Sake-steamed Mussels

This is something sort of different for us. I’ve never cooked mussels before, but when I was choosing a recipe to make from Steamy Kitchen’s new book, I felt like trying something outside my comfort zone. I also knew Jack would never expect this, and I like to surprise him every now and then.

Surprise… mussels are so easy. 6 ingredients and about 5 minutes later we had perfectly steamed mussels in a fancy aromatic sake broth. I made some soba noodles to go along with them (and to soak up more of the broth – no sake goes to waste in our house).

Some other recipes from the book I’m excited to try are: sriracha sauce (as in – not from the bottle), blackened tofu with ginger ponzu-sauce, and the kimchi omelet.

the giveaway is now over

From Steamy Kitchen’s Healthy Asian Favorites by Jaden Hair

sake-steamed mussels

Serves: serves 4 as an appetizer
  • 2 pounds fresh mussels
  • 11/2 cups sake or dry white wine
  • 2 teaspoons finely grated fresh ginger
  • 2 cloves garlic, finely minced
  • 1 shallot, sliced into very thin rings
  • 1 handful fresh basil leaves
  • salt
  1. Scrub the mussels under cool water, discarding any with broken or cracked shells.
  2. Heat a large sautรฉ pan, deep soup pot, or wok over high heat with the sake, ginger, garlic, and shallots. When the mixture comes to a boil, add the mussels and cover. Cook for 5 minutes, or until the mussels open.
  3. Toss in the basil and serve immediately.

Reprinted with permission from Steamy Kitchenโ€™s Healthy Asian Favorites by Jaden Hair, copyright ยฉ 2013. Published by Ten Speed Press, a division of Random House, Inc.



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Rate this recipe (after making it):  

  1. jackie

    I love a good bahn mi sandwich. And spring rolls! And bok choy! The list goes on…

  2. Ooh, that tofu dish sounds delicious. I made homemade ponzu sauce a few months ago which wiped me clean of a same, which I sadly have yet to replenish.

  3. Natasha from

    I love how easy mussels are too! We typically make them with a spicy lemongrass broth, and they are delicious.

  4. Melissa

    Kimchi is my favorite!

  5. Caitlin from

    i love edamame and vegetable rolls when i eat at japanese restaurants; som tom salad and massaman curry at thai restaurants; and steamed brown rice, vegetables, and chinese eggplant at chinese restaurants!

  6. Julia

    Our favorite Asian dish just became this AMAZINGGGG coconut soup Sarah just posted over at My New Roots. Our favorites change with the seasons though! I think we may try this for V-day though. So chic!

  7. i would love this cookbook! i love a good spicy asian dish – like potstickers or stir-fry. i’ve never tried mussels at home. lovely presentation.

  8. Rachel from

    My favourite is chicken noodle soup with as much ginger and fish sauce packed into it as possible without ruining the other flavours!

  9. Autumn

    Great recipe! That cookbook looks fantastic! I’ve never made muscles at home either but I will try this for sure!!

  10. Gail

    Fresh Rolls filled w/mint/basil & delicate vegies in a diiping sauce and love a good curry also

  11. Laura

    I loge kimchi fried rice with a poached or fried egg on top. Best Sunday brunch dish with a bloody mary.

  12. Stacy from

    I’m a HUGE fan of good miso soup. My Japanese grandma used to call it the chicken noodle soup of the Japanese culture. My American grandma actually agreed with her. I have started making a hybrid of the two when ever my husband or I come down with a cold. Perfect marriage of East meets West!

  13. Anne from

    Fresh spring rolls are my favorite! These mussels look divine!

  14. Rachel

    I love ramen, bibimbap, and banh mi sandwiches. Yum!

  15. clare

    I think this dish might be my favorite asian meal! I’ve got to try it. But also love bibimbap. So easy to make!

  16. Katy Penrod

    Crispy tofu and miso soup!

  17. chelsea

    vietnamese pho, hands down

  18. Natalie

    I ALWAYS love fresh vegetable spring rolls with peanut dipping sauce – so clean and yummy!

  19. lynn

    Can’t think of anything I don’t like.
    Prefer novel combinations of ingredients that spur my imagination.

  20. Ali W.

    I LOVE gyoza, but noodles are now becoming a favorite of mine too! I’m a big fan on Steamy Kitchen and would love this cookbook.

