Can you freeze abalone?
In this brief guide, we’ll address the query: “Can you freeze abalone?” Also, we’ll explore how abalone can be frozen, what other ways abalone can be preserved, what abalone is, what the nutritional content of abalone is, and is abalone healthy to eat?
Can you freeze abalone?
Yes, abalone can be stored in a freezer. The high-moisture content means it will keep well, and it can be frozen fresh, cooked, or even canned.
Freezing it in the shell isn’t feasible, as the meat is exposed on one side and the sharp edges of the shell may puncture the packaging in which it is placed. Also, as the abalone needs to be dislodged to be cleaned and gutted, ergo, it isn’t practical to leave it in the shell.
How can I freeze abalone?
The process for freezing abalone will depend on the presentation in which it is bought. For example, store bought abalone that is tinned can be frozen simply by removing the excess liquid it is canned in and placed in air-tight freezer bags.
Similarly, dried and fresh abalone that has been sliced can also be placed in tight sealing freezer bags, and have as much air as possible removed to prevent freeze burns.
Fresh abalone that comes in a shell, however, must first be rinsed, then shucked (carved from the shell), and then trimmed to remove coarse, gritty bits. In this process, debris and other waste should be cut and rinsed out using running water and lightly dabbed with a sponge.
Then, once cleaned, the abalone can be sliced (which is convenient when looking to use only small portions, rather than the whole abalone) and each slice can be enveloped in cling wrap.
Afterward, they should be placed in quality-freezer bags and have the excess air pushed out, to prevent freeze burns. The bags can then be sealed, labeled, and stored at subzero temperatures.
Frozen abalone can be preserved for up to three months at peak freshness, though may remain safe to eat well after, albeit with a less palatable texture.
Defrosting frozen abalone can be achieved by letting it sit overnight in the refrigerator (below 5°C) or by letting it sit in an ice bath at room temperature.
Thawing the abalone meat at room temperature or in the microwave may have detrimental effects on the texture, and therefore, it isn’t advised.
Once thawed, it isn’t recommended that abalone be re-frozen as it will have suffered some moisture loss and breakdowns, which will not be restored by placing it at subzero temperatures. Therefore, frozen abalone should only be thawed when it is consumed.
How can abalone be preserved?
Besides being frozen, abalone can be preserved in refrigeration, by salting, canning, or drying it.
Of course, some of these presentations are available store bought, and after they’ve been opened, they can be placed in the refrigerator, below 5°C, where they can keep for up to two days.
Similarly, live abalone can be stored overnight in refrigeration, though they’re best consumed within two days of purchasing, lest they expire and begin to spoil.
Store Bought presentations such as unopened tinned and salted abalone can keep for many weeks, and in some cases, even years, though the latter is best preserved frozen.
What is abalone?
Abalone, also known as sea-ears, alludes to a seafood delicacy that is popular in Asia, and reputedly, quite pricey. It is a mollusk (sea snail) that is fished from cold waters around North America, Japan, South Africa, New Zealand, and Australia.
In both China and Japan, it is considered a luxury food, and is highly sought-after, though there have been some supply troubles, as abalones have been subject to high demand and low availability, on account of intensive fishing.
There are around 130 species recognized worldwide, though allegedly, species fished around China and Japan should be avoided.
With natural populations declining, many seafood suppliers have turned their sights on farming these mollusks, and most of the produce is exported to Japan, where it is made into sashimi.
Abalone is fished out of the sea in one-sided shells and in the wild, they feed off of algae. When laid flat, one can see the fleshy snail inside which is removed, processed, and cooked, though some authors maintain it can even be eaten raw.
Store Bought abalone can be purchased dry, fresh, tinned, salted, or frozen, and is ideally prepared at low cooking temperatures.
What is the nutritional content of abalone?
On average, a 28-gram serving of cooked abalone will provide:
- 42 calories
- 5.7 grams of protein
- 1.1 grams of fat
- 2.1 grams of carbohydrates
- 194.2 milligrams of sodium
- 28.1 milligrams of cholesterol
As well as calcium, iron, magnesium, phosphorus, potassium, zinc, copper, selenium, folate, vitamin A, niacin, vitamin B6, B12, vitamin C, vitamin K, vitamin E, and choline.
Is abalone healthy to eat?
Yes, abalone can be considered a healthy food product, as it has high amounts of protein and a relatively low concentration of calories.
Additionally, abalone contains iodine, which is important for thyroid function, improving cognitive function, and treating a few disorders.
Also, abalone provides some omega-3 fatty acids, which are polyunsaturated and provide many benefits such as preventing atherosclerosis, treatment of metabolic syndrome symptoms, and reducing chronic inflammation associated with oxidative stress.
The selenium present in abalone can also stimulate immune function.
However, abalone may not be ideal for all our readers to partake in, as it can trigger reactions in those with shellfish allergies, and some farmed abalone meats may contain trace amounts of heavy metals, and as is the case with all seafood prepared with substandard procedures, there is a risk of contracting food poisoning.
As such, at-risk groups such as the elderly, pregnant women, immunocompromised patients, and young children should not readily indulge in abalone that hasn’t been prepared using certified health guidelines.
In this brief guide, we’ve addressed the query: “Can you freeze abalone?” Also, we’ve explored how abalone can be preserved, what abalone is, what the nutritional content of abalone is, and is abalone healthy to eat?