Beer-Steamed Mussels with Salted Black Beans

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In this recipe, mussels steam in a fragrant broth of ginger, chilies and light beer, flavored with Chinese salted black beans. Mussels are an excellent source of minerals, especially selenium and zinc, and are also high in folate. If you like, serve the mussels with rice noodles or cellophane noodles.


  • 1 lb. mussels
  • 2 to 3 red Fresno chilies
  • 1 1/2  Tbs. Chinese salted black beans
  • 1 Tbs. peanut oil
  • 1 Tbs. minced fresh ginger
  • 2 garlic cloves, minced
  • 1 cup Chinese or other lager-style beer
  • 1 to 2 Tbs. fresh lime juice
  • Salt, to taste
  • Cilantro sprigs for garnish


Scrub the mussels and debeard if necessary, discarding any that do not close to the touch. Slice the chilies into rings, discarding the seeds. Rinse and drain the black beans and finely chop.

In a large sauté pan over medium-high heat, warm the oil. Add the ginger and garlic and cook, stirring, until fragrant but not browned, about 30 seconds. Add the chilies and black beans and stir for 30 seconds more.

Add the beer and mussels and cover the pan with a tight-fitting lid. Shake the pan occasionally and check every minute, removing the mussels to a serving dish as they open. Cook until all the mussels have opened (discard any that do not open), 4 to 8 minutes.

Stir the lime juice into the broth and season with salt. Spoon the broth and chilies over the mussels. Top with cilantro sprigs and serve immediately. Serves 2 as a main course or 4 as a first course.

Adapted from Williams-Sonoma Eat Well, by Charity Ferreira (Oxmoor House, 2008).

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