  21. Alexandra

    I absolutely love sushi!!! Anything with salmon is my weakness. Yummy mussel recipe- delicious and easy!

  22. Jess Murphy from

    This book looks great! My favourite asian dish is Sang choy bow, especially with some homemade kimchi!

  23. Katie from

    Thai noodles with a spicy peanut butter sauce and veggies ๐Ÿ™‚

  24. CJ

    OH… too many to mention! Ramen, of course… Anything Dumplings….mussels with coconut milk, garlic, ginger, lemongrass… my mouth is watering!

  25. Kathryn

    Tom Ka soup is just about my favorite thing on the planet.

  26. Jessica C

    Hands down favorite is black bean crab.

  27. My favorite asian dish is tom yum soup. SOOO good!

  28. Katie

    There’s a lot I like, but I tend to really go for the stuff that seemingly can’t be made at home. How do restaurants get tofu so crispy delicious? Or udon – I love the variety you get in a good bowl. It would be fun to see Ms. Hair’s take on at home Asian.

    • Caitlin

      Not sure if you’ll see this – but tofu is best when it’s dry-fried! You have to have a nice non-stick pan at home but if you press your tofu right and slap it on a medium heated pan it’ll un-stick when it’s ready to flip!

      • Katie

        As in no oil for frying? I’ll definitely have to try that. So far baking, just-shy-of-smoking oil, or even a little shake in corn starch before going in the pan (the internet suggested that at some point) haven’t gotten it close to my favorite restaurant. Thanks for the tip!

  29. megan from

    Wow, these mussels look so easy and delicious. All of those recipes from the cookbook would be so fun to try! My favorite Asian dish is any type of curry… I am addicted!

  30. Caitlin

    I love a good Vietnamese noodle bowl. Mmm – and if I’m feeling crazy I get tofu, chicken (sorry veg heads), AND egg roll on it. I load it up with more mint, tomatoes, lettuce, and sprout and make it the meal of the century. So good!

  31. Heather from

    It’s a tie between green papaya salad and beef pho.

  32. Lori Cochran

    Had to read this, my son loves mussels and I too have never made them. I think you may have helped me over the hump. Oh, spring rolls with sweet hot sauce and Wongs Egg Rolls in helena, mt are the best!

  33. Meike

    I just love plain rice with a little soy sauce and sesame oil.

  34. Sherry Ann

    Hot & Sour Soup with tofu. The soup that has cocoanut milk in it. I don’t have a recipe for this though and would LOVE it if you would share one! Or, make up a recipe for this deliciousness! Your recipes are so delicious and healthy! Thank you for sharing and with photos as well!

  35. CG

    A green papaya salad is always a success. As are ramen in cold soy and dashi with grilled asparagus, shrimps, raw carrots, and a little grated ginger. Yummy.

  36. Rachael

    I’m on the hunt for a good tofu bibimbap recipe – definitely a favorite asian dish! Pho and goi rolls too – I haven’t mastered making pho at home yet, but the Vietnamese spring rolls are a favorite at home!

  37. Mabel from

    I love a good bowl of hot steaming pho on a cold day, or when I feel blah. Definitely wakes me up! Especially adding all those jalapeno slices.

  38. c

    I love a good bowl of udon with a deep, hot broth… Perfect thing for a grey day. A Japanese restaurant near where I grew up made the most amazing udon… cheapest thing on the menu and it was huge and full of wonderful things I didn’t know the names of- burdock and konnyaku and lotus root.

  39. Rachel

    I love clay pot salmon! We have a basic vietnamese cookbook, and the recipes are really easy to make.

  40. hannah

    Terong! A couple of times a year my mum and I treat ourselvess to this little piece of heaven. It really the best!

  41. Elizabeth from

    My favorite dish is my mother’s lumpia! It’s a Filipino egg roll that’s usually filled with ground pork, carrots, and onions.

  42. Lindset

    Mussels are promisingly something my friends and I snack on a lot, it’s a great appetizer for a meal and once we realized how easy it was to prepare it become a staple at our dinner parties! I love a good coconut soup any day of the week!

  43. Laura Wilder

    My favorite is Pad Kee Mow, also called Drunken Noodle –
    Spicy flat noddles stir-fried with fresh chili, tomatoes, broccoli in a basil sauce

  44. Ella

    My favorite asian dish is probably sushi, because you can do so much with it. But you can also wake me up foor a good soy tofu and veggie stir fry!

