How Abalone Became a Popular Dish

      September 16, 2016 08:05

      Abalone is now widely popular, but there was a time when it was a difficult ingredient to find. The marine snail's health benefits derive from its efficacy in facilitating the absorption of nutrients.

      In the past, people usually made rice porridge with abalone so that as many people as possible could enjoy the dish. In summer, Korean kings were served seaweed soup or boiled chicken with abalone to beat the heat and reinvigorate themselves.

      Abalone is a health food, as it is rich in protein but low in fat. It boosts the detoxifying capacity of the liver and improves blood circulation by preventing the thickening of the blood.

      Mass cultivation has made abalone easily available. It can now be found in a diverse array of dishes. Korea produces around 9,250 tons of abalone a year, 99 percent of which is farmed. Around 80 percent of the country's abalone comes from Wando in South Jeolla Province, as the calm, clean waters surrounding the island are rich in seaweed, a food source for the creature.

      Researchers recently found that abalone viscera is a good source of iodine, as the seaweed on which abalone feeds is rich in the nutritional element. Consuming sufficient iodine is crucial to maintaining a healthy thyroid and metabolism.

      In children, iodine deficiency can stunt growth and lead to problems with brain development. In pregnant women, it is associated with a higher risk of miscarriage and birth defects. Eating a regular sized abalone is sufficient to meet the recommended daily intake of iodine.

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