Chinese Wok-Tossed Mussels in Black Bean Sauce

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  • Level: Easy
  • Total: 30 min
  • Active: 20 min
  • Yield: 4 servings, as an appetizer
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2 pounds large black or blue mussels

3 dried hot chiles

1 bunch scallions, cut into 1-inch lengths

1 tablespoon thinly sliced fresh ginger (about one 1-inch piece)

3 tablespoons fermented Chinese black beans

1 or 2 cloves garlic, crushed

2 tablespoons toban djan (chile garlic bean paste)

1 cup chicken stock

2 tablespoons cornstarch

3 tablespoons peanut oil

2 tablespoons sugar

1/2 cup sake

1/2 cup carrot ribbons (about 1 medium carrot)


  1. Rinse and debeard the mussels.
  2. Prepare the ingredients and organize your mise en place. For this dish, you need to have everything ready to go before you start to cook.
  3. Place the aromatics (dried chiles, scallions, ginger, Chinese black beans, garlic and chile bean paste) in a small bowl. Reserve.
  4. Combine the chicken stock and cornstarch in a small bowl; stir to incorporate.
  5. Preheat a large wok fitted with a domed lid over high heat. Add the oil and swirl to coat. Add the bowl of aromatics and cook for 30 seconds, tossing with a wooden spoon or spatula. Then add the sugar, mussels, sake and carrot ribbons, and shake the wok or toss to coat. Cover and cook for 1 minute.
  6. Stir the cornstarch-chicken stock mixture again, add to the wok, then cover and cook for 3 minutes, shaking the wok or tossing every minute.
  7. Remove the lid. Arrange any mussels that are cooked and open in serving bowls.[Cover and continue to cook any remaining mussels for another minute. Transfer open mussels to serving bowls; discard any that do not open. Pour the sauce over the mussels and serve.
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