Notes: Chef Yeo stirs only the fresh-steamed mussels into the sauce, but Sunset adds the mussel-cooking juices and boils the sauce briefly to concentrate it. Oyster sauce is sold in well-stocked supermarkets and Asian food stores.
3 pounds mussels, beards removed, scrubbed
3 tablespoons butter or margarine
3 tablespoons chopped garlic
1 1/2 tablespoons cracked or coarse-ground pepper
6 tablespoons prepared oyster sauce
Sourdough bread (optional)
How to Make It
Tap the shells of any mussels that gape; if they don't close, discard. Place mussels in a 5- to 6-quart pan. Add 1/2 cup water, cover, and bring to a boil over high heat. Reduce heat and simmer until shells pop open, 5 to 10 minutes. Pour juices from pan and save.
In a 14-inch wok, 14-inch frying pan, or 5- to 6-quart pan over high heat, melt butter with garlic and pepper and stir until garlic is golden, 2 to 3 minutes. Add oyster sauce and reserved mussel-cooking liquid. Boil over high heat, stirring often, until sauce is reduced to about 1 cup, 5 to 6 minutes.
Pour mussels into wok; stir over high heat until well coated with sauce, 3 to 4 minutes. Ladle mussels and sauce into bowls; pluck mussels from shells and sop up sauce with bread, if desired.
Straits Cafe, San Francisco and Palo Alto, California
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