Mussels with Sake, Ginger and Butter Sauce

, from Issue #73. July, 2017
Photography by Manja Wachsmuth.
Mussels with Sake, Ginger and Butter Sauce

Whether you’re using mussels or clams, this light, luscious sauce pairs beautifully. I allow 8–10 mussels per person or about 15 clams, depending on size, for a main course and I always buy a few extra to account for any that don’t open when steamed.

Serves: 4


½ cup sake
1 tablespoon soy sauce
½ teaspoon caster sugar
1 tablespoon very finely sliced ginger matchsticks
pinch chilli flakes
2 cloves garlic, crushed
mussels, scrubbed and beards removed
2 tablespoons cold butter, roughly chopped
To serve
lime wedges and bowls of hot cooked rice


Put the sake, soy sauce, sugar, ginger, chilli flakes and garlic in a large saucepan and bring to the boil. Add the mussels, cover and cook over a high heat, shaking the pan occasionally, until they open.

Lift the mussels out using a slotted spoon and place in bowls, discarding any that don’t open. Whisk in the butter, a couple of pieces, at a time over a medium heat to make a thin glossy sauce.

Spoon over the mussels. Serve with lime wedges and a bowl of rice or hot crusty rolls to mop up all the lovely juices. Serves 4.