Sunday, August 10, 2008

Have Mussels, Will Bake.

Call it personal bias, but I think tahong (mussels) from Bacoor, Cavite are the best ones I've tasted. The great thing about it is that, it doesn't cost an arm and a leg. Php30 can already get you a hefty kilo of these delectable shells. My mother however, insists on sourcing tahong from her suki where she gets the best choices at Php50 per kilo. And for good reason. Those mussels are about 3-4 inches in size and with flesh that's juicy, plump, and slightly sweet, filling up at least 3/4 of the shell, you won't help but eat more than your tummy can hold. It is positively delicious straight up boiled or steamed with salt and crushed ginger. Or, for an indulgent treat, make Baked Tahong out of 'em. Try my sister's recipe and I'm sure you'll get as much rave reviews from your guests as much as we do.

Mara's Baked Tahong Recipe


1 k. mussels
Dash of rock salt
2 inch ginger, crushed

2 red onions, minced
1/4 c Thai basil, minced
1 cup unsalted butter (2 sticks), softened
1/2 block grated Magnolia Quickmelt or Ques-O cheese food
Crushed black pepper, according to taste
1/8 tsp salt

1/4 c. Kraft parmesan cheese
1/8 c. crunchy minced garlic
1/8 c. minced flat-leaf parsley (optional)


1. Wash mussels in running water and cut off whiskers. In a big pot, steam mussels with a little water (about 2 cups. We use Sprite or 7 Up instead of water, whenever available.) seasoned with salt and ginger until the shells have just opened. Remove the empty half of the shell. Arrange the retained halves on a baking tray, flesh-side up.

2. Saute onions and basil in 2 tablespoons of the butter until the onions begin to turn translucent. In a bowl, blend cooked onions and basil with the remaining butter. Stir in grated cheese and season with salt and pepper.

3. Top each of the mussels completely with the cheese mixture (about a heaping teaspoon each). Sprinkle with grated parmesan cheese (about 1/4 tsp. each), crunchy garlic, and parsley.

4. Bake in a 200 degrees celsius oven for 15 minutes.

1 comment:

Mara said...

Your sister is a very good chef!

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