  45. Erin

    Thai curry with pineapple, shrimp, and macadamia nuts. So delish!

  46. Sarah Miller from

    I love bibimbap! Such a yummy dish although my husband works at a fish market and can easily access mussels…hmmm…..

  47. Julie

    I have recently been introduced to Pho restaurants here in Denver!
    So of course I love any kind of Pho, I have been looking and trying recipes so that I can make it at home!

  48. barbara n

    My favorite asian dish is sesame chicken

  49. Marissa from

    I am such a sucker for a good lettuce wrap, and am really into basil right now – so that Thai basil smoothie in the book sounds like something I’d love to try!

  50. My favorite is mu shu pork! I am addicted to the plum sauce that goes along with the pancakes.

  51. Jaden from

    My goodness! What a gorgeous photo of dinner! Thank you so much! xoxo jaden

  52. amy

    My favorite asian dish these days is ma po tofu. The hotter the better!

  53. Sarah from

    Banh Mi – all the way baby.

  54. Shanna

    Green curry is definitely the most delicious!

  55. abby

    my favorite asian dish is pad thai.

  56. Katie I.

    Favorite Asian dish? Tempura Udon or Pra Ram Pak.

  57. Zoe

    My favorite Asian dish is what a Thai restaurant near me calls “ginger heat” – chicken with green beans and chilies in a gingery-peanutty sauce. SO good.

  58. Chloe Froehlich

    Love all your recipes! Does tofu count as an Asian food?

  59. Kelsey

    I love a good red Thai curry. With lots of eggplant!

  60. sarah from

    I love galbi and bibimbap! The mussels look scrumptious. I love Jaden’s blog…glad to see she has another cookbook out.

  61. Mel from

    I’ll always love lumpia!

  62. Lori

    I love Bahn Mi and PadThai.

  63. LSP

    I love tom kha, with chicken sometimes. And pho. And bulgogi.. yum!

  64. Rebecca Reid

    I have so many favorites – Kimchi, hot and sour soup, anything curried; but my current fave is chili chicken.

  65. snap

    tofu pad thai, though I haven’t been able to replicate it quite right at home!

  66. charj

    My favorite Asian dish is vegetable mei fun

  67. Amanda Thompson

    I love General Tso’s Chicken!!

  68. Jessie

    Pad See Ew! The Asian equivalent of lasagna, for this pasta lover ๐Ÿ™‚ Thanks for all of your inspiring posts!

  69. Theresa

    Pho, Potstickers, Garlic chicken,etc. I Love it all. I would LOVE to win this cookbook!! Thanks, for the opportunity.

  70. Jessica

    I love sushi and pad thai!

  71. Kaitlin Sickle

    My favorite Asian dish is any kind of curry! I love love love all vegetarian Thai food.

  72. Tasha

    Green or Massaman curry or noodles with peanut sauce, tofu & veggies.

  73. Marlene T

    I love anything stir fry and your cookbook looks fantastic!

  74. Laura

    Love most any dish with thai basil as a dominant flavor! Also favor spicy curries and dishes with lots of garlic and chilies. This book has me intrigued – thanks for the giveaway! If I really must pick a favorite – probably homemade hot & sour soup or bean curd stuffed with spinach and chilies and covered in soy & scallion dumpling sauce.

  75. Lanka

    No way can I pick a favorite, so I will say that I made your spinach and soba noodle soup last night and it was outstanding. I felt it was missing something and then noticed the lime on my counter that I had purchased specifically for the recipe and somehow overlooked. I added that and it was perfection. Thank you for your wonderful recipes!

  76. Cali

    cold sesame noodles. when they’re good they’re so good. (unfortunately, when they’re bad they’re really offensive.)

  77. Liisa

    Vietnamese is my favorite! Anything with fish sauce and rice noodles.

    Have always wanted to make mussels. May need to try this.

  78. Karen

    My favorite is lots of vegetables, tofu and brown rice in a spicy garlic sauce. I love your recipes. There is a lot of variety and every one of the recipes I have tried has been delicious. Thank you for having this giveaway.

  79. Bianca

    I am SUCH a mussels fan, and will order them 9 times out of 10 whenever they’re on the menu. Have never had them sake steamed, however! Looks delicious!

