asian style mussels

by Anne Grace on August 30, 2011

I haven’t been taking care of this blog properly. Truth is, I was sick of posting up sweet/pastry/cake/dessert recipes. So I was looking for something to break the flow but nothing was exciting enough. But yes, excuses are just excuses and nothing more.

Anyway, MUSSELS. I like mussels. But I never cooked them before. I have a feeling they’re in season because we now sell mussels at work (I work in a supermarket deli) for $7.99 for 1kg.

So, funny story. I went to the markets today and walked by the mussels. $4.50 a kilo. Couldn’t resist. Problem is, my brother hates seafood. So that means I’d be eating them alone. Sadface. The other option was I could get just enough for myself and risk the lady behind the counter giving me a black’whybuysolittlewhatsthepoint’ face. And so I did..

And so I got the black’whybuysolittlewhatsthepoint’face. I got 6 mussels (which was just enough) and that came to a grand total of…. 80 cents.. 78 cents to be precise. Gosh, they’re cheaper than chicken!

I found this recipe at Noob Cook. It uses typical chinese ingredients. Nothing that can go way wrong. But seriously, it’s the easiest thing ever to cook mussels. The cleaning part might be a bit of a hassle but still, not much work involved.

Wiffy (of says that soaking it in salt water for an hour will be able to make the mussels purge any excess sand out. Not too sure whether that works. The crucial thing is that you should not soak it in plain tap water.

Because the mussels will die. (I read that online. ‘DIE’) I was like ‘So you mean the mussels I bought are alive?!’  Suddenly, it was as though I had x-ray eyes which could see past those closed shells and see the little bits of mussel-ly flesh wriggling about, trying to escape its doom… Cleaning it got a bit freaky. I pulled on what is called the ‘mussel beard’ and a bit of the flesh got flew out with the beard. Freaked me out a bit thinking of those live mussels in there coming out with that beard to bite my finger off in self defence….

Anyway, shan’t let my imagination take over. We’ll pretend that we do not have x-ray eyes and that mussels do not come out of their shell to bite your finger off…

asian style mussels (adapted from serves 1

6 mussels
2 spring onion, roughly chopped
3 cloves of garlic, chopped (because garlic is goooood)
3-5 slices of ginger
1 small chilli padi (or more)
1/4 cup of chinese wine + water (up to you to adjust ratio. i like lotsa wine.)

1. clean mussels thoroughly. discard any broken or irreversibly opened mussels. they have to be alive (and when they are, they are closed). If they are open, lightly tap them and if they are sleeping, they’d shut.
2. fry the garlic, ginger, spring onion and chilli until they smell nice. :D
3. add mussels and wine-water mixture and cover the pot/wok/pan
4. cook till the mussels open (approx 3-5 mins).

Mussels cook pretty quickly so you wouldn’t expect to leave them in there for ages. Any unopened mussels should be thrown away – they no good… You also won’t need salt because the mussels have salty juices.

Seriously, it’s like a magic show. You have this bunch of mussels which are closed so tightly that you think you’d need a chisel to forcefully yank them open. But its like heat is the magic key that opens these mussels oh so gracefully. Magic.


ps nice musselly video:

Leave your comment


Required. Not published.

If you have one.