Recipe courtesy of Andy Liang for Food Network Kitchen

Abalone and Shiitake Mushrooms in Brown Gravy with Bok Choy

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  • Level: Intermediate
  • Total: 5 hr (includes soaking time)
  • Active: 1 hr
  • Yield: 4 servings
Abalone and mushrooms, representing gold ingots and coins respectively, are natural additions to a Lunar New Year table and thought to bring wealth and good fortune or prosperity to the family. I follow the tradition of braising them in oyster sauce to make a savory gravy that coats every inch of the ingredients. The beautiful ring of vibrant green bok choy provides both a visual and flavor contrast to the finished dish, but blanched yu choy, napa cabbage or even iceberg lettuce could be substituted. I used extra-thick dried shiitake mushrooms and large and meaty abalone, but feel free to use what's available to you as long as the mushrooms and abalone are similar in size. Definitely serve this with rice to sop up all the delicious gravy.



  1. Bring 6 cups cold water to a boil in a wok or pot over high heat. Add the dried shiitake mushrooms stem-side down to hydrate. Place a small plate over the shiitakes to submerge them and cover. Set aside for 30 minutes.
  2. Meanwhile, sprinkle 1 tablespoon salt over the abalone and massage until the abalone is slightly softened. Rinse under cold water and rub off any black parts. Rinse again until the water runs clear.
  3. Transfer the shiitakes from the soaking liquid, then strain the liquid through a fine-mesh strainer into a large bowl and add enough cold water until you have 6 cups; set aside. Cut off the shiitake stems with scissors and discard; reserve the shiitakes.
  4. Heat 3 tablespoons of the vegetable oil in a wok or heavy-bottomed pot with a lid over medium-high heat. When the oil is hot and wisps of smoke appear, add the garlic and ginger. Cook, stirring constantly, until fragrant, about 30 seconds. Add the shiitakes and stir-fry until golden brown in spots, about 2 minutes. Add the abalone and stir-fry until golden brown, another 2 minutes. Swirl the Shaoxing wine around the perimeter of the pan. Continue to stir-fry until the pan looks dry, about 30 seconds.
  5. Mix in the oyster sauce, chicken bouillon powder, light soy sauce, sugar, dark soy sauce and 1/2 teaspoon salt and cook until the mixture starts to caramelize, about 2 minutes. Stir in the reserved mushroom-soaking liquid, cover, bring to a gentle boil and reduce to a gentle simmer over low heat. Simmer, covered, adding 1 cup warm water at a time if the water level falls below the abalone, until the abalone is fork-tender and the braising liquid is thickened similar to heavy cream, about 4 hours.
  6. Bring a medium pot of water to a boil over high heat. Add 1 tablespoon salt and the remaining 1 tablespoon vegetable oil. Blanch the bok choy until slightly softened and bright green, about 3 minutes; drain. Arrange the bok choy around the edge of a large plate forming a ring.
  7. Mix the cornstarch with 2 tablespoons cold water until the cornstarch is hydrated.
  8. Once the abalone is tender, taste the sauce and adjust the seasoning with salt. Drizzle in the cornstarch slurry and cook until the sauce thickens and coats the shiitakes, about 2 minutes. Stir in the toasted sesame oil. Spoon the shiitakes and abalone inside the ring of bok choy, then spoon over the brown gravy.

Cook’s Note

If the abalone comes with a shell, scoop the abalone meat from the shell using a spoon, similar to disconnecting the muscle of an oyster or clam. Remove and discard the grey pieces that look like small livers along with any long muscles.