As it turns out, mussels and burdock root are a natural pairing, delivering an incredibly savory, briny flavor to this dish—a true umami taste. Buy fresh, sweet, plump mussels from a trusted fish purveyor. Once home, spread them out in a large, shallow baking dish, cover them with damp papers towels and then loosely with plastic wrap, and refrigerate until ready to use. I always scrub and debeard the mussels right before I steam them. While you are shopping, buy a loaf of crusty bread for sopping up the delicious sauce.
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