Notable Nosh: Mussel Sashimi

Mussel Sashimi

I probably wouldn’t normally feature something so plain and simple in a ‘Notable Nosh’ posting, but this method of serving mussels was so delicious it left me smacking my forehead for never having thought of serving them this way myself.

When I saw ‘Mussel Sashimi’ on the menu at Ken’s Japanese Restaurant in Ottawa, I assumed that I would be getting raw shellfish. However, although sashimi does generally involve uncooked fish, a few items (notably octopus, for one) are first cooked before being served cold. Mussels could easily be enjoyed raw, of course, but serving them this way, as a cooked, cold appetizer was a bit of a revelation to me.

I am not sure how Ken’s prepared these but my first guess would be that they were very quickly steamed. Whatever seasoning was included in the steaming liquid was very light and about all I can suggest was that there may have been a dash of rice wine added to help infuse the delicate meat with just a touch of additional sweetness. Surprisingly, there was no ‘liquor’ on the shells beneath the flesh, but the mussels were delightfully plump and extremely succulent. I am not sure, but it is also possible that the mussels may even have been poached in a subtly flavored liquid and then left to marinate in the same for a time before serving.

In any event, although I love mussels and steam them regularly, I have yet to serve them cold and this little appetizer I tried has inspired me to play around with the basic theme. I may be stuck with using cooked, frozen mussels at first as the fresh article only shows up here a few times a year, but that will be interesting too. The main challenge will be to avoid getting too heavy-handed with seasonings as subtlety is definitely the key here, but I am already thinking of some Asian and Mediterranean twists on the idea. Posts will be forthcoming…

3 thoughts on “Notable Nosh: Mussel Sashimi”

  1. I look forward to reading more …

    Although mussels are not my favorite dish, I’d like to know more about different cooking methods of different dishes like this.

  2. i love mussels.. i usually cook them in some ginger, garlic, onion, and adding malunggay leaves (moringa).. it’s the traditional way we prepare the dish here in the philippines..

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