We dined with friends at a local yakitori restaurant last week. Although one of our favourite restaurants in Auckland for their tasty morsels of individually selected skewers, it had been a long time since we had visited and it wasn’t quite the same. My favourite dish, scallops wrapped in bacon were disappointing this time and the other dish I was looking forward to (chicken hearts) was unavailable. They did however, have a special on the blackboard: 4 mussels for $5. These were baked, cheesy, creamy, a little sweet and very different to how I usually cook mussels (steamed with sauce added). I don’t know exactly what was in the dish but I figured there was mussels, cheese, mayo and perhaps something sweet for balance.
I wanted more.
The Koala and I split a portion and 2 mussels each is just a tease. So when our Foodbox delivered a kilo of mussels yesterday, I took it as a sign from the universe that I should try and recreate it at home.
This recipe is deceptively easy, very quick, and uses just a few ingredients. I nailed it first time round. The Koala pronounced this version better than the restaurant version we had last week. Boom.
I used Kewpie mayonnaise which can be found in asian supermarkets and even some supermarkets. Look for the squishy red capped bottle with the kewpie doll on the packaging. Kewpie mayonnaise is quite different from your average Hellers or Best Foods. It’s the stuff used in Japanese cuisine and many non-Japanese chefs are cottoning on to it too.
New Zealand green-lipped mussels can be found all of the world and are known for their green edge shell and generous size. Hopefully you can find them where ever you are. They are really budget-friendly here in New Zealand, ranging from $2 to $4 per kilo. That’s just 25 cents a piece!
I served these with edamame as a simple dinner for two. This could also be served as a starter for 4 people or platter served with beers. This recipe can easily be doubled for more. Since the mussels only take 5-7 minutes in the oven, you could do these in batches. Once the first lot has been devoured the next set should be ready.
Baked Mayo-cheese Mussels
- 1 kg live green lipped mussels (approx 16)
- 1/2 cup Kewpie mayonnaise
- 1 cup cheese, grated
- 2 tablespoons barbecue sauce
- 1 tablespoon lime juice
- A handful of parsley, chopped finely
- Preheat oven to 200°C.
- Check mussels and discard any that are broken. Heat a sauté pan or sauce pan and once hot, tip in the mussels along with 2 tablespoons water, cover immediately and cook for 5-7 minutes on medium heat until mussels have opened. Discard any that do not open, tip into a colander to cool.
- While the mussels are cooking, mix together the mayonnaise, cheese, barbecue sauce and lime juice in a small bowl. After the mussels are cooked and cool enough to handle (just a few minutes), remove the top shell, remove any beards (or crabs). Place the mussels (meat facing up) in a single layer on a roasting pan or cookie sheet. Spoon a heaped teaspoon of the mayo-cheese mixture on top of each mussel.
- Bake for 5-7 minutes at 200°C until golden and bubbly. Remove from oven and carefully place mussels onto a serving platter and sprinkle with chopped parsley. Serve immediately.
Next time I might try chipotle sauce instead of barbecue for more smokiness, or an extra tablespoon of barbecue sauce for more zing. Sliced spring onion (scallions) could be a nice oniony sub for the parsley. Lemon juice can easily be subbed for lime juice.
Edit: The Koala has requested I make this for dinner again tonight. I think that is a pretty good review.
This post is part of Our Growing Edge, a monthly blogging event to encourage bloggers to try new food related things.
The theme is RANDOM YET CREATIVE and Jess from Little Girl Story is the host for this month’s event. If you have a blog and you are eating or cooking something new this month, click below to join. More information here.