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Steamed Mussels With Pastis And Fennel

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Ingredients

3 tbsp olive oil
1 small dried red chilli, crushed
1 fennel bulb, halved and sliced as thinly as possible
2kg prepared mussels
4 garlic cloves, finely chopped
3 tbsp pastis, such as Ricard
2 tbsp chopped parsley (optional)

Details

Serves: 2


Method

Put the olive oil and chilli in a large heavy pan that has a close fitting lid and warm it over a gentle heat. Add the fennel to the pan and cook it gently until it has given up its crispness and turned soft and vaguely translucent, 10-15 minutes. Add the garlic, cook for 20 seconds and add the mussels and pastis. Give everything a good working over with a large spoon to distribute the fennel mixture at the bottom of the pan amongst the mussels and then clamp on the lid. Cook for about 5 minutes over a high heat. You will need to check the mussels regularly. The power of your stove will determine the time it takes for the mussels to open. When the majority of the mussels are open, ladle them into two large bowls and spoon over the liquor and scatter the parsley if you are using it. Consume, discarding those that have refused to open.

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