Steamed Mussels with Mirin

  • 2 pounds mussels
  • 1 tbsp. olive oil
  • 1 link chorizo sausage, diced
  • 3-4 shallots, peeled and sliced thin
  • 2 garlic cloves, peeled and sliced thin
  • ½ cup mirin rice wine (or 1 cup cooking wine)
  • ¼ head fennel, sliced thin
  • A few sprigs of flat leaf parsley, chopped
  • ¼ cup cilantro, chopped
  • 1-2 tbsp. butter (optional)
  • Sea salt to taste

Place mussels into a large bowl with water and salt (4 cups water to ¼ cup salt), plus one tbsp. flour or cornmeal. This helps mussels purge any sand they may be holding on to. Keep the mussels submerged in the water for 30 minutes to 1 hour.  Clean the mussel’s shell and remove any threads or “beards.”

In a soup pot or deep frying pan, sauté chorizo, shallot and garlic 2-3 minutes. Add mirin and fennel. Cook additional 2 minutes. Add mussels (discard any mussels that have broken shells or smell bad). Cover and steam mussels 5-6 minutes. Add parsley and cilantro, plus 1 tbsp. butter. Taste the liquid before salting. Mussels release a briny salty liquid when cooked. Do not oversalt! Enjoy with a toasted whole grain baguette to sop up all that delicious liquid. Or, a side of Baked Sweet Potato Fries.