    My favorite asian dish is definitely Hae Mool Tang: a spicy korean broth with seafood, tofu, and veggies, served in a sizzling hot stone pot!

  80. Nicole

    Panang Curry! It’s also my mom’s favorite dish, so I always think of tasting hers as a child.

  81. Sameera

    It’s really hard to choose one dish. I have favorite Chinese, Thai, Japanese, Vietnamese and Indian dish. Since we are talking of about mussels. Curried mussels is my favorite. It is very easy to make and is delicious with bread/ rice. I’m attaching the youtube link of the recipe

  82. Ellie from

    Oooh, I never thought of asian-themed mussels but that sounds tasty! My favorite asian dish is green curry over noodles. Always gets me every time ๐Ÿ™‚

  83. Amy

    My fav Asian dish is my mother-in-laws simple steamed fish with sautรฉed Asian greens. Easy, quick and super delicious!

  84. ashley

    i absolutely love pad see ew! i would love to learn how to cook more asian dishes, thanks for the great giveaway!!

  85. Kenny

    i could eat beef ball soup (a thai dish I’ve been eating since childhood) every night of the week.

  86. molly

    having recently lived in koreatown in los angeles, i quickly became a fan of “sea plants salad”…so delish and fresh! bok choy kimchi is also lovely. ah, i miss you, k-town!

  87. MaryB

    I love Hot and Sour Soup and spring rolls.

  88. I am not sure why mussels are so scary to contemplate cooking… because actually they are pretty easy to make… your recipe looks fab and I will be trying it soon…

    Favourite Asian… dare I admit… Bo Bun Nem and Pad Thai… ๐Ÿ™‚ xv

  89. mijin

    i love any kind of prepared vegetable– i feel like asian cuisine does this so well! eggplant casserole, sauteed snow pea leaves, grilled king oyster mushrooms… yes please! ๐Ÿ™‚

  90. M.C.

    I love Thai curry, sushi, and anything korean- beef and kimchi! Mmmm. There are so many Asian foods I love, but I would love to have this cookbook to make more at home!!! Thanks for the giveaway!

  91. Danielle

    I’m a big fan of dishes that end up in a bowl so soba noodles + {insert meat and/or vegetable} + spices + broth is my favorite!

  92. Megan McMullen

    Oh, this looks delicious!

    As for favorites: Pho, Pho, and more more Pho! A good somtum salad is exquisite and elegant. Delicately sauteed bok choy. Bibimbap, bulgogi, and bahn mi sandwiches. Pumpkin curry. Hot noodle soup off the streets of Bangkok for breakfast. Skewered and grilled meats with bright dipping sauces. The list could go on and on.

    I’m hungry!

  93. Heidi Hess

    Korean food in general but my heart belongs to dol sot bop.

  94. terya

    Anything Thai curry, anything Japanese, except Natto, Southeast asian flavors are fantastic! There isn’t much I turn down!

  95. Katya

    A chicken pad thai is my favorite. Always seek out for a unique version of it when out.

  96. Nicole from

    Vietnamese food in general, but especially pho and banh mi! We even served banh mi at our wedding three years ago!

    • jeanine

      sounds like a good wedding!

  97. I love making a simple sauce that can be used on a multitude of noodle dishes: braggs liquid aminos or soy sauce with lime and some brown sugar + siracha for spice. Yum!!! Also love Tom Yum soup ๐Ÿ™‚

  98. Molly

    Eek, choose just one Asian dish?! Probably pho. Or anything Japanese. Or Indian.

    • jeanine

      I know, that was a broad question. I wouldn’t be able to choose just one myself ๐Ÿ™‚

  99. dani from

    Terriyaki Tri Tip. My family’s signature dish ๐Ÿ™‚

  100. Lara

    I really love eggplant curry with red rice + home made coconut icecream.

  101. Karin

    I love any/all dumplings and almost any dimsum – love fried turnip cakes.

  102. Joan

    Korean food but I love all Asian food. Love kimchee and also love sushi.

  103. Katriona Guthrie-Honea

    I love miso soup with udon noodles. My mother always used to make it for me when I was sick (I ate all the noodles out of it, but shhh. Don’t tell) No whenever I have it it helps me feel better because I think of her

    • jeanine

      such a sweet story. I love to eat miso soup when I’m not feeling well too.

