Hot and Fragrant Mussels in Chinese Celery Broth

Preparation info

  • Serves


    as a main course

    Appears in

    Vegetables from Amaranth to Zucchini

    By Elizabeth Schneider

    Published 2001

    • About

    Chinese celery provides background depth, aromatic foreground, and discreet crunch. Herbal and briny, this quick-to-prepare dish can have the heat turned up if you love chillis. Some cultivated mussels are so un-briny that you may have to add salt. Taste and check.


    • ½ pound Chinese celery
    • 2 tablespoons olive oil
    • 1 tablespoon thin-sliced garlic
    • 1/3 cup thin-sliced shallots
    • 2 or more small green chillis, seeded and sliced
    • cups light white wine
    • ¼ cup lime juice
    • 4 pounds cultivated mussels, rinsed


      1. Trim roots from celery. Wash stalks in several changes of water, lifting out so debris sinks. Trim off and reserve a cupful of the prettiest leaves for garnish. Cut remaining stems and leaves into extremely thin slices.
      2. Heat oil in wide non-aluminum pot or deep pan large enough to hold all ingredients. Add garlic, shallots, and chillis and toss a few minutes over moderate heat. Add celery and toss over high heat another minute or two. Add wine and boil to evaporate some alcohol, 2 minutes.
      3. Add lime juice and mussels. Bring to a boil. Cover, shake to mix ingredients, and boil until all mussels open, 2 to 3 minutes.
      4. Transfer mussels to four wide bowls. Scatter reserved celery leaves on top. Ladle broth over, avoiding any sand that may have settled in the bottom of the pot.