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How to Clean Abalone In 7 Easy Steps

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Pry the Abalone From Its Shell
Remove Abalone From Shell

Prying an Abalone From Its Shell

Photo © Molly Watson
Clearly, the abalone needs to be taken out of its shell. These gastropod mollusks are more or less one giant muscle clinging for life to that shell, so getting them out in one piece has a method to it:

Use a wide, flat wooden spatula or similarly thin, blunt tool and work it between the abalone and its shell. The abalone attaches to its shell with a solid round muscle at the bottom, everything else is just clinging to the shell. Work open a section between the abalone and the shell, and then firmly but gently work the spatula around and along the shell until the abalone detaches. Push against the shell with the tool rather than the abalone for easiest release and to keep the abalone whole.

Note: As you can see, I like to do this in a sink for the easiest of clean-ups.

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