Perfect for any season, mussels make a great dish to open up a meal, but also work as a quick and easy dinner option paired with simply a nice side of crusty bread to fill you up and a good beer from Belgium or an IPA if you don't want to cook up a huge meal.
Known for putting twists on traditional Korean dishes at his Momofuku restaurants, David Chang wouldn't present a bowl full of mussels like anybody else. His, of course, comes with a little more bite than what you'd typically order anywhere else, with the fresh ginger and Korean fermented bean pasta mixing together in the broth to create a unique flavor that you won't want to share.
- 1/3 cup denjang (Korean fermented bean pasta) or failing that, shiro (white) miso
- 2 tablespoons sherry vinegar
- 2 tablespoons minced peeled fresh ginger
- 2 tablespoons sliced scallions (greens and whites)
- 1/2 cup scallions cut into 1 1/2 inch long julienne
- 6 garlic cloves, thinly sliced
- 4 to 5 pounds mussels
- 1/4 cup grapeseed or other neutral oil
- 1 cup dry sake
- Freshly ground black pepper
- Smash together the denjang, sherry vinegar, ginger, sliced scallions, and garlic cloves in a small bowl. Set aside.
- 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.
- 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
- 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.
- 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.
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