May 30, 2018

Umami Burst - Braised Abalone with Bok Choy

After opening canned ingredients, what do you do with the juice inside? Keep it? Or drain it? There's no absolute answer for me, but what I'm used to do is that for canned corn kernels, I drain out all the juice before use. Chopped tomatoes, depending on the dish, I'll use the juice or loosely drain out the liquid. However, for expensive canned abalone, I make sure no juice goes to waste, its pale juice can make or break my braised abalone recipe.

Braised abalone with bok choy -


  • 1 can/425 grams ready to eat abalone (about 2 medium abalones inside with about 1 cup of juice)
  • 5 bok choy
  • 1 cup chicken stock
  • 2 garlic cloves
  • 2 tablespoons olive oil
  • 1 tablespoon oyster sauce
  • 1 teaspoon grated ginger
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt
  • Some corn starch and water mixture


Peel and finely chop the garlic cloves. Remove any tough outer layer and grate the ginger. Trim off tougher base and separate bok choy into individual leaves. If using baby bok choy, just use the whole bok choy and no need to break the leaves apart.

Take the abalones out from the can and pour the juice to a container. Slice the abalones then soak in their own liquid until needed.

Prepare a pot or deep pan, drizzle some olive oil to evenly coat the bottom and add in chopped garlic, grated ginger, and 1/2 teaspoon of salt. Bring to medium high heat and wait till aromatic but not burning the garlics.

Pour in about 1 cup of abalone juice, 1 cup of chicken stock, and oyster sauce. Also transfer bok choy over and bring the whole thing to a boil. Then lower the heat to a simmer and continue to cook till bok choy softens. Juice should reduce a bit during the process.

Lower the heat furthermore and pour in the corn starch/water mixture while gently stirring the mixture at the same time. Once the stock thickens with texture similar to soupier chowder, add in sliced abalone and cook till abalone warms up, about 1 minute.

Serve as it is, or plate the veggies first then arrange the abalone over, then finish with gooey umami-packed juice all over.

This recipe used much more juice than needed because I don't want to waste any of that umami liquid. Plus I can just generously scoop all that flavorful juice over steamed rice to munch on. However, you can cut the abalone juice and chicken stock by half with lesser amount of oyster sauce to turn it into a slightly juicy side dish instead.

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