01 Aug2006


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 Tsai’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 starter… 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. don’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 water… 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 ones… If you have access to fresh, clean mussels, that is obviously the way to go…

To make, heat a wok of large stainless steel sauté pan on high heat. Add a couple of tablespoons of vegetable oil, add the about 2 pounds of fresh mussels and stir fry until muss2open 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, sauté 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 ½ 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!



  1. Wilson Cariaga says:

    New Zealand mussels are good but what I remember the size is not consistent, well maybe we bought a bad brand/from a bad supplier. . .

    this recipe is very nice too, well if you want to experiment with mussels, I think you can never go wrong.

    did anybody try Dan’s misi/tausi, it is sold in some supermarkets in a small yellow plastic cup, I think it is a good quality product, ’cause it is not salty and beans are not crushed, please try it, and please correct me if I am wrong. . .

    Aug 1, 2006 | 9:13 am


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  3. mojito_drinker says:

    wow that looks great! any recommendations where we can buy good (clean) mussels here?

    Aug 1, 2006 | 10:41 am

  4. virgilio says:

    Talk of shellfish from unclean waters, a colleague at work and his wife went on hols recently in the Phils. and he came back solo. His wife and his mom-in-law are still home undergoing dialysis after a severe case of food poisoning caused by eating mussels. He got spared because he had one too many the night before and couldn’t bring himself up to eating anything the next day. The mussels were bought from a “tindera” peddling seashells in the village. But how could one really tell if the shellfish such as mussels one buys are from clean waters?

    Aug 1, 2006 | 4:01 pm

  5. virgilio says:

    MM, after what I’ve written I will still try your recipe with the frozen NZ mussels I can get here. Thanks.

    Aug 1, 2006 | 4:04 pm

  6. Marketman says:

    I have never had problems with the New Zealand mussels so I suggest if you are conservative, buy the boxed or frozen new zealand mussels that are available here…try Yvan’s seafood at Salcedo, FTI and I think Lung Center on Sundays… they are more expensive, but very safe from my experience.

    Aug 1, 2006 | 6:10 pm

  7. Bay_leaf says:

    i love mussels, they also sell the big ones from NZ here, (frozen). as for the ones back home, i’m a bit cautious.

    Aug 1, 2006 | 11:36 pm

  8. lojet says:

    We can get bagged cultured mussels here though they are smaller than the NZ. i just sautee it with chicken powdered bouillion garlic, onion, ginger and tanglad and eat with steamed rice.

    I remember liking guinamos Amahong in a jar. Is it still available there? i guess the salt is enough to kill all the E Coli that causes the food poisoning including the deadly ones.

    Aug 2, 2006 | 12:12 am

  9. timmy says:

    my thai neighbor serves his mussels this way:

    wrap the clean mussels in foil with slices of ginger and sang. bake in a preheated oven (i use my toaster at the condo)

    sawsawan: use an almirez to pound a whole head of garlic (skin removed) and about 10 siling labuyo until you make a mash consistency of garlic and sili. mix with juice of 20 pcs.kalamansi, 1/3 cup fish sauce, 2 tablespoons sugar.


    Sep 6, 2006 | 1:39 am


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