  104. Elle

    oh my, anything with ginger really :’)

  105. Justina from

    Oh, everything Asian except for Korean food. I’m just not a big fan of Kimchi. My favorite is Vietnamese noodles with pork. I love the idea of healthy Asian food. Traditional Asian food seems a little deceptive with the amount of sodium, sugar, and msg.

  106. Michael from

    I love thai basil. Thanks for the recipe ๐Ÿ˜‰

  107. Heather

    My favorite is Singapore chili crab!

  108. Natalie from

    Favorite Asian dish would have to be the lemongrass marinated chicken & grapefruit salad at my favorite Vietnamese place, Eastborough (Costa Mesa, CA). My husband loves their lemongrass marinated pork bahn mi. We drive a hour and a half from San Diego just for the incredible food there! Here is a picture of our aforementioned favorites. You have to check it out if youโ€™re ever in the vicinity!

    • jeanine

      Wow, and hour and a half, love the commitment! I’ll be sure to check it out next time I’m out that way… Lovely photos…

  109. I think my absolute favorite has to be pad thai. Oh, the peanut-y delicious flavors! It will always make me think of my honeymoon when I first tried it.

  110. Laksa soup, without a doubt, is my favorite asian dish is .. I love all the sweet and spicy curries in Thai food! That with a few dumplings is the best rainy day dish ever

  111. Rachael

    favorite food ever is Pad Thai hands down, had it on the streets in Bangkok as a kid and have never been able to get enough since.

  112. Jessica

    Thai place around the corner makes an amazing coconut, pumpkin and prawn soup.A small bowl of that plus an order of fresh veggie rolls has been my favorite treat lunch for a while now. But I also just love playing with the various flavors and developing new riffs on more conventional dishes. Also, can’t go wrong with a good soba/veggie/edammame bowl w miso/ginger dressing!

    • jeanine

      that soup sounds amazing! I’ll be giving that a try soon ๐Ÿ™‚

  113. sandra from

    Not very original, I know, but I just love sushi

  114. sandra from

    I also love steamed pork buns and rice paper candy

  115. nina

    Burmese tea-leaf salad is a favorite of mine!

  116. Heidi

    My favorite asian-inspired recipe is a take on an old bon appetit recipe: soba noodles mixed with tiny pieces of bacon or pancetta, greens or asparagus, and topped with poached eggs and sriracha. I could eat this constantly.

  117. charlote

    Anything with eggplant. I love how it soaks up the juices of curry ecpecially!

  118. lauren

    kimchi, any curry, and spicy chicken with brown rice ๐Ÿ™‚

  119. Asian cuisine is definitely in my top 3 and I definitely plan to make homemade siracha sauce soon. My favorite asian dish would have to simply be kimchee fried rice or any fried rice for that matter. Pretty much anything with noodles, rice, tofu, asian flavors and siracha! YUM!

  120. Meghan

    Udon tops the list, especially in winter. It’s such a comforting dish with satisfying, plump noodles and rich, filling broth. I like mine with a poached egg floating on top!

  121. Ashley

    I love steamed buns and pho. So much!

  122. Natalie from

    Don’t make me choose my favourite Asian dish, I simply CANNOT! It’s just deliciously impossible!! But anything to do with tofu/soy beans with veges and chillies, a good stew, mom’s vinegared stewed pork trotters… see? Told you I can’t choose!

  123. Joy

    Fresh, homemade spring rolls and a very nice seaweed salad!

  124. selin

    my fav asian dish is general tso chicken ๐Ÿ˜€

  125. Eleonore from

    Love it! I love all asian and this one looks amazing!x

  126. Rachel Page from

    This is one of my favorite dishes ever. I love scooping up the liquid in the shells, slurping with delight.

  127. Piofront

    I love a good Vietnamese noodle bowl. Mmm โ€“ and if Iโ€™m feeling crazy I get tofu, chicken (sorry veg heads), AND egg roll on it. I load it up with more mint, tomatoes, lettuce, and sprout and make it the meal of the century.

A food blog with fresh, zesty recipes.
Photograph of Jeanine Donofrio and Jack Mathews in their kitchen

Hello, we're Jeanine and Jack.

We love to eat, travel, cook, and eat some more! We create & photograph vegetarian recipes from our home in Chicago, while our shiba pups eat the kale stems that fall on the kitchen floor.