For the rare times that I’d prepare mussel soup while I was in California, my limited options would include buying pre-packaged mussels from the frozen section of Costco and the supermarkets. Even those I bought directly from the “fresh food section” could have been — in all likelihood — previously frozen.
So it always delights me to be able to prepare this popular Filipino dish using fresh mussels from Baguio City’s (Phlippines) public market. Sure, they may have been brought up from the coastal waters of nearby La Union, but still I know that they’re fresher than the ones I buy in California.
Tinola is basically an onion and ginger-based soup and is often prepared with chicken (Tinolang manok).
1 lb. mussels (tahong), thoroughly cleaned
2cups spinach (or kangkong)
2 thumbs ginger, peeled and julienned
1 medium yellow onion, sliced
4 cloves garlic, peeled and crushed
3 cups water
Salt and pepper to taste
2 tbsps, Olive oil
Heat Olive oil in a large pot. Add garlic and saute until golden brown. Add onions and cook for one minute. Add ginger and mussels and saute for another minute. Pour in water and let boil. Add salt and pepper to taste. Continue cooking for about 10 minutes. Turn off heat and add the spinach or kangkong. (The remaining heat will cook the spinach). Serve warm.