As many of you know, our very own Chef Hajime Sato was in Hawaii last month eating lots of local fare and continuing his aquaculture research. A good portion of one day was spent visiting Big Island Abalone.
Most wild abalone habitats along the West Coast have been severely damaged, so it is very difficult to get any quality abalone in that manner. Under the right conditions, abalone can thrive when properly farmed. Big Island Abalone primarily grows a Japanese strain originating from Hokkaido called ezo awabi. Interestingly enough, the main food source enjoyed by these abalone is seaweed strains originating in our Puget Sound! The clean, non-invasive conditions of this type of aquaculture produces 60 tons of abalone per year. Think of what a relief this must be to the wild sources, allowing them to reestablish themselves in the oceans.
Hajime returned with a fresh perspective on abalone. What better way to share his renewed passion than to serve you some, fresh from the Big Island? We just received a beautiful shipment of ezo awabi. We invite you to stop by Mashiko to experience the unique flavor and very gentle texture. You won’t find fresher abalone in Seattle! They won’t last long, so get yours soon!