Baked mussels (tahong), the simple way
Soaking the mussels to expel sand takes several hours. Preparing them for cooking takes several minutes. But the actual cooking takes no more than a minute.
There are only four ingredients and the recipe itself is no more than six steps — four, in fact, if we don’t include the preparation. No kidding.
- ½ kg. of fresh mussels
- 1 tsp. of finely grated garlic
- ½ to ¾ c. of your favorite cheese, grated
- extra virgin olive oil
- No, you don’t need salt because the cheese is salty enough. No, you don’t need pepper because the garlic will provide all the zing that the mussels need.
- Wash the mussels several times. Place in a bowl and cover with water. Place in the fridge and allow to soak for several hours, changing the water every hour or so.
- Wash the mussels again and pull off the beards. If they had been soaked sufficiently, the beards should come off easily.
- Place the mussels in a baking tray and pop in a preheated 180oC oven for about three minutes or just until the mussels partially open.
- Let the mussels cool a bit, then break off the half shells, leaving the meat intact in the other half.
- Arrange the half shells on a baking tray (a pizza dish was useful), dot with grated garlic (a toothpick is recommended), sprinkle with grated cheese and drizzle with olive oil liberally.
- Put back in the hot oven and bake for about a minute or just until the cheese melts.