Recipes of Bygone Days – Stewed Ormers; Pickled Ormers & Dressed Ormers


Ormer is the local name for what are known worldwide as abalones and is found on Guernsey & Jersey shores. They are gastropod molluscs which are basically marine snails. An ormer will take 3 to 4 years to grow to 9cm in length, and a a fully mature Ormer can be as big as 15.5cm in length. They can live for over 15 years.

They are ‘quintessentially Guensey’ and have been eaten by the natives of these islands for centuries. Naturally enough therefore there are many ways to prepare and eat them. In this article we’ve resurrected a few of the more ancient recipes from bygone days.



  • Ormers
  • Butter
  • 1 finely chopped onion
  • Mixed Herbs
  • Stock Gravy


  1. Soak in salt water for 1/2 an hour.
  2. Scrub ormers with a hard bristle brush.
  3. Put in clean water and wash until white.
  4. Take them out and beat them with a wooden rolling pin on a wooden chopping board until they become tender, taking care not to break them.
  5. Brown the ormers in a frying pan with butter. They will then look like steak.
  6. Put them in a stewing pan with a large onion, cut up, season with herbs to taste and cover with thick stock gravy and cook for 8 hours.
  7. They should then be as tender as veal cutlets but far more delicious !!



  • Ormers
  • Vinegar
  • Salt
  • Peppercorns


  1. Clean the Ormers (see Stewed Ormer recipe above)
  2. Boil the ormers in a mixture of half vinegar and half water with salt, bay leaves and peppercorns added in.
  3. Simmer for 4 hours.
  4. Bottle in warmed preserving jars and seal quickly, ensuring that the jars are airtight.



  • Ormers
  • Flour
  • 1 large Onion
  • Pepper and Salt
  • 1 or 2 Garlic Cloves
  • 1 or 2 carrots
  • 1 spoonful of Catsup Thyme
  • Lemon peel


  1. Clean the Ormers (see Stewed Ormer recipe above)
  2. Beat them well in a Cloth, then flour them.
  3. Fry them with onions in butter.
  4. When brown put them into a stewpan, adding the hot gravy made in the frying pan with hot water (or gravy if you have any)
  5. Add a dusting of flour, along with pepper, salt, a clove or two, a bit or two of carrot, a spoonful of Catsup Thyme and a little lemon peel.
  6. Simmer gently 5 or 6 hours by the side of the fire.

Author: Robert

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