abalone Introduction

Abalone shells

Having a single, flat shell for protection, with a wide opening for the body and a single row of holes along one side of the shell. As it grows, new holes are made, and older holes are filled in. The holes continue to be formed throughout the life of the abalone. These holes are used in the respiration, sanitation, and reproduction of the abalone.

 

Detached Abalone from shell

Abalone are permanently attached to their shell in the center at a location called the muscle attachment. Once body had been removed from shell, it can’t reattach back, however it can remain alive without shell protection.

Abalone Organs

The organs of the abalone are in a circle surrounding the muscular foot. These are organs of the digestive, respiratory, circulatory and reproductive systems. The head and mouth of the abalone is right near the most recently formed open hole on the shell. The digestive tract bends to the left (when viewed from the top), back to the apex (under the spiral) where it turns and comes back along the left side ending in the anus. The anus is right under the last open hole and at the end of a slit in the mantle on the left side of the animal.

Removing Abalone Organs

Abalone organs are easily discarded, once the shell has been removed, by a tiny cut next to the muscle attachment. This reveals that the majority of the body of the abalone is its muscular foot and that this foot is solid muscle without any organs. All of the foot is edible. A v-shaped cut to remove the head (and radula) is all that is needed.

Abalone without guts and epipodium

Most people prefer to remove the epipodium and bottom of the foot before preparing abalone. The traditional way is to trim the abalone to remove the epipodium and bottom foot layer. 

Credit: https://www.marinebio.net/marinescience/06future/abintro.htm