I hope no one is deterred by the word amuse, short for amuse bouche. It literally translates to mouth amuser, basically a one-bite hors d’oeuvres that is a gift from the chef. It can be as easy or as complicated as you want it to be, and you can really make just about anything into an amuse, even left-over meatloaf cut into 1″ cubes. It just has to be served in a one bite portion. Start off your next dinner party with an amuse and everyone will think you’re so fancy, when all it was, was a slice of prosciutto wrapped around a chunk of melon on a toothpick.

set of three Abalone and Oyster Amuse 7

(Picture too big? or like?.)

Recently, Rachel and Brandon brought me some beautiful abalone from Australia. It just so happens that it’s especially prized during Chinese New Year where it is often part of the celebratory meals, as well as a common gift family members bring to each other.

Since, I’m on that combining Chinese New Year and Valentine’s Day kick (see Fortune Cookies with Love and Red Dumpling Sauce), I decided to dress up this abalone and throw in my favorite aphrodisiac, oysters. (I never celebrate a V-day without them.)

With fresh seafood, you don’t want to do too much to them, so this is actually very easy and pretty quick. Basically the abalone is seared quickly while the oysters are steamed, and an aromatic topping is added. The key is to be ready to move quickly so that these delicate bites reach each intended mouth as quickly as possible. When you read through the recipe, you’ll see that it is easy to adjust to any portion size you want (1 slice of abalone and 1 oyster per person). I chose 6 arbitrarily so that I could write a recipe for those that are more comfortable with one. The sauce is probably enough for at least 20 amuse.

set of three Abalone and Oyster Amuse 4

Abalone and Oyster Amuse
~6 amuse

  • 6 (1/8″) slices abalone


  • 1 tablespoon vegetable oil
  • 1/2 cup chopped scallions
  • 1/4 cup Seasoned Soy Sauce for Seafood
  • 2 tablespoons minced ginger
  • 1 tablespoon minced garlic
  • 1 tablespoon rice wine
  • 1 pinch sugar
  • 6 oysters, cleaned with cold water
  • 1 teaspoon vegetable oil

Instructions –

1. Set up serving spoons in a platter.

spoon set up

2. Tenderize abalone with a meat tenderizer. Set aside.

sliced abalone

3. Heat 1 tablespoon oil in a small sauce pot on high heat. Add scallions, seasoned soy sauce, ginger, garlic, cooking wine, and sugar. Swirl for 10 seconds, then remove from heat and set aside.

ginger garlic scallion sauce

4. Set up a steamer and steam oysters for about 2 minutes, depending on the size.

5. While oysters are steaming, heat 1 teaspoon vegetable oil in a shallow pan on high heat. Place abalone slices on the pan and allow to sizzle for 10 seconds on each side. Place one in each soup spoon. Place oysters with liquid on top of each abalone.

before saucing

6.  Use chopsticks to put a little of scallion mixture on top of each. (You don’t want to spoon on because you don’t’ want that much of the liquid.) Serve immediately.

set of three Abalone and Oyster Amuse

posted by jessica at 03:37 PM Filed under Chinese, Holidays, Recipes. You can follow any responses to this entry through the RSS 2.0 feed. Both comments and pings are currently closed.