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Pan-Roasted Bouchot Mussels

Oct 22, 2012 at 1:45 PM Chime in now

From Momofuku, by David Chang and Peter Meehan, Clarkson Potter, 2009.

Bouchot-style mussels are raised on thick wooden posts plunged into the sea floor. Because of their perch, bouchot mussels spend a little time above water when the tide is out; the resulting mussels harbor little to no sediment and are more flavorful, firm, and meaty than rope-raised mussels, which spend all their lives feeding in deep water.

If you can’t find bouchot mussels, rope-raised Prince Edward Island (PEI) mussels are your next best bet. We just don’t ever go for those green-lipped New Zealand guys—they’re pallid and flabby. If you can’t find mussels you’re excited about, you could substitute large littleneck or butter clams.

Yield: 4 servings


1/3 cup denjang (Korean fermented bean paste) or, failing that, shiro (white) miso
2 tablespoons sherry vinegar
2 tablespoons minced peeled fresh ginger
2 tablespoons sliced scallions (greens and whites), plus 1⁄2 cup scallions cut into 11⁄2-inch-long julienne
6 garlic cloves, thinly sliced
4 - 5 pounds mussels
1/4 cup grapeseed or other neutral oil
1 cup dry sake
Freshly ground black pepper


1. Smash together the denjang, sherry vinegar, ginger, sliced scallions, and garlic cloves in a small bowl. Set aside.

2. Clean the mussels: Put them in a large bowl of cold water and let them sit for a few minutes to purge any grit, then scrub their shells clean of any debris, and rip off the “beards”—the little fuzzy strands sticking out of the side of the shells.

3. Pour the oil into a deep wide pot with a lid that will later comfortably accommodate all the mussels, and set over high heat. After a minute or so, when the oil is hot but not smoking, add the mussels. Cook, stirring, for 1 minute, then add the sake. Cover the pot and steam the mussels until they’ve all opened, about 4 minutes.

4. Remove the lid from the pot, scoot all the mussels to one side, and add the denjang mixture to the liquid in the bottom of the pot. Stir to incorporate it, which should happen rather quickly, then toss the mussels to coat them with the sauce and pan juices.

5. Using a slotted spoon, transfer the mussels to four deep bowls. Discard any mussels that did not open. Pour the broth-sauce from the pot over the mussels, and garnish each portion with a heavy dose of black pepper and some of the julienned scallions. Serve at once.

Read More:
Coconut Lime Mussels
Crab Beignets with Ravigote Sauce
Roasted Halibut with Sichaun Eggplants

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