Abalone is sustainably farmed on the Kona coast and is considered a highly sought after seafood around the world. This wonderful ingredient is so coveted, that wild stock in many places is now scarce and needs to be heavily regulated.
Big Island Abalone, which supplies the abalone we use, chose to operate their 10-acre aquafarm on the Kona Coast due to the abundance of sunlight. This sunlight is integral in growing the kelp that the abalone feed on.
The Kona Coast also allows the farm access to cold, nutrient-rich seawater, pumped from 3000 feet.
For this dish, abalone tops a delicate chawanmushi (egg custard).
Chawanmushi is a Japanese dish that is a favorite comfort food for many throughout Hawai`i. It can be eaten hot or cold, and topped with various ingredients.
Chef Brian recently discovered his mom and aunty have fond memories growing up eating chawanmushi, which would be steamed in mini saimin bowls, and served with shiitake mushrooms and canned abalone.