Driving long distances provides a time to think. I often get bored on long drives and the mind wanders. As the mind begins to find a path to travel ideas begin surface. Several weeks ago we spent a lot of time cooking and working with king trumpet mushrooms. Usually we take an idea or ingredient and work through a number of variations and then leave it alone. The king trumpet mushroom was supposed to follow that model. Yet, as I drove, the dishes we worked through came to mind as did other recent ideas. And an image we took of the tops of the mushrooms popped up. We ended cutting up and smoking those mushroom tops, but the image made its point. The cut tops looked like something else, an ingredient we have worked with in the past and I spent a while trying to solve the visual mystery. It took some time and I placed the connection, the tops looked like abalone. While driving down the road the idea of treating the tops of these mushrooms as abalone had time to develop and grow. By the time I returned from the drive I was off to the store to get some mushrooms. We trimmed the mushrooms, reserving the stems for a new version of our charred stems and started cooking the caps. We sauteed the tops in olive oil and finished them in foaming butter. Once the mushrooms were cooked we added several spoonfuls of smoked kimchi juices to the pan to make a quick sauce. We sliced the mushroom tops as we would abalone and dressed the mushroom with the sauce. Finally we added a few garlic chive blooms to add explosive notes to the dish. The mushrooms look like abalone and taste like mushrooms. What is even more exciting is they have a texture reminiscent of abalone and with the smoked kimchee sauce a flavor of the sea.