Monday, July 18, 2005

Baked Mussels in Dynamite Sauce



Before you ask, I have no idea why this dish has the word "dynamite" in it. Maybe "Mussels Baked in a Mayo-Based Sauce" doesn't roll off the tongue quite as nicely. Maybe it's because no conventional adjectives can do this dish justice. Maybe Jimmy Walker ordered it at a sushi joint one night and proclaimed "These baked mussels are DY-NO-MIITE!"

I just don't know.

But what I do know is this: these things are ridiculously quick and easy to make.

No longer will I spend upwards of $10 for just two pieces at my local sushi restaurant. I bake two dozen at a time now and make a whole meal of it with rice and some stir fried greens.

I would imagine I'd get a lot of adulation if I ever chose to serve them as hor'd oeuvres at a dinner party.

Whatever way you serve it, I am willing to bet your family and guests will gush at how the "dynamite" sauce, creamy and tangy with a touch of chili heat, perfectly compliments the briny mussels.

Here's my recipe:

Ingredients:
2 dozen New Zealand green lip mussels (frozen or alive)
A pinch of Hon Dashi pellets
1 tablespoon of half and half
3/4 cup Kewpie Mayonnaise
1 teaspoon of Sriracha
1 tablespoon of masago (smelt roe)

Directions:
Pre-heat your broiler or toaster oven to 350 degrees.

If using live mussels, cover and steam in a basket or colander over boiling water just until the mussels pop open (chuck any that remain closed; they're dead). Then take them off the heat immediately. Discard the shell not connected to the meat and arrange the mussels on the half shell, meat side up, on a foil-lined baking pan.

Do not use a cookie sheet because there will be escaping juices.

If you are using frozen mussels (which are usually pre-cooked), simply arrange the mussels in the same way on the baking pan. The mussels will defrost slightly while you put the sauce together.

To prepare the sauce, first drop a pinch of the Hon Dashi pellets in a medium bowl and dissolve completely with the half and half.

Then add the Kewpie mayo. Combine the mixture with a spoon until smooth.

Then add the Sriracha and fully incorporate it into the sauce.

Do a taste test here. If you would like the sauce to be hotter, add a little more Sriracha. If you want it to be milder, add a few squirts of Kewpie mayo. If you think you've added too much mayo, you can thin the mixture slightly with a few drops of half and half.

The consistency and viscosity of the sauce should be like pancake batter or a softened milk shake.

Once you've reached this stage, add the masago and stir slowly to distribute it evenly into the sauce.

Then spoon the sauce over each mussel. Put just enough to cover the meat completely.

Place the mussels under the broiler or toaster oven to cook.

Check frequently and rotate the pan occasionally to even out the browning and compensate for hot spots. Cook until the sauce bubbles and gets golden brown with a few dark spots forming. The total cooking time should not exceed 15 minutes.

Serve immediately.

41 Comments:

At 6:52 AM, Anonymous Kirk said...

Elmo - I'm sure your going to make alot of people happy with this recipe - though cholesterol levels are going to jump!!!

 
At 3:13 PM, Blogger elmomonster said...

No doubt! Anything with a mayo-based has got to be bad for you...but what isn't nowadays.

 
At 9:44 PM, Blogger Xericx said...

Mus be a filipino thing. My mom does the EXACT SAME Thing with the fish eggs and mayonaise!!!!!

 
At 9:45 PM, Blogger Xericx said...

Well, unless its a Japanese thing...but she doesn't eat sushi or go get Mussels Dynamite at Japanese restaruants!

 
At 8:54 AM, Blogger elmomonster said...

Yeah, I have no idea if it's uniquely Japanese either...definitely Japanese ingredients, but it may be one of those things invented in the sushi bars of America.

 
At 11:20 AM, Blogger Eddie Lin said...

Elmo, this post is (two snaps) DY-NO-MITE!!! Funny stuff.

 
At 11:37 AM, Blogger elmomonster said...

Thanks Eddie! Your compliment means a lot!

 
At 2:07 PM, Anonymous MzMaggie said...

thanks for the pictures & info re 99Ranch market. We are probably neighbors - I live near Trader Joe's.

 
At 5:12 PM, Blogger elmomonster said...

We've probably been in 99 Ranch at the same time.

I live in the boonies of Irvine...Northpark.

