The sauce is the same as the one I used for the vegetarian steam-fried mushrooms and green beans. But this dish of steamed mussels with spicy white sauce requires only two minutes of cooking. The shellfish are steamed over briskly boiling water just until done. The rest is a matter of assembly.
For best results, choose large mussels. Scrub, rinse and soak them well to make them expel any sand trapped inside the shells. Soaking also loosens the beard and makes it easier to pull off.
Why dill and not some other herb? You may, of course, the herb of your choice. But I love the citrusy aroma of dill which just goes so well with the garlic.
As a final and, perhaps, the most important tip before going to the recipe: Never overcook mussels. Overcooked mussels are tough and rubbery. But when cooked just right, they are moist and tender.
- ½ kilo fresh mussels
- 4 cloves garlic
- ¼ cup plain yogurt
- ¼ cup Japanese mayo
- ¾ teaspoon chopped dill, divided
- salt and pepper, to taste
- cayenne powder
- Rinse, scrub and rinse the mussels. Repeat. Soak in the fridge for several hours (see complete explanation and instructions).
- Drain the mussels and pull out the beards.
- Boil water in the steamer.
- Place the mussels and in the steamer basket and steam over briskly boiling water for two minutes. Remove from the steamer and cool slightly.
- While the mussels cool, make the sauce. Cut the garlic cloves into halves and toast in an oil-free pan until lightly browned. Shake off the skins and discard. Mince the garlic.
- Mix together the minced garlic, yogurt, Japanese mayo and half of the dill. Season with salt and pepper.
- Pry the partially opened mussel shells and discard the empty halves.
- Arrange the mussels on a plate or plates. Spoon some sauce over each. Sprinkle with the remaining dill and cayenne powder.
- Serve the steamed mussels with spicy white sauce immediately.