- -trim all black off, slice ab into disks (about 3/16" thick), pound each disk with a tenderizer
-leave black stuff on, do same process as above... didn't notice any bad flavor so we started leaving the black skirts on
-pound abalone whole with hammer, baseball bat, etc and then cut into disks (again, about 3/16" thick)
These methods were based on family traditions from my dive buddies or recommendations from friends of friends. Cutting the abalone and then pounding each slice is a ton of work and we hated it. We also had some problems cooking the abalone and keeping it tender. When cooking the thin disks, the disk starts to curl up, cooks unevenly, and some parts become overcooked and rubbery.
This year, we ran across a video of what has become our new preferred technique. The tenderizing process is a lot easier, and we no longer have problems with the abalone cooking unevenly and getting rubbery. I'm not sure if the reason the abalone cooks better is because we now slice along the foot along the length (front to back, rather than bottom to top) or if it is because the slices are thicker at about 3/8".
Anyway, the process is that you clean the stomach/guts from the abalone, stick it in a plastic bag, and stick that bag halfway down a leg cut off from a pair of jeans. You fold the pant leg over so the abalone is pushed into that fold, and you pound the whole ab on a concrete/wood surface to tenderize. Flip and turn the ab a couple times to pound evenly, and after about 20 hits per side, it is fully tenderized. Then you cut the thick slabs across the length of the foot, not disks from the top of the foot to the bottom as many people do. This method has worked great for us and I wanted to share it since I did a search and didn't find the videos posted on this site.
Part 1 of the video (pounding): https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=GqA8dMlPaF8
Part 2 of the video (cutting & cooking): https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=NNG-DwoCMlU