Wok-roasted mussels

April 17, 2009 4:39:45 PM PDT
An easy starter or main entree.

Wok Roasted "ma-la" Mussels

Ingredients:

  • 1 to 1 ½ lbs. Mediterranean Mussels
  • 2 tsp. Fleur de Sel or Flake Salt
  • ½ tsp. Fresh Ground Black Pepper
  • pinch of Ground Green Sichuan Peppercorn
  • 1 ½ oz. Grapeseed or Rice Bran Oil
  • 4-5 pieces Ginger Root, peeled and sliced thin
  • 4-5 cloves Garlic, smashed
  • 6 Scallions, cut into 1 1/2" lengths
  • 2 tsp. *Fresh Chilies & Fermented Soybeans
  • 3 oz. Dry White Wine
Garnish:
  • 2 stalks Green Onions, diagonal cut
  • 8 sprigs Cilantro, very rough/coarse chopped 1"
*Fresh Chilies & Fermented Soybeans may be purchased at most Asian food markets in a jar. It also may be purchased separately. The soybeans and/or chilies may be omitted if spiciness is not desired.

Procedure:

  1. Clean the mussels under cold running water, removing and debris on the outside of the shell.

  2. Gently remove any "beard" from the mussels.

  3. Using a wok, heat the oil until it begins to smoke.

  4. Add the ginger, garlic and scallions.

  5. Cook until the garlic begins to turn light golden brown on the edges.

  6. Add the mussels and toss once to move the ginger, garlic and scallions to the top of the pile of mussels.

  7. Allow to cook on high heat for a minute longer.

  8. Add the chilies and fermented soybeans. Season with salt and peppers.

  9. Toss again several times to cook evenly and allow the flame to *jump into the pan 1 to 2 times. *This happens as the mussels cook, they will release their moisture into the hot pan causing it to flare up adding a smoky flavor to the dish.

  10. Add the white wine and continue to cook until all the mussels have opened and are plump. When the mussels are completely cooked, they should be very moist and plump.

  11. The liquid at the bottom of the wok should have a light brown and viscous consistency as it has reduced and emulsified together.

  12. Garnish with sliced green onions and cilantro, serve immediately
E&O Trading Company
312 Sutter Street
San Francisco, CA 94108
Website: www.eotrading.com

About Arnold Eric Wong:
Arnold Eric Wong was born and raised in San Francisco's Haight-Ashbury neighborhood. The youngest of five children in a family that owned and operated the Ashbury Market (a 40-year San Francisco mainstay), he has been surrounded by food all his life. The market was a stage for many of the boutique producers of California wines, imported cheese, oils and the like. The market was also the site of Wong's first opportunity to cook for the public -- in the market's modest delicatessen. Years later, while studying architecture, time away at school gave him the chance to reflect on his passion for food and he soon began to pursue a career in the culinary arts.

Wong's career as a professional chef began in 1986. Although still pursuing formal training at the California Culinary Academy, he seized an opportunity to be the opening bread and pastry chef at Silk's in The Mandarin Oriental Hotel. Ensuing positions in the kitchens of other acclaimed San Francisco institutions, including Masa's and Cafe Kati, provided Wong with valuable experience and recognition as a rising talent on the Bay Area restaurant scene.

In 1994 Arnold's strong entrepreneurial spirit compelled him and his brother Richard to launch a small wholesale baking company. Today, their Raison D'être Bakery services cafes, hotels, and retail outlets around the Bay Area from a 15,000-square-foot facility in South San Francisco.

Wong realized his dream of opening his own restaurant in 1995. EOS Restaurant and Wine Bar in San Francisco's Cole Valley neighborhood was conceived during the intimate "underground" wine dinners that Arnold hosted with his later-to-be business partner Debbie Zachareas, EOS's wine director and partner/wine director at Bacar. This 70-seat corner restaurant and 30-seat adjacent wine bar with its lofty minimalist setting and wine-centric concept won instant notoriety from local, national, and international press for its unique East-meets-West culinary vision. Arnold would be touted as one of five "Rising Star Chef's of the Year under 30" by the San Francisco Chronicle.

Arnold partnered with Zachareas to open Bacar in 2000, the most anticipated and distinctive restaurant to open in San Francisco in years. This dramatic three-story space was a showcase of wine and Wong's range as a culinary talent. Having set a new standard for Asian fusion at EOS, Wong now dazzled diners with his modern American brasserie menu at Bacar. His creative menu and flawless execution won Wong his second three-star rating from the Chronicle's Michael Bauer.

About the Leukemia & Lymphoma Society's 2009 Man and Woman of the Year: With the goal of raising the most money for the fight against blood cancers, Eric is hosting a fundraiser at E&O on Wednesday, April 29 from 6:30 - 9 p.m. Tickets are $40 and can be purchased online at www.eotrading.com. Donations can also be made by visiting http://gsf.llsevent.org/pledge/index.cfm?mid=AWONG.

Event information: The 2009 Greater San Francisco Bay Area Man & Woman of the Year campaign has officially kicked off! Please join E&O Trading Company Executive Chef and Man of the Year candidate Arnold Eric Wong at a benefit event to support The Leukemia & Lymphoma Society (LLS). Guests will dance the night away to local favorite, Joey Altman's Backburner's Blues Band, a blues-rock group composed of prominent Bay Area chefs and food professionals, while noshing on delectable hors d'oeuvres from Chef Wong's newly launched menu. The benefit will also feature hosted beer and wine as well as a raffle with spectacular prizes including getaways to Las Vegas and Santa Fe. One hundred percent of proceeds from ticket sales and the raffle will directly benefit the LLS, and through May 28, 2008, a portion of proceeds from E&O's new Coconut Trifle dessert will also be donated to LLS. Donations can also be made by visiting http://gsf.llsevent.org/pledge/index.cfm?mid=AWONG.

Wednesday, April 29, 2009 from 6:30 to 9 p.m. E&O Trading Company 314 Sutter Street (between Stockton and Grant Streets), San Francisco, CA 94108 Website: www.eotrading.com

About Leukemia & Lymphoma Society (LLS): The Leukemia & Lymphoma Society (LLS) is a national voluntary health agency dedicated to curing leukemia, lymphoma and myeloma, and to improving the quality of life of patients and their families. LLS was established in 1949 as The de Villiers Foundation. In 2000, LLS changed its name from The Leukemia Society of America to The Leukemia & Lymphoma Society to emphasize its commitment to fighting all blood cancers. Nearly 1 million volunteers from all walks of life give generously of their time and talents to implement LLS's programs. They provide professional guidance and help raise vitally-needed funds. LLS's activities are directed and supervised by its national Board of Directors and chapter boards of trustees.
Website: http://www.leukemia-lymphoma.org/hm_lls


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