Spicy Baked Mussels

Tahongor mussels, are quite abundant in many coastal and riverbed areas in the Philippines. They are therefore inexpensive. More importantly, they are easy to cook. Two of the most common ways of preparing mussels in the Philippines are baking or using them in a soup.  In the U.S. it is easy to find mussels in supermarkets or in Asian grocery stores where they come frozen-packed. Mussels served and consumed in restaurants and homes are most likely to be seawater mussels. Their freshwater counterparts are considered a “threatened” species   because their habitats are smaller and more vulnerable to toxins and ecological changes.  Freshwater mussels are primarily harvested for use in the manufacture of cultured pearls, hence their meat is mostly discarded.

Baked mussels are great as appetizers. This recipe uses bread crumb topping and is a little more spicy than the baked mussels you may have tried in the past.

INGREDIENTS

2 lbs fresh or frozen mussels, half shell

2 cups breadcrumbs

1/4 cup  grated Parmesan cheese

3 tbsp olive oil

4 cloves garlic, peeled, crushed and finely chopped

1/4 tsp dried chilli flakes

1/2 cup fresh parsley, finely chopped

DIRECTIONS

Pre-heat oven to 375 degrees

In small bowl, combine breadcrumbs, cheese, olive oil, garlic, chilli flakes and parsley. Mix well

Place mussels on a flat baking tray lined with aluminum foil

Top each mussel with 1-2 tsp of the breadcrumb mixture

Bake mussels until the topping turns golden brown (If mussels are frozen, bake for 15 minutes; if fresh or thawed, about 8 minutes)

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