Quirky facts about abalones and why they could be your lucky charm

Whenever the word ‘abalone’ is mentioned, an image like this tends to come to mind:

But there’s much more to this pricey seafood than its highly anticipated appearance on dining tables during special occasions, such as Chinese New Year reunion dinners. Here are some facts you probably don’t know about the abalone.

1. Abalones are marine snails (and it’s their foot muscle we’re eating)

Unlike clams that have two shells, these marine snails have a single shell on one side and their foot muscle on the other side. What is served on the dining table is the abalone’s foot muscle.

The abalone shell (left) and the abalone foot muscle (right). image source

Abalones crawl with their foot muscle which has a strong suction power (equal to 4,000 times its body weight). This is why abalone hunters require special tools to remove abalone from the rocks.

2. Abalones are escape artists

Unlike their land cousin, the snail, abalones are nimble when escaping certain types of predators. For example, when an abalone is touched by a sea star, it twists its shell violently to dislodge the sea star’s tentacles. It then flees the scene at a rate faster than the slow-moving sea star.  Some even spit out viscous white mucus when fleeing.

3. Abalones are nutritious

Abalones are a good source of protein and omega 3 fatty acid, as well as a wide range of vitamins and minerals, including Iodine, Phosphorous, Iron, as well as Vitamins B12 and E. At the same time, they are very low in saturated fat.

4. Abalones can bring you good fortune

Few other cultures accord as much significance to food as the Chinese do. So, when it comes to their most important celebration – the Lunar New Year – it is easy to see why food takes centrestage, with special dishes consumed not just for their good taste but more importantly, for their auspicious symbolism. Abalone is one of them.

Abalone is called 鲍鱼 (baoyu) in Mandarin, which has a parallel meaning of “guaranteed” (bao) “abundance” (yu). Hence, despite its rather hefty price tag, it is common to find this delicacy on the reunion dinner table, especially among businessmen.

If you’re in search of better fortune and health (after all health IS wealth), don’t miss our Abalone Reunion Feast (4 – 19 Feb 2019) where you can indulge in traditional and contemporary abalone dishes at our celebrity chef restaurants:

Braised abalone with sauerkraut consommé and parsley oil

Feng Shui Inn
Australian fresh abalone with golden oyster dumpling

Ocean Restaurant
Dashi braised 6-head abalone with black trumpet mushroom and glazed daikon

Fratelli Trattoria
Abalone salad in raspberry dressing with herbs mayonnaise and pickled vegetables

Ah Sam abalone mee sua braised with Sri Lanka crab in superior chicken stock

Umani awabi (simmered Japan abalone with uma-dashi-ankake ) CNY dining

Deep-fried abalone in salted egg
Osia Steak and Seafood Grill
Abalone ceviche

Seared Australia abalone with betel leaves curry and coconut foam

TEPPAN by Chef Yonemura
Grilled live abalone and sea urchin with truffle salt

TungLok Heen
Traditionally braised abalone in truffle with baked with five spiced fried rice

RWS CNY dining

If Lo Hei is a must, check out our Auspicious Reunion Dining menus at Feng Shui Inn and Forest森.

You can also order some Treasure Pots (盆菜) and festive goodies such as cookies and pig-shaped nian gao from Feng Shui Inn to take home.

More details on Resorts World Sentosa CNY Festive Dining 2019

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