Sake Steamed Chinese Black Bean Mussels

We adapted this recipe from the classic Chinese black bean dish often served with baby clams. Here we have incorporated the use of sake and cream to add a brothy richness to the mussels. The broth makes for a great bread dipper. We finish the dish with a healthy sprinkling of cilantro and chives.

In the restaurant, we steam the mussels in a french steel pan and cover the pan with another pan upside down. Mussels are kind of tricky to cook. Many say that once the shell opens, the mussels are done but to me they still need to be cooked until the flesh pulls away from the edge of the shell. For one serving, we use about 2 ounces each of sake, black bean puree and cream.

1 pound fermented black beans
6 garlic cloves
2 inches ginger, peeled
24 small Thai chile peppers
2 cups canola oil

Puree all ingredients in a food processor.
This makes alot, so you may have to scale this back. Freezing this in small batches is an option.

The following link is another mussel recipe that was featured in the Boston Globe.