mussels in buttery miso broth

Let the mushrooms sear and caramelize to really bring out the flavors. Every morning when I worked at a seafood restaurant, I had to poach pounds of shrimp and prawns, steam lobsters and crab, and cook and marinate mussels. Ever since I left the establishment, I haven’t prepared mussels; today was the day to change that. Cooking this meal brought me back to those days as a line cook except these mussels are cooked in a buttery miso broth rather than a garlic and lemon broth. Just to make this meal more special, I served the mussels with a side of mixed purple sweet potato fries and regular fries. Absolutely divine.

mussels in buttery miso broth
mussels in buttery miso broth
mussels in buttery miso broth

Serves 4


Mussels in buttery miso broth

1 hr, 30 Total Time

Recipe Image
Save RecipeSave Recipe


    2 medium purple sweet potato
  • oil for frying
  • salt
  • Miso butter
  • 2 tbsp unsalted butter, softened
  • 1 1/2 tbsp yellow miso paste
  • Watercress
  • 1 tbsp olive oil
  • 2 garlic cloves, sliced
  • 1 tsp red pepper flakes
  • 2 bunches watercress, thick stems removed
  • salt and pepper
  • Mushrooms
  • 1 tbsp butter
  • 16 oz oyster mushrooms
  • salt and pepper
  • Mussels
  • 1/4 cup extra virgin olive oil
  • 4 garlic cloves, sliced
  • 1 Thai chile, thinly sliced
  • pinch of saffron threads
  • 2 lb mussels, scrubbed and debearded
  • 2 tbsp sake
  • 1 tbsp Pernod
  • 1/4 cup water
  • 1 tbsp chopped fresh tarragon
  • 1 tbsp chopped fresh parsley


  1. Peel and slice purple sweet potato into 1/4 inch thick sticks. Soak potato in cold water for at least 1 hour. Drain potato and pat dry.
  2. Meanwhile, prepare miso butter by combining butter and miso in a blender. Process until smooth. Set aside.
  3. Preheat frying oil to 350 degrees F.
  4. Carefully drop the potato into the oil in batches. Remove when the potato becomes crispy and darkens in color, about 4-5 minutes. Remove with a slotted spoon and drain on a paper-towel lined tray. Season with salt.
  5. Heat 1 tbsp oil in a saute pan over medium heat. Add garlic and saute for 30 seconds. Add red pepper flakes and watercress. Saute for 4-5 minutes or until wilted. Season with salt and pepper. Remove from heat and keep warm.
  6. Heat 1 tbsp butter in same pan. Add oyster mushrooms and saute until browned, about 5-7 minutes. Season with salt and pepper. Remove from heat and keep warm.
  7. Heat 1/4 cup olive oil in the same pan. Add the garlic, Thai chile and saffron and cook for 30 seconds. Add mussels and cook for 2 minutes or until the shells begin to open. Pour the sake and Pernod, stirring to mix.
  8. Add the water and miso butter, cover and cook until the shells have fully opened, about 3 minutes. Stir to coat the mussels with the sauce. Remove from heat and stir in tarragon and parsley. Serve.

**Helpful tips and common mistakes

These mussels can be served with warm crusty bread or with freshly fried pomme frites. I’m a huge fan of sweet potato fries so when I spotted purple sweet potatoes in the market, I decided to make this my side dish.

Purple sweet potato is also known as Japanese purple potato, Mokuau potato, and Okinawan potato. The exterior is a light tan color but the flesh is a bright purple color. Unfortunately, you won’t know how bright the color is until you peel the potato. Purple sweet potatoes are just as healthy as sweet potatoes and yams and packs over 3 times the amount of antioxidants that blueberries have.

I wanted to offer a mix of regular french fries and sweet potato fries so I prepared one potato of each. Since both potatoes have a high amount of starch in them, soaking them in water for at least one hour extracts some of the excess starch.

For the regular fries, soak in cold water for 1 hour, drain and pat dry just like the purple sweet potatoes. However, with the regular fries, you’re going to double fry them. Fry at 300 degrees F for 4 minutes. Remove from oil and lay on lined baking sheets. Let cool. Increase frying temperature to 385 degrees and drop the potatoes in. Fry until golden brown, about 2-3 minutes. Remove from oil, drain on paper-towel-lined trays. Season with salt.

Why fry the regular fries twice and the purple sweet potato fries only once? The white-fleshed potato has higher water content, requiring you to fry once to cook the potato first. The second fry is to crisp up the fry and yields golden brown fries. I fried the purple sweet potato two times and they ended up like chips rather than fries because of their lower water content. Lesson learned!
french friesWhen shopping for the mussels, I was unhappy with the fresh mussels that were offered. They were incredibly small which meant the actual meat would be tiny. Therefore, I went with the frozen mussels instead. You might cringe at frozen mussels or clams but these shellfish are immediately frozen when they are fresh, meaning they will still be of great quality when thawed and cooked.
musselsI let the market inspire me in this dish as I had no idea what to prepare for the sides beforehand. To carry on the Asian theme, I went with watercress for the greens and oyster mushrooms. You can substitute watercress for spinach, bok choy, asparagus, or whatever greens are in season. I personally enjoyed the peppery quality of the watercress against the salty mussels and meaty mushrooms.
watercressI love mushrooms, but oyster mushrooms rank in my favorite top 3. Oyster mushrooms are perfect for this seafood dish since they have a delicate oyster-like flavor. Because of their subtle flavor, the best way to serve them is to simply saute or roast them in butter or olive oil. Let the mushrooms sear and caramelize to really bring out the flavors.
oyster mushroomTaste the sauce for the mussels before seasoning since the miso paste is quite salty. I substituted mirin for the sake, which is a sweeter rice wine and used white wine instead of Pernod. The verdict? These mussels in buttery miso broth were full of umami! The fresh herbs against the creamier sauce paired with the bitter watercress and delicate mushrooms, what a meal! Not to mention the crispy purple sweet potato fries and french fries. I even had crusty garlic bread on the side to soak up all that saucy goodness. A fantastic gourmet meal at home, ready in a cinch.

mussels in buttery miso broth



Looking for someone to come to your house and prepare these dishes for you? It is possible! If you are in Los Angeles and looking for a private chef, please feel free to contact me. For more information, visit Private Kitchen Los Angeles.


Sharing is caring!