Our entire family loves Mexican food. I’m not sure if the cause is our proximity to the Mission District in San Francisco, but the effect is that we include tacos in our meal plan nearly every week; we frequently cook up a batch of frijoles borrachos (“drunken beans”) to make bean and cheese burritos for our sons’ school lunches; and we own two outstanding Mexican cookbooks. Our newest cookbook, Tu Casa Mi Casa: Mexican Recipes for the Home Cook by Enrique Olvera, was my Mother’s Day gift. My boys know me so well!
This recipe marks our first time preparing mussels at home, and it was a delicious venture. The mussels are cooked simply, and their briny, creamy consistency enables the spicy pickled veggies to really pop. This recipe is meant to be a starter or side dish; we used it as our main with a variety of roasted veggies on the side.
Mussels in Escabeche
- 2 lb fresh mussels
- 4 tbsp extra virgin olive oil
- 2 tbsp avocado oil
- 2-3 green onions chopped thin
- 1 tsp fresh ginger minced
- 1 tsp smoked paprika
- 1 serrano chile sliced
- 1 very small habanero chile minced (optional)
- 4 tbsp distilled white vinegar
- 2 tbsp rice vinegar
- 1 tsp Kosher salt
- Prepare the mussels: rinse them with cold water to remove sand, debris, and beards*.
- In a steamer, steam the mussels until their shells open, about 5 minutes. Let them cool and detach the mussels from their shells. Throw out any mussels that didn’t open. Refrigerate the steamed mussels until you’re ready to use them.
- Make the escabeche: heat both oils over medium-high heat in a medium pot until they’re shimmering (e.g. very hot). Add the green onion, minced ginger, paprika, serrano, and habanero, and cook until fragrant. Stir constantly, 1-2 minutes, and then add the vinegars and Kosher salt. Bring everything to a simmer; remove from heat and let it cool to room temperature.
- Pour the cooled escabeche over the mussels and let the entire mixture come to room temperature. Serve immediately. If you have leftovers (we didn’t), you can refrigerate for up to 1 week in an airtight container.