Green Tea-Steamed Mussels with Two Mayonnaises

In this recipe, a green tea infusion tenderizes the mussels and imbues them with a rich golden mahogany color. The tantalizingly zingy aroma of the freshly grated ginger perfumes both the mussels and your kitchen. To cook the mussels, use a large pot, a covered roasting pan, or a deep paella pan, spreading the mussels in a shallow layer over the bottom of the pan so that they can open easily.

Screen Capture from
Screen Capture from

Serves 8 as an appetizer or 4 as a main course


Chipotle-Orange Mayonnaise
¼ cup mayonnaise
1 teaspoon ground chipotle chile powder
2 tablespoons freshly squeezed orange juice

Matcha Mayonnaise
¼ cup mayonnaise
1 teaspoon matcha powder (see note [>])
Few drops lemon juice
4 tablespoons (16 grams) medium-size loose-leaf green tea or 8 green tea bags
8 cups water, heated to 175° to 180°F
1 2-inch piece peeled fresh ginger, grated
4 to 5 pounds mussels


  1. Make the two mayonnaises, one at a time, by whisking together each batch of ingredients.
    – Cover and refrigerate until needed.
  2. Put the tea leaves or tea bags into a 4-cup heatproof measuring cup.
    – Pour 4 cups of the hot water over the tea, cover with a clean kitchen towel, and brew for 2 minutes.
  3. Strain the brewed tea into a large pot.
    – Infuse the tