New Zealand Green-Shell Mussels with Mooli, Hijiki, Chilli & Rocket

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Preparation info

  • Serves


    as a Starter
    • Difficulty


Appears in

The Sugar Club Cookbook

By Peter Gordon

Published 1997

  • About

For this recipe I specify these native mussels from New Zealand as they are my firm favourite. Though much larger than the European variety, they are tender and extremely tasty. In England many supermarkets sell them frozen. If you can’t find green-shell mussels, use a smaller variety – they’ll just be less decorative! This dish is a real eye-catcher served in the individual mussel shells.


  • 24 green-shell mussels, steamed open and removed from their shells
  • 1 mild red chilli
  • 30g (oz) dried hijiki seaweed, soaked in cold water for at least 3 hours
  • 3 tablespoons sesame seeds, toasted
  • ½ cup fresh coriander leaves
  • 100ml (fl oz) extra virgin olive oil
  • 2 tablespoons sesame oil
  • 2 bunches rocket, leaves picked from the stalks and washed

Pickled Vegetables

  • 250ml (9fl oz) water
  • 150ml (5fl oz) cider vinegar
  • 2 whole star anise
  • 100g (oz) caster sugar
  • 1 12cm (5in) piece of cucumber, seeds taken out and finely sliced
  • 1 12cm (5 in) piece of mooli (daikon), peeled and finely julienned


You’ll need to make your pickles a day ahead. Bring the water, vinegar, star anise and sugar to the boil. Mix the cucumber and mooli and put them into a heatproof jar that has been warmed with hot tap water. Pour in the pickling liquid (with the anise) and seal the jar. Allow to cool completely, then store in the fridge overnight.

The next day, slice the chilli finely and add it to the mussels and the drained hijiki in a large bowl; take a quarter of the liquid from the pickles and add to the bowl. Leave to marinate for 2 hours. Drain the vegetables completely, discarding the star anise and liquid (or keep in the fridge for dressing salads), and add with the rest of the ingredients to the mussels. Serve immediately.