This great version of steamed mussels is often made with clams in Chinatown restaurants—but it's just as delicious with mussels
2 teaspoons peanut oil
2 tablespoons grated fresh ginger
1 tablespoon garlic, finely minced
1/4 cup minced scallions (about 3 scallions)
1 hot green chili, or more to taste, seeded and chopped (optional)
24 mussels, cleaned, scrubbed, and debearded
1/4 cup shao-hsing or dry sherry
1 tablespoon oyster sauce
1 teaspoon thin soy sauce
1/2 teaspoon sugar
2 tablespoons salted black beans, crushed with a cleaver
2 teaspoons cornstarch
1/2 teaspoon sesame oil
1. Place the peanut oil in a wok over moderately high heat. Stir-fry the ginger, garlic, scallions, and chili for 1 minute. Add the mussels, and stir well to blend. Add the shao-hsing or dry sherry and a scant 3/4 cup water. Cover, and boil until the mussels swing open, about 3 to 4 minutes.
2. Remove mussels and place in colander; shake over the wok to let the juices run off into the wok. Set mussels aside. To the wok, add the oyster sauce, soy sauce, sugar, and black beans. Stir well. Cook over high heat for 30 seconds.
3. Mix the cornstarch in a cup with a little cold water until a creamy liquid is formed, then add to the boiling liquid in the wok (which will thicken immediately). Add the mussels, stir well for 10 seconds, then remove wok from heat. Stir in the sesame oil, and serve immediately.
This great version of steamed mussels is often made with clams in Chinatown restaurants—but it's just as delicious with mussels. Maybe more. Sometimes Cantonese chefs like to add a most un-Cantonese touch to the dish: hot green chilies. In your kitchen, the heat's up to you. Serves 4 as part of a Chinese dinner