Author Notes: My husband rarely makes food requests - he's happy to go along with whatever there is. Last weekend though, he demanded Paella. With mussels. I bought 2kilos - one went into the paella and the other was left over. Till I poached them in a classic Chinese recipe, commonly made with chicken.
Now my love for mussels extends from Beer and wine steamed to the aforementioned Spanish rice dish...and my hates - battered.
For me, this recipe transcended the loves - a hint of heat and spice, a flash of a rich wine flavour and meaty mussels.
I attempted to flambé the rice wine....just because but its low alcohol content prevented it from being an impressive stovetop fire. Well, in the name of science and contest, I attempted it.
My son also ended up adopting a mussel which he named 'Milo' - I enthralled him by putting an uncooked mussel in a small transparent jar and then poured in some hot water. His eyes lit up when it opened up...........and he proclaimed Milo his......forever. The determination of an almost 4 year old —Kitchen Butterfly
Makes: a large portion
250ml Shaosing rice wine
1 teaspoon cardamom powder
3-4 sprigs coriander leaves and stems
small knob of ginger, sliced and bruised
1 red bird's eye chili, split in half (and seeds removed if you don't want too much heat)
60g palm sugar
1 kg of cleaned, debearded mussels
To garnish: coriander leaves, spring onions and red chili pepper
- Warm the rice wine on medium heat till almost hot - then add the cardamom powder and proceed to flambé with by lighting the surface with a long-stemmed kitchen lighter. the flames may be ever so gentle.....sigh. get over it, move on
- Add the mirin, water, coriander leaves, ginger, chili and palm sugar. Stir together to combine and let warm up. Then add the mussels, gently shake the pan and put a lid over it to cook on medium. Let the mussels cook about 5-6 minutes or until they open up
- Remove from heat and discard those they remain closed. Serve in a large deep bowl with some broth at the base to keep the mussels moist. Top with garnishes of coriander leaves and finely sliced/diced red chilli
- This recipe was entered in the contest for Your Best Shellfish
- This recipe was entered in the contest for Your Best Dish You (Intentionally) Set on Fire