Sitting at the counter, I ask the chef why the abalone is a different color. He replies with a smile, there is a rainbow of colors. In fact the Japanese species of abalone but this is Tokobushi, which has a tan-colored hue.


Abalone are very popular in Japan and especially when caught wild. But wild abalone is not very popular and is often too expensive given the mortality rate is probably just over 99%. These mollusks broadcast spawn (external fertilization) and a 40mm abalone may spawn 10,000 eggs or more at a time, while an 200mm abalone may spawn 11 million or more. The eggs are microscopic, and drift with the currents and then the abalone larvae settles to the bottom where they begin to develop the adult shell. If suitable habitat is located it may grow to adulthood but the chance that an individual larva will survive to adulthood is very low.


Categories: Sushi Styles