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Leaning tower of Abalone


  • 1 cup (180 grams) sushi rice, well rinsed
  • 1 tablespoon (15 milliliters) rice vinegar
  • 1 tablespoon (15 milliliters) canola oil, plus more for frying
  • 1 cup (125 grams) panko breadcrumbs, divided
  • 1/4 teaspoon (1 gram) salt
  • 15 stems of green kale, ribs removed and torn
  • 2 teaspoons (10 milliliters) sesame oil
  • 1 clove garlic, minced
  • 1/2 cup (115 grams) Japanese sesame paste
  • 1 lemon, juiced
  • 1/2 lime, juiced
  • 1/2 orange, juiced
  • 2 tablespoons (30 milliliters) ponzu
  • 2 tablespoons (30 milliliters) soy sauce
  • 2 teaspoons (10 grams) sugar
  • 1 teaspoon (3 grams) lemon zest
  • 5 pieces abalone, trimmed of liver, reserving cleaned shells for serving
  • 1/4 cup (32 grams) flour
  • 1 egg, beaten


  1. Cook rice according to package directions in lightly salted water. Stir in vinegar and set aside.
  2. In a large non-stick skillet, heat one tablespoon (15 milliliters) oil over medium heat. Add 1/2 cup (62 grams) of panko and toast until golden, stirring occasionally, about two to three minutes. Season with salt, remove to a bowl and set aside.
  3. In the same skillet, cook kale over medium-high heat with two tablespoons (30 milliliters) of water until wilted, about four to five minutes. Add sesame oil and garlic and cook for two minutes. Set aside to cool. Once cooled, gently squeeze excess moisture from kale and put into dry bowl.
  4. In a bowl. stir together sesame paste, lemon, lime and orange juice with ponzu, soy sauce, sugar and lemon zest to create sauce. Stir one tablespoon (15 milliliters) of mixture into kale.
  5. Heat 3-1/2 centimeters oil in a medium heavy bottomed pot to 350°F (176°C). Slice abalone into five pieces each and place in a freezer bag. Tenderize abalone gently with a mallet until slightly flattened.
  6. Create a dredging station by putting flour, egg and remaining panko into three individual shallow dishes. Dredge each abalone piece in flour, followed by egg, then panko. Set each piece aside. Place a cooling rack on a sheet tray and set aside.
  7. Working in batches, add abalone to oil and fry until golden brown, about four minutes. Remove to prepared cooling rack.
  8. Spoon 1/4 of sauce onto each plate. Using a ring mould or cup measure, shape 1/2 cup (120 grams) servings of rice into flat disks. Gently roll sides of each flat disk in toasted panko. Place on top of sauce, followed by kale mixture. Nestle abalone shell into kale to make it a stable tower. Place fried abalone on top of shell and garnish as desired.

MasterChef Canada

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MasterChef Canada



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