2 tablespoons canola oil
2 pounds mussels, preferably Prince Edward Island, scrubbed, beards
removed (or clams)
1 tablespoon finely chopped garlic
1 tablespoon finely chopped fresh ginger
4 serrano or Thai bird
chiles, stemmed and minced
1 tablespoon fermented black
beans, rinsed and drained
1/2 cup dry white wine
2 medium tomatoes, or 4 canned, cut into 1/4- inch dice
1 tablespoon Thai fish sauce
2 cups Chicken Stock (for recipe see below) or low-sodium canned broth (
or vegetable broth)
8 ounces rice stick noodles, soaked in warm water to cover until softened,
about 30 minutes
1 cup fresh Thai or sweet basil leaves
1 bunch chives, cut into 1/2- inch lengths
2 tablespoons butter
Salt and freshly ground white pepper
2 limes, halved
1. Heat a wok over high
heat. Add the oil and swirl to coat the pan. When the oil shimmers, add
the mussels and stir-fry until some of the mussels open, about 5 minutes.
Add the garlic, ginger, chiles, and
black beans and stir-fry until
fragrant, about 2 minutes. Add the wine, cover, and cook until all the
mussels have opened, 3 to 5 minutes. Add the tomatoes, fish
stock, and drained noodles. Toss and the basil, chives, and butter. Toss
again. Season with the salt and pepper to taste.
2. Transfer the mixture to large pasta bowls, and arrange the mussels on
top of each portion. Squeeze lime juice over and serve.
Ming's Tip: I sometimes add a bit of butter to a completed dish, as
I do in this recipe, to provide light enrichment and to round out flavors.
Keep this classic French technique in mind for your own cooking.
Another Ming Tip: To make sure your mussels are fresh, push both
sides of each mussel tightly closed for a brief moment and then inspect
it. If it stays slightly open after you release your fingers, the mussel
in most probably dead and you should pitch it in the garbage. If the
mussel stays shut after you close it, then it is alive and responding to
your touch. Use only the ones that are alive and kicking!