Mussels and Lemon

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Dreaming about baked tahong for months I bought a packet of frozen mussels but decided on trying something new. I remember reading about fried mussels or clams drizzled with lemon and so I ended up with this simple but fabulous appetizer.

Frozen mussels
1 onion, diced
4 tbsp of crushed garlic
1 small lemon
salt and pepper
olive oil

Squeeze lemon juice on the mussels. Take out the seeds. Sprinkle salt and pepper and stir in the diced onions. Mix thoroughly and marinate for at least an hour.

Heat olive oil in a pan. Stir-fry garlic until fragrant. Add in the mussels and marinade and stir-fry for about 3 minutes or until the juice dries up. Toss in more diced raw onion and chili if desired. Serve immediately.

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I am not a professional cook. My only claim to having a culinary background is a short stint as my dad’s teen ‘sous chef’ in his carinderia ages ago. Dad ran small eateries since I was a young kid - serving standard ‘turo-turo’ food ranging from the likes of menudo, adobo, pritong isda, dinuguan, binagoongan, bopis, munggo, pinakbet and giniling to merienda fares like goto, ginataan, pancit bihon, halu-halo and saging con yelo.

My father, a farmer in his hometown before working his way to becoming an accountant, definitely influenced my cooking in a lot of ways than I thought. My siblings and I were raised in a backyard full of fruit trees and vegetable garden. We spent weekends and the summer breaks running around with ducks, chickens, goats and pigs. I had wonderful memories of gathering eggs, butchering chickens, selling vegetables and the sweet aroma of preserved fruits. But my love for art led me to a degree in Architecture. Just few months after getting my license, I went abroad and lived independently at age 23. Definitely no maid, no cook, and a totally different food culture. Along the way I met lots of friends and spent what seemed a lifetime learning new tricks and recipes.

Now living in Auckland, I am a work-from-home mum who juggles time between work, fun and family - in pursuit of work-life balance. No matter how busy I am, I love the idea of cooking for my family. My blog chronicles home cooking greatly influenced by life outside my home country from Southeast Asia to Beijing and Auckland. And most of the time, being busy also means easy (sometimes quick), affordable meals.

7 thoughts on “Mussels and Lemon

  1. Sounds delicious! It also reminds me of one of your recipes that i really like – sorry for the life of me i can’t remember the name. It’s ground meat with lemon and onions. Mmmmm.

  2. Hi, Iska! Glad to see you’re back and blogging!

    Your tahong recipe looks really good. I should try it as I’ve been looking to healthier alternatives to the baked mussels smothered with butter and parsley!

  3. Hi Ces! Oo nga hirap ng may net issues. Oh well… try this sister… 1st time ko lang din ginawa but really good.

    Mae, it’s quilo babi, a kapampangan dish. Yeah it’s almost the same procedure except in quilo the juice should be retained. Try this as well :)

    Hi Midge! Unlike you I miss baked tahong hahaha! By the way, I can’t make a comment on your website. Don’t know why. I tried several times since last month. I sent you emails, too, but they keep bouncing back.

  4. Add beer or wine, some herbs, salt & pepper to tast and thicken with cream after tossing the mussels. Finish up with butter.

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