the sauce: Slice a piece of fresh ginger – 1/8th thick slice and in a small sauce-pot – mix with soy sauce, sugar, water, piece of fresh ginger. Bring to boil and then simmer for 5 min or so until the sauce is reduced. To the reduced sauce, add maple syrup, rice wine and guk ganjang and simmer again for another 3-5 min till it becomes thick and syrupy. Skewer abalones so you can cook them evenly and easily (you don’t have to). Coat them with sauce. Heat a non-stick frying pan on medium heat and cook the jeonbok for just a couple of minutes on each side until it is nicely browned. Because it’s already steamed, you are just getting a nice sear on these. Press them down with a spatula as they cook so they get evenly browned not just the edges. Brush some more sauce as needed as you cook them.

Garnish with some chopped pine nuts for an extra rich flavor.

Recipe courtesy of: @Kimchimari