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Spicy Black Bean Mussels with
Rice Stick Noodles



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Spicy Black Bean Mussels with
Rice Stick Noodles

Food and Wine Presents Best of the Best:
The Best Recipes from the Year's 25 Best
Cookbooks, Vol. 3
Editor in Chief Judith Hill, 2000,
American Express Publishing Corp.



Blue Ginger:
Cooking with Ming Tsai

By Ming Tsai, 1999, Crown Publishing Group

Serves 4

“I’ve always enjoyed dishes that combine mussels and black beans, a traditional Chinese pairing. I’ve joined the two here, with the addition of Thai basil leaves
and a shot of fresh lime – a bow to Thailand. The inclusion of tomatoes – we’re traveling West, now – adds freshness and color.
I recommend Prince Edward Island mussels for this dish – they’re particularly
tender and sweet – but any mussel will work well. To serve, arrange the mussels
on top on each portion ‘to be closer to the gods’ – a Chinese practice that also
makes the dish look more bountiful.”

2 tablespoons canola oil
2 pounds mussels, preferably Prince Edward Island,
scrubbed, beards removed
1 tablespoon finely chopped garlic
1 tablespoon finely chopped fresh ginger
4 serrano or Thai bird chiles, stemmed and minced
1 tablespoon fermented black beans, rinsed and drained
1/2 cup dry white wine
2 medium tomatoes, or 4 canned, cut into 1/4-inch dice
1 tablespoon Thai fish sauce (nam pla)
2 cups chicken stock or low-sodium canned broth
8 ounces rice stick noodles, soaked in warm water to
cover until softened, about 30 minutes
1 cup fresh Thai or sweet basil leaves
1 bunch chives, cut into 1/2-inch lengths
2 tablespoons butter
Salt and freshly ground white pepper
2 limes, halved

1. Heat a wok over high heat. Add the oil and swirl to coat the pan. When the
oil shimmers, add the mussels and stir-fry until some of the mussels open,
about 5 minutes. Add the garlic, ginger, chiles, and black beans and stir-
fry until fragrant, about 2 minutes. Add the wine, cover, and cook until
all the mussels have opened, 3 to 5 minutes. Add the tomatoes, fish sauce,
chicken stock, and drained noodles. Toss and add the basil, chives, and
butter. Toss again. Season with the salt and pepper to taste.
2. Transfer the mixture to large pasta bowls, and arrange the mussels on
top of each portion. Squeeze lime juice over and serve.

Beverage Tip:  Fruity Riesling, not bone dry (Australian Grosset,
Alsatian Trimbach)

 Trimbach 1998 Riesling

Ming’s Tip:  I sometimes add a bit of butter to a completed dish, as I do in
this recipe, to provide light enrichment and to round off flavors. Keep this
classic French technique in  mind for your own cooking.

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