Mussels Baked Japanese Mussels

- Fish - Mussels - Thai - Jamie Purviance - Curries - Japan - Asian - Lee's Recipes -

Baked Japanese MusselsFor 2 large bowls, or 4 small ones (appetizer portions)

Ingredients:

12 mussels cleaned and bearded
3/4 cup Japanese mayonnaise
1/2 teaspoon garlic minced
1 teaspoon ginger minced
1 teaspoon lemon zest
2 teaspoons wasabi
2 teaspoons sugar
1 scallion finely sliced
3 tablespoons tobiko
1 teaspoon soy sauce
Japanese panko

Method

1. Set oven rack to top position and preheat to broil at 500 degrees.
2. Boil mussels until they open, drain until dry and remove top half of shell.
3. Combine the rest of the ingredients except for the panko add 1 tablespoon of sauce on each mussel.
4. Top each mussel with panko.
5. Place mussels in oven and cook until bubbly.

Notes:
The time spent in the oven doesn't need to be that long since the mussels will already be cooked. Broiling is just for heating the sauce and crisping up the panko. Tobiko is the kind of fish roe that is most commonly used for many kinds of sushi dishes that most people have had. It's what gives the sauce its color and also a bit of pop. This sauce can also be used for fancy spicy sushi rolls.

Thoughts:
Many chain grocery stores have an international section now and you'll often see products such as panko available. Here's a rule of thumb. If there's no Japanese writing on a Japanese product, don't buy it. I gave American panko a shot and it is a poor counterfeit for the Japanese original. It turned what was supposed to be light and crispy into oily and crunchy. Asian groceries are becoming more common even in smaller cities and there is no reason to settle for substitutes. I also specified Japanese mayonnaise in my recipe because it is very different from American mayonnaise. It is much more savory and people who normally don't like mayonnaise will love this. I know some of you are afraid to step into an Asian grocery store because you're worried that people will stare and laugh at you. Stop only buying Pocky and instant noodles and you won't look so ridiculous. Sure I'll still laugh at you, but it will be for other reasons.

Serves 6 as an appetizer of 2 mussels each person

Source: Cook to Eat, delightful blog by Andy Ng recipe "Japanese Baked Mussels"
posted at http://www.cooktoeat.com/2011/03/japanese-baked-mussels.html accessed Aug 18, 2011
Andy describes himself as: "When I travel, it's all about trying what's unique and traditional to the city. However, I also don't have very much money so I can't afford to travel often or to eat at most restaurants. So the only thing I can do is make it myself. My mission is to make and document all types of food from Asia to Europe to America. Hopefully I'll learn a few new things along the way. I will cook for the love of eating."