Mussels in Soup

Rate this recipe

Preparation info

    • Difficulty


Appears in

Homestyle Chinese Cooking

Homestyle Chinese Cooking

By Yan-Kit So

Published 1997

  • About

The wok, with its wide hemispherical shape, is most conducive to cooking mussels, for it allows plenty of room for the mussels to cook and open quickly, and thus stay very juicy. If you like the taste of ginger at all, you will find the accompanying soup, marked by a subtle ginger and wine flavor, agreeable indeed.


  • 2Β½-3 pounds mussels
  • 4 tablespoons vegetable oil
  • 2-3 garlic cloves, roughly chopped
  • 1Β½-2 inches fresh ginger, sliced, peeled, and well bruised
  • 2 shallots, roughly chopped
  • 1 large onion, roughly chopped
  • 1 cup white wine (preferably Sauternes) or cider
  • ΒΌ teaspoon salt, or to taste
  • White pepper to taste
  • Small bunch cilantro leaves for garnish, trimmed


  • Scrub and wash the mussels thoroughly, one by one, until they are very clean. Pull off the β€œbeards” between the shells and knock off the barnacles with the back of a knife. Discard any mussels that are broken or remain open when you tap them. Put in a colander to drain.
  • Heat the wok over a high heat until smoke rises. Add the oil and swirl it around several times. Add the garlic, let sizzle and take on color, then add the ginger and stir until its aroma is released. Add the shallots and stir for a few more seconds. Lower the heat and add the onion. Stir and cook for about 5 minutes, or until the onion is soft. Turn up the heat again, pour in the wine or cider, bring to a fast boil, and reduce it by about one-fourth. Season with the salt and pepper.
  • Place the wok on its stand to make it more steady. Pour in the mussels. Sliding the wok scoop or a spatula to the bottom of the wok, give several sweeping turns. Cover with the wok lid and continue to cook over a moderately high heat for about 4 minutes, or until the mussels are wide open, indicating that they are cooked. Discard those that remain closed.
  • Remove the wok from the heat. Scoop the mussels and the accompanying soup into a large soup tureen. Arrange the cilantro leaves on top and serve immediately.

Part of