ginger soy butter mussels :: by radish*rose

ginger soy butter mussels

Ginger, soy sauce, and a touch of butter make an irresistible Japanese-influenced East-West broth for these mussels.  The original recipe was for clams, but I haven’t quite gotten the hang of cleaning those yet, so I substituted mussels since I know what to do with those (and so will you, read on!).  Also, did I mention that mussels are one of the most sustainable types of seafood?  Yay for mussels!


Adapted from Food & Wine


2 lbs. fresh mussels (soaked and cleaned per instructions below)

1/2 c. sake

2 T. soy sauce

2 T. sugar

One 1 1/2″ piece of fresh ginger, peeled (use a spoon for this -just scrape the peel away with it – I swear it works!) and sliced into thin matchsticks

Red pepper chile flakes, to taste

1-2 garlic cloves, thinly sliced

3 T. butter, cubed

Sea salt

Sliced scallions, for garnish

Equipment: Large pot with a lid to steam the mussels (I use a 5-qt. cast iron pot like this)


To clean the mussels: Discard any cracked or dodgy looking ones, then soak in a bucket or sink full of salted cold water for about 2 hours, with 3-4 changes of water. (My research said you should consider discarding any open ones, but sometimes they are all open a little bit, so use your judgment and sniff them if you have any doubts. Good ones smell like the ocean and bad ones will smell, well, bad.) The soaking in salted water makes them discharge sand and dirt. When you are changing the water, lift the mussels out of the water first. Do not pour all through a colander or you will just be pouring the sand and dirt back over them. After soaking, scrub the mussels with a brush, and remove any “beards” which are stringy things you can just pull off.

To make the broth base: In your large pot, combine the sake, soy sauce, sugar, singer, red pepper chile flakes, and garlic, and bring just to a boil, whisking to dissolve the sugar.

To steam the mussels: Add your cleaned mussels to the pot with your broth base, cover with the lid, and steam for 5-6 minutes. Check to see if the mussels have all opened up and if not, put the lid back on and steam for a couple more minutes.Ladle the mussels into large individual serving bowls.

To finish the broth: Add the butter to the saucepan and cook over moderate heat, whisking constantly, until melted and fully incorporated, about 2 minutes. Taste the broth, and season with salt if needed (if you used salted butter, you might not need any more).

To serve: Pour or ladle the broth over the steamed mussels. Garnish with sliced scallions. Put out another large bowl out to hold empty shells, and enjoy!

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More radish*rose mussels recipes:

korean-style mussels in spicy broth

thai-style curry coconut mussels with lime and spinach

This is a radish*rose original recipe, adapted from the source(s) named above.  All images & content are copyright protected. All rights reserved. Please do not use my images without prior permission. If you want to republish a recipe, please credit radish*rose and link back to the recipe. 



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