There were several requests on the website and through email for the mussel recipe I used in the recent Asian Fusion Dinner. I actually used a recipe from Ming Tsaiâ€™s Blue Ginger cookbook but altered it because his recipe also included rice noodles, a lot of broth, and was meant to be a main dish. I only wanted a starterâ€¦ But first, let me say, I am completely mortified by the thought of any shellfish in feeding grounds within 60 kilometers of Manila bay or any highly populated Philippine coastline, like Boracay, for that matter. The fact that shellfish such as mussels, clams, scallops, etc. donâ€™t move much and just filter all of the muck and sea water that flows by them make them the worst candidates for picking up stuff from filthy waterâ€¦ ergo, no shellfish from unclean waters. I know that someone in Palawan is raising huge green lipped mussels for export to Japan and possibly for flash freezing and I once tried them out. They were huge, sold frozen and once cooked, incredibly tough. I never sought them out again. I may have just gotten a badly handled bunch. Sometime last year, I tried some frozen New Zealand mussels sold by my frozen seafood suki and they turned out very well in baked mussels that I made several times. I figured I could try them with this recipe and they turned great except that they were a little bit tougher than fresh onesâ€¦ If you have access to fresh, clean mussels, that is obviously the way to goâ€¦
To make, heat a wok of large stainless steel sautÃ© pan on high heat. Add a couple of tablespoons of vegetable oil, add the about 2 pounds of fresh mussels and stir fry until open about five minutes. (If you are using frozen, use only 1 pound on a half shell, omit this step, go straight to the next step and add frozen mussels about 3-4 minutes from now). Next, sautÃ© a tablespoon each of finely chopped garlic and ginger. I added two minced jalapeno peppers because I had them, you can use siling labuyo or other spicy chilli. Add 1 tablespoon of fermented black beans (sold in bottles) and stir fry for about 2-3 minutes. Add frozen mussels now. Add Â½ cup of white wine and cook for a minute or two. Add about 1/3 cup of chopped canned tomatoes, 1-2 tablespoons of fish sauce (patis), 1 cup of chicken stock. (In the original recipe, rice noodles are added here, along with more stock, I omitted this step). Stir the mussels well and when just about cooked, add chopped chives, basil and two big blobs of butter. Season with salt and pepper and serve with lime wedges to squeeze over the mussels. This dish was excellent. If served with warm crusty french bread, you could sop up all of the heady broth as well!