Handling Blacklip & Greenlip Abalone

Blacklip Abalone – Haliotis rubra
Greenlip Abalone – Haliotis laevigata


Growing conditions

Abalone seldom move about (except sometimes in stormy weather) and generally remain fixed to a particular spot on the rock. If this spot is such that the current or surge transports drifting algae to the abalone, the animal will grow rapidly. In areas where water movement is poor, or algae is seasonally scarce, then the abalone has a poorer food supply and grows only slowly or seasonally and in these areas, divers have reported ‘stunted populations’.


The strict quota systems imposed on licensed catchers ensures that the volume of harvest is kept at well below sustainable levels.

Harvesting Method

Hand harvested by divers using a blunt heavy knife.The live abalone are leveraged off the rocks and sent live to the surface using balloon bags.


Wild abalone – both Greenlip and Blacklip is harvested year round, but is subject to strict quota’s and is mostly harvested to peak demand periods such as Chinese New Year and the Golden Week holidays in Japan.Methods to market

Fresh: Both Greenlip and Blacklip Abalone are available fresh in 150-400g packs. Supply of fresh abalone is dependant on weather conditions and availability.

Methods to market

Fresh: Both Greenlip and Blacklip Abalone are available fresh in 150-400g packs. Supply of fresh abalone is dependant on weather conditions and
Canned: Blacklip Abalone is currently the only abalone available canned. Before canning the pigment is removed before being canned in a light brine and cooked to government regulations resulting
in a soft, intensely rich meat.
Frozen: Both Blacklip and Greenlip Abalone meat are frozen using blast freezer technology. The high quality frozen product is destined for consumption predominantly in fine dining rooms of Asia. All Abalone is fully bled then Individually Quick Frozen (IQF). This ensures minimal weight loss on thawing.

Handling and storage

Canned abalone should be drained and rinsed prior to use. Frozen abalone should be thawed slowly in a cool room overnight in an airtight container. Fresh Abalone should be kept refrigerated at all times at <5°C.

Fresh v frozen

Frozen should show no signs of freezer burn, cuts or tears to the flesh. Canned/pouched cooked abalone
should maintain a consistent texture and flavour. SIZE

Canned – 213g and 425g drained weight.
Frozen – graded the following way:
1-2 pieces per lb
2-3 pieces per lb
3-5 pieces per lb


Meat from shell approximately 35%. Canned fresh and frozen abalone is practically entirely meat.
Appearance The muscular foot, when cleaned of gut, roe and frill has the appearance of a solid white puck of meat – it should be clear white to cream in colour, the Blacklip Abalone with a slight black tinge to the extremities and the Greenlip Abalone a green tinge to the extremities.


The raw abalone has an intense vegetal, with notes of the sea and a strong iodine zing – the Greenlip has a slightly sweeter aroma than the Blacklip both have a slightly acidic fresh cream aroma when very fresh.


The flavour of the Blacklip Abalone is mild to strong – an intense meaty flavour with a subtle sweetness and a savoury umami of miso soup. The Greenlip Abalone has an intense full flavour which is round along with a lingering sweetness and mild umami character of a quality chicken consommé.


The texture of abalone varies dramatically depending on its preparation form. In its raw form, it has a crisp bite with a subtle mouthfeel. Wok fried in thin strips cut against the grain, it is soft and giving. The long braised or canned abalone has the texture of a cooked cheese such as taleggio with a supple, yet firm texture and genuine bite.
Moisture: Low
Oiliness: Low to medium

Culinary applications

Abalone can be braised, poached, stir fried, served sashimi, grilled, roasted or poached – in all preparations, extreme care must be taken to ensure it doesn’t lose it’s subtle flavour nor become tough.


Master Class


1. Using a firm, stout pallet
knife, insert under the
base of the abalone and
release meat from shell



2. Once the foot is released,
peel the meat from the


3. Using a sharp knife
remove gut and roe from



4. Trim frill from the
external edges of the
foot of the abalone


5. Scrub the algae from the
surface of the abalone


6. Trim base of abalone foot


7. For sashimi or stir fry,
slice thinly across the