Abalone is a large mollusk that hangs on rocks and it is covered with a single iridescent shell. The muscular foot is the edible part which holds the shell to the rock. California is the only place where you can find fresh abalone. Canned or frozen versions is available in other states.
To prepare fresh abalone, get a sharp knife and cut out the foot. Cut away the dark fringe, intestines, and stomach. Make sure that you rinse the foot and also cut it across the grain into 1/2 inch slices. Once you have done that, you’ll need to pound the slices with a mallet until they are soft.
The cooking time will vary depending on the size of the abalone. But as a general rule you should saute the abalone about 1 minute per side in butter, oil, or bacon drippings. The abalone can be served with lemon wedges. Another way to add variety is to cut the slices into strips for stir fry dishes, or you can make chowder by chopping them.