Steamed orange fennel mussels

Steamed orange fennel mussels

I extemporaneously picked up some mussels at the grocery earlier today. Not having prepared mussels before but having much experience eating them, I read several recipes and found a recipe for orange fennel mussels that seemed rife to riff upon:

  • 1 tblsp canola oil
  • 1/2 yellow onion (1/3 cup, diced)
  • Zest of 1 orange (1/2 tsp)
  • 3/8 tsp fennel seed
  • Juice of 1 orange (1/4 cup)
  • 6 oz hard apple cider
  • 1/2 tsp salt
  • 1 1/2 lbs fresh (live) debearded mussels

Use a large (large enough so all the mussels will fit in a tight single layer) and deep pan to sauté the onion and orange zest in the canola oil over medium heat until the onions are translucent, 12-15 minutes.

Add the rest of the ingredients except for the mussels, turn the heat up and bring to a gentle boil.

Turn the heat down so the liquid is simmering, add the mussels, cover and let steam for 4 minutes. Serve in the broth, with a fork and spoon. The broth is delicious!

I would consider the following substitutions/variations.

  • Instead of orange juice, use 1/2 lime juice 1/2 orange juice
  • Instead of orange juice, use coconut milk
  • Instead of fennel, use coriander. Especially with lime juice or coconut milk
  • Instead of onion, use shallot or garlic
  • Thai style: substitute peanut oil for canola, coconut milk for orange juice and apple cider, chili pepper and fresh ginger for fennel
  • Thai style II: substitute peanut oil or coconut oil for canola, lime and coconut milk for orange juice and apple cider, galanga and/or fresh ginger and/or lemon grass for fennel
  • Mediterranean style: Olive oil for canola (keeping heat at medium or lower), garlic for onion, lemon juice and wine for orange and apple cider. Omit fennel or substitute with parsley.