Mussels are like treasure chests of the sea. For such a cost-effective seafood choice, they make a quick and deeply satisfying meal, especially with some aromatics in the mix and lots of crusty bread on the side to mop up the delicious juices. They’re also a fantastic source of protein, low in calories, low in fat and high in zinc and iron, with vitamins A and B1.
This dish adds ginger for some warmth and spiciness, with a wonderful fresh flavour.
It’s also very good for you, as ginger naturally calms the stomach, reduces nausea and acts as an anti-inflammatory.
Although there are so many beautiful ingredients under the sea to choose from, I love how mussels immediately tell the story of their watery home.
Their salty smell and craggy shells, etched from their rocky homes, clattering in the pot as they boil. You could imagine this being the revitalising food of fishermen in tiny villages, after braving grey skies and rough seas to get home for a warm meal.
And what a meal this is.
In Dublin’s fair city,
Where the girls are so pretty,
I first set my eyes on sweet Molly Malone,
As she wheeled her wheelbarrow,
Through the streets broad and narrow,
Crying “cockles and mussels, alive, alive, oh!”James Yorkston
Mussel Pot With Tangy Sauce
- 410 can can chopped tomatoes
- 120g baby fennel, thinly sliced
- 3 spring onions (or scallions), finely sliced
- 1 teaspoon garlic, crushed
- 2 teaspoons fresh ginger, finely grated
- 170ml vegetable stock
- 1 teaspoon butter
- Dash of fish sauce
- Salt and pepper to taste
- Handful of chopped coriander or parsley leaves for decoration
- Heat the butter in a saucepan
- Stir in the spring onions, fennel, garlic and ginger
- Fry until just tender 2 – 3 minutes
- Stir in the stock and canned tomatoes
- Bring to the boil and allow to reduce slightly 10 – 12 minutes
- Season with a dash of fish sauce and seasoning to taste
- Add the cleaned mussels
- Put the lid on and allow to steam for 3 – 5 minutes or until the mussels have opened
- Serve the mussels with the sauce over them and scatter the coriander leaves (or parsley) over the top
- Add crusty bread alongside Add lemon halves or slices for extra tang and citrusy freshness.
Make sure that all the mussels are open after cooking.