 
At 12:08 PM, Anonymous sarah said...

my sister used to tell me that kewpie mayo is healthy because it's, well, japanese. i totally believed her as i gobbled up all those dynamites, california rolls, and spicy tuna rolls that have mayo. LOL!

 
At 1:27 PM, Blogger elmomonster said...

sarah,

Totally feels healthier doesn't it?! Somehow also the fact that is baked makes it also feel like it's healthier (see it's not fried!)...living in a dreamworld is so much fun!

 
At 5:41 PM, Anonymous Jay said...

May I suggest giving it a shot with Chili Garlic Sauce as opposed to Sriracha? Personally I think it makes for a slightly better flavoring since it's not a puree but YMMV. Oh, great site btw!

 
At 12:15 PM, Anonymous erik said...

I agree with Jim here, it is much better this way. Also, add a tiny slice of jalapeno and a squeeze of lemon at the end for the best possible mussels you can dream of.

 
At 12:16 PM, Anonymous erik said...

I agree with Jay (oops) here, it is much better this way. Also, add a tiny slice of jalapeno and a squeeze of lemon at the end for the best possible mussels you can dream of.

 
At 2:05 AM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

i really want to try to bake this for my husband. where could i buy hondashi pellets?

 
At 7:19 AM, Blogger elmomonster said...

Anon,

Hondashi pellets can be bought in any Asian store. It's usually in the area with the soup stock or Japanese items.

But really, the two essential ingredients are the Kewpie Mayo (I don't think regular Miracle Whip will work) and the Sriracha. In fact, one day, that was all that I had in my fridge, and I mixed it up, plopped it down on the mussels and it tasted just as good!

 
At 12:14 PM, Blogger Outsider4Life said...

These by far are the best appetizers when having sushi!!!!!! Been looking for a recipe for a long time!! Great stuff

 
At 12:16 PM, Blogger Outsider4Life said...

This comment has been removed by the author.

 
At 2:48 PM, Blogger Van said...

hi. i have made this recipe before through my own experimentation.

my problem is, i don't know where to find the kewpi mayonnaise. i've looked at several asian supermarkets

 
At 3:36 PM, Blogger elmomonster said...

Van,

If you're in the Southern California area, Korean Super markets and Japanese Super markets will sell Kewpie in plastic squeeze bottles. It has a baby on the bottle as a logo. Freshia and Mitsuwa have them.

The two essential ingredients are really just the Kewpie mayo and Sriracha. Everything else is actually optional. I've gotten too lazy and just made them with those two ingredients and it turned out quite well!

 
At 5:19 PM, Blogger Carlos said...

Elmo,
Baked mussels are the bomb! I've tried asking for them at many sushi restaurants and many don't serve them, when they do,they chop up the meat which allows it to lose flavor. My favorite baked mussels are found at Ariake's restaurant in San Jose.

 
At 8:21 AM, Anonymous acnyc2000 said...

the sauce can also be used in any spicy sushi rolls, also you can sub tobiko (flying fish eggs) for masago to give it more texture. (and better taste imo) Oh, and the sauce on the foil is absolutely heavenly...

 
At 11:44 AM, Anonymous Emily said...

I too got tired of paying the ridiculous amount of money for baked mussels at my local sushi restaurant. So I came up with my own version in the form of a video. It is very similar to yours except I use Bonito Flakes:

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=hSOyZkhLtNM

I haven't tried it with Hon Dashi pellets...will definitely try it on my next batch. Thanks for sharing--I just wish I came across your recipe sooner :)

 
At 5:18 PM, Blogger elmomonster said...

Carlo,

THEY ARE THE BOMB!

acnyc,

You couldn't be more right about the sauce on the foil...I lick it up!

Emily,

Actually your recipe is better. I've since found that the half and half and the hon dashi isn't really required. All you need is what you showed in your video, Sriracha, Kewpie and Masago.

 
At 6:52 AM, Anonymous danielle hall said...

I just made these yesterday with a friend and OMG they were so good.
This is both a our favorite items to get when we go out to sushi.
i do have one question. if i were to make a big batch of the mayo sauce, how long does it last in the fridge with the fish eggs in it?

 
At 9:28 AM, Anonymous Romi said...

If you can't find Kewpie mayo, this is a substitute which works out great to. Use regular mayo and add about 1-2 TB of seasoned rice vinegar.

 
At 9:31 AM, Anonymous Romi said...

