If you want to make a can of this expensive ingredient go further than one dish, use the liquid from the can and the trimmings of abalone for this soup.
100 g/3 1/2 oz fresh shiitake mushrooms
1 tablespoon peanut oil
salt and pepper to taste
425 g/14 oz can abalone
1 litre/2 pints de-fatted Chinese chicken stock
1 tablespoon light soy sauce
1 teaspoon sugar
1 tablespoon cornflour (cornstarch)
3 tablespoons cold water
1 egg, lightly beaten
1 tablespoon very finely chopped garlic chives
1/4 teaspoon oriental sesame oil
Wipe over mushrooms and slice thinly. Heat peanut oil and on gentle heat sauté mushroom slices until softened, seasoning with salt and pepper. Drain abalone and add the liquid (approximately 1 cup) to the chicken stock. Finely chop trimmings of abalone.
Heat the stock to boiling, add soy sauce and sugar and season to taste, then stir in cornflour mixed with cold water and boil until it becomes clear and thickens slightly. Pour beaten egg into the boiling soup in a thin stream, without stirring. Sprinkle in garlic chives. Remove from heat and stir in abalone and sesame oil. Serve at once.
Recipe excerpted from Encyclopedia of Asian Food by Charmaine Solomon (Periplus Editions, 1998)