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.
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.
1/2 other carbohydrate, 2 lean meat, 1 fat