Tuesday, August 10, 2010
I used to hate mussels. Really - couldn't stand eating them, hated the occasional gritty one... but I've totally changed my mind!!
There's a dozen ways to do them, this is the way that I like based on the random things I had in my fridge. I usually keep a tub of miso paste in my fridge, and sesame oil and mirin in the cupboard.
Mussels - most markets around here split them into one or two pound packages, just make sure you have a pot big enough to fit them and cover with a lid.
Leeks - one fat one ought to do it
Splash of Mirin
Splash of Sesame oil
Dollop of miso - more or less to taste, (again Dr.'s orders to watch my sodium intake, so my broth was on the light side) dissolved in whatever liquid you're using to cook the mussels
Water - or vegetable or chicken stock, both of which add more flavor to the final soup, depending on the size of your pot, you'll need a couple of cups
Slice the leeks diagonally into fat slices (around half to 3/4 of an inch). I like to use the whole thing, but many people only use the white and light green parts, tossing the dark green leafy bits.
Wash the mussels - give them a good rinse, pull off any beards still stuck on there, make sure the water runs clear - this ensure you can drink the cooking broth later. You will NOT be disappointed...
On your stove top, put the mussels in a pot, add the liquefied miso along with the cooking broth and mirin - the liquid doesn't need to cover the mussels, half way is sufficient.
Turn the heat on to high just long enough for the brew to start to boil, then immediately turn down to medium.
allow to simmer until all the mussels are open.
IMPORTANT: discard any mussels that don't open up - that's a sure sign of old or bad shellfish!