During university my friends and I lived downtown and stayed up many a night studying (and goofing off). By 3am we were always hungry and ready for a snack, which meant cup noodles or a visit to Hong Shing’s for a plate of Mussels with Black Bean Sauce for only $3.99. This was a great deal, and with a bowl of steamed rice, the definition of comfort food. Recently, I’ve been sharing my love of mussels with Stephen but we’ve only ever cooked them with a wine sauce. With our new wok, he was certain he could recreate my late night comfort food and I have to agree. In fact his version may be even better.
When it comes to cooking mussels, I always prefer live ones that are smaller but much tastier than frozen ones. Basically, if mussels are on sale, then we’re eating mussels. However, this recipe can easily be adapted for frozen mussels as well, just cook them accordingly and toss in the sauce.
- 2 lbs of live mussels (or frozen)
- 4 cloves of garlic, minced
- 4-6 dried chili peppers, chopped
- 1 tbsp fermented black beans (douchi)
- 1 tbsp of doubanjiang, spicy bean paste
- 1 tbsp corn starch
- 1/2 tbsp soy sauce
- 1/2 tbsp oyster sauce
- 1 cup of water
- 1 tbsp of vegetable oil
- In a bowl, combine the corn starch, soy sauce, oyster sauce, doubanjiang and water to create the base of the sauce.
- Using a large pot or steamer, steam the mussels until they begin to open, approximately 7 minutes.
- In a hot pan or wok, heat the oil. Once the oil begins to smoke, stir fry the garlic, dried chili peppers, and fermented soy beans until fragrant.
- Then add the sauce mixture to the wok and turn stove to medium heat. Allow the sauce to slowly thicken, stirring occasionally.
- Once the sauce has thickened, remove from heat, add in the cooked (drained if needed) mussels into the pan/wok and toss in the sauce.