Selecting canned abalone to buy can be challenging as there are so many different brands on the shelves and the prices are all over the place. Quite often the labels are designed for wholesale markets, thus the information may not be sufficient for the consumers.
There are a few items below you may consider when choosing a canned abalone.
Is further cooking required? Canned Abalone with Brine (salt & water) is lighter and it is good to use for creating dishes such as stir fry or soups. Canned Abalone with Sauce is seasoned, and is designed to be eaten straight away simply heating up before serving and adding to your favourite vegetables.
Abalone grades differ from 1 whole piece to 14 piece or more in a can. In the larger abalone range from 1-3 pieces there can also be cut pieces such as 1 1/2 pieces. So the choice of the number of pieces to buy depends on how you would like to serve the abalone and to how many people. Some companies’ grades are not as good as others and you can end up with varying sizes in a can.
Always look for the Drained Weight instead of Net Weight for abalone volume in a can, this is generally what will determine price as this is how much actual abalone is contained in the can. For instance cans with a net weight of 425g can have a drained weight varying from about 50g-220g.
Country of origin- Japan, Mexico, Australia, South Africa are highly regarded in producing quality abalone product. As the abalone species produced in each country are different, the appearance and taste are quite different too. For instance, the taste of Australian abalone is more delicate and subtle whereas abalone from South Africa is firmer and has stronger sea flavour.
Generally speaking, the Country of origin, abalone drained weight and grade determine price. In addition, different processors have different recipes creating different results of flavour and texture. In the end, it all comes down to an individual preference of what they like. For instance, Ocean Road canned abalone has a more natural taste as we insist on using very few and very low levels of chemicals which allow us to stabilize the product while maintaining the freshness and taste.