Steamed Mussels

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There are so much ways to cook mussels. I usually have ‘em marinated in lemon, buttered, steamed with sweet chili sauce or baked with garlic and cheese. Friday night, I went back to basics but with a little difference. Mom’s way is to sprinkle salt all over the mussels, shelled and all, and steam until cooked. I basically did the same but with a dash of pepper and a bit of presentation.

Mussels (clean)
Salt and pepper

Arrange mussels in a steamable container and place on a steamer with boiling water. Steam for no longer than 3 minutes. Remember that mussels tend to become rubbery when overcooked. Discard unopened mussels. When cool enough, break off and discard a shell of each mussel and arrange all in a platter.

You may:

  1. Simply sprinkle salt and pepper all over (as shown).
  2. Pour sweet chili sauce over each serving.
  3. Sprinkle chopped garlic and melt butter over each mussel while hot.

Any way you want ‘em just as long as you serve immediately. Obviously, mine weren’t served right away. Picture-taking got in the way.

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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.

6 thoughts on “Steamed Mussels

  1. funny how my comment would sound ‘different’ in tagalog:
    “wow!!! antaba ng tahong niyo!” :P LOL
    but really, they look really yummy. are they really that big (errr.. different species? environment? anliliit kasi ng nandito sa pinas) or is it because you steamed them? typical kasi samen yung may sabaw, luya, kamatis, etc. i rmember having that just this weekend at home. :)

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