Hot-&-Sour Mussels

The Simple Art of EatingWell

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This recipe for steamed mussels incorporates the flavors of the Sichuan Chinese classic, hot and sour soup. Serve over steamed brown rice or rice noodles to soak up the flavorful sauce.

Hot-&-Sour Mussels

Makes: 4 servings

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  • 1 tablespoon canola oil or extra-virgin olive oil
  • 2 minced garlic cloves
  • 1 tablespoon minced fresh ginger
  • 1 bunch scallions, white and green parts separated and sliced
  • 1 cup fish or seafood stock, bottled clam juice (see Tips) or reduced-sodium chicken broth
  • 2 tablespoons reduced-sodium soy sauce
  • 1 tablespoon Chinkiang vinegar (see Tips) or distilled white vinegar
  • 3/4 teaspoon ground white pepper
  • 4 pounds mussels, cleaned (see Tips)


  1. Heat oil in a Dutch oven over medium heat. Add garlic, ginger, scallion whites and all but 1/4 cup scallion greens (reserve for garnish) and cook, stirring often, until just starting to brown, 30 seconds to 4 minutes.
  2. Add stock (or clam juice or broth); bring to a boil over high heat. Stir in mussels. Cover and cook just until the mussels have opened, 4 to 6 minutes. Remove from the heat (discard any unopened mussels). Stir in the reserved scallion greens. Serve with the sauce from the pan.

Tips & Notes

  • Tips: Bottled clam juice can be very high in sodium. We like Bar Harbor brand, which has 120 mg sodium per 2-ounce serving. Look for it in the canned-fish section or the seafood department of your supermarket.
  • Chinkiang is a dark vinegar with a smoky flavor. It is available in many Asian specialty markets. If unavailable, white or sherry vinegar are acceptable substitutes.
  • When shopping for mussels, look for ones that are closed—or those open only a fraction of an inch. When you get them home, store them in a large bowl with a few damp paper towels on top for up to 1 day. To clean them, discard mussels with broken shells or whose shell remains open after you tap it. Hold mussels under running water and use a stiff brush to remove any barnacles; pull off any black fibrous “beards”. (Some mussels may not have a beard.) Mussels should be “debearded” no more than 30 minutes before cooking.


Per serving: 171 calories; 7 g fat (1 g sat, 3 g mono); 36 mg cholesterol; 9 g carbohydrates; 0 g added sugars; 18 g protein; 1 g fiber; 992 mg sodium; 342 mg potassium.

Nutrition Bonus: Iron (27% daily value), Folate (16% dv)

Carbohydrate Servings: 1/2

Exchanges: 1/2 carbohydrate (other), 2 lean meat, 1 fat

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