Another thing you can add as a garnish is nori strands. Just take a sheet of nori, fold it up a couple of times and cut out thin strands about an inch long over the seasoned mussels. Then bake.

 
At 12:44 PM, Blogger MzSuZee said...

Does adding Sriracha make this dish spicy? And if it does... how spicy? My kids love baked mussels from the Japanese restaurants and I thought I'd try this recipe... but I don't know if they'll eat it if it's spicy.

 
At 4:55 PM, Blogger rockin said...

Masago should be kept frozen unless used within a couple of days. I would not premix.

 
At 4:45 PM, Anonymous Katherine said...

Elmo,

I absolutely LOVE your recipe, except I made it with just seven mussels (I had a big plastic container than had about 2 dozen). I made the dynamite sauce, then just topped the mussels all the way to the edge of the shell. I couldn't taste the hon dashi pellets when I made the mixture of hon dashi and half & half, so I put in many dashes of hon dashi. I also added three hearty squirts of the siracha hot sauce. I also sprinkled some suger ontop so there's some carmelization. SO DELICIOUS! Tastes like the baked mussels at this japanese restaurant close to my old work. Nowdays, it's too far for me to drive all the way there for baked mussels. Thank you!!!

 
At 8:19 PM, Blogger J said...

"I have no idea why this dish has the word "dynamite" in it."

Its because back in the day they thought the massago popped wile cooking, and when it pops the dynamite is ready. =)

 
At 11:13 AM, Blogger reima said...

I just discovered your blog through a search engine while searching for a Baked Mussels in Dynamite Sauce recipe. I know you wrote this years ago, but I still just want to say "Thank you!"

 
At 4:04 PM, Blogger Rosie said...

hi everyone,
does anybody know where I can get KEWPIE MAYO, I live in SAN JOSE by Milpitas CALI.

 
At 7:11 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

aloha, does anyone knows where to get kewpie mayonaise? i live in honolulu, hawaii, where there are so many asians but cant find the mayonaise :(

 
At 1:54 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

If you stay in Oahu, you can find "kewpie" mayonaise at most Asian supermarkets- Pacific SuperMarket in Waipahu, Star Markets, Military Commissaries, Marukai Supermarket, Don Quiote Markets, etc.. You can always ask the store employees if they carry "Japanese Mayonaise".. **Also, the Hon Dashi pellets are not necessary as they are meat enhancers also referred to as "MSG".

 
At 2:19 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

For more mussel recipes go to http://www.pacifica.co.nz/recipes.htm

Mussels in Dynamite Sauce recipe is actually from here.

 
At 10:14 AM, Blogger elmomonster said...

Anonymous,

Um no, this is my recipe. I wrote this and it's an original. That site you mention STOLE it from me. I'm going to have words with them.

 
At 12:42 AM, Blogger Wendy Lee said...

I made this for dinner and it's was dynamite! Just like at sushi restaurants but waaaay better! Sweet and juicy mussels with that sweet and creamy mayo. Yummers! Next time I'm going to add some finely chopped green onion to the mayo mix for a bit of added freshness and/or lemon zest. So good and economical. One big box had almost 40 in there so I made half for dinner with my hubby. I served it with cold soba noodles and agadashi tofu. Came out to be less than 8 bucks for two people for such a yummy meal! Thank u so much for the recipe and inspirational derivatives!

 
At 5:10 PM, Blogger CD said...

Tried this recipe for the first time tonight. Can't thank you enough. It's my favorite dish of all time. High cholesterol and all. :)

 
At 4:32 PM, Blogger fantamas said...

I buy mussles which are frosen in Market99. These are already open and sold by halfs. I put them on baking sheet, put lemon juce into each shell (about 3 drops per each). here is my dressing: Vegenaise + Russian adjika(gives red color and spicyness) and put one tea spoon into each shell. preheat oven up to 350 degrees. Put mussles into it and keep it for 15 minutes. Ready to eat and melting in the mouse. O, proportion of veganaise and russian adjika, has to be mixed to your taste. Put adjika a little bit into vegenaise and try it. Then increase it's amount until you want it very hot.

 
At 11:00 AM, Blogger Kahn Kard said...

add a drop of sesame oil and a dash of powdered sugar to the mayo, you'll be surprised at how close it gets to your sushi bar gl mussels!The only thing missing is the base sauce before the mayo...its a wakame/soy/mirin mixture!

 

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