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This mussel recipe is incredibly simple to make and has a delicious Asian influence, which differentiates it from our well-known classic of mussels with white wine and cream. Mussels are abundant in New Zealand, hence making them affordable all year round. They can last up to 48 hours in the fridge, but I would advise against reheating them once cooked to avoid any associated risk. These vibrantly-coloured bi-valves, with their sweet, meaty flesh, are a perfect canvas for this cross-cultured sauce, with hints of umami and a creamy finish. Enjoy!

PREP TIME:  10 MINS

COOK TIME:  15 MINS

SERVES:  4 PEOPLE

INGREDIENTS
2 kg mussels
3 tablespoons vege oil
1 onion, finely diced
4 cloves garlic, crushed and finely chopped
2 tablespoons fresh ginger, grated
1 tablespoon mirin
2 tablespoons miso paste
1 tablespoon soy sauce
2 teaspoons sugar
150ml fish or vege stock
2 tablespoons sesame oil
50ml cream
Juice of one lime

GARNISH
2 tablespoons chopped chives
1 chilli, finely chopped (optional)
1 tablespoon chilli oil (optional)
1 loaf fresh crusty bread, sliced

METHOD
1.  Clean the mussels by scrubbing the shells and removing the beards. Toss any that are already open.

2.  Heat the vegetable oil in a large pot (or pan, ensuring it has a lid) to a medium heat. Add in the onion and cook for about 2 mins, until beginning to soften, before adding the ginger and garlic.

3.  Cook for another 2 mins or so, then pour in the stock, miso paste, mirin and soy sauce.

4.  Bring to the boil and simmer for 2-3 mins.

5.  Turn the heat back up to the boil before adding in the mussels. Quickly put the lid on and cook, without lifting the lid, until the mussels have all opened. This can take anywhere between 4-6 mins.

6.  Once cooked, remove the pan from the heat and pour in the cream, squeeze in the lime juice and drizzle in the sesame oil. Gently combine.

7.  Transfer the mussels to a serving dish, discarding any unopened mussels. Pour over the sauce and sprinkle with the chives, chilli and chilli oil, if using, and serve immediately with fresh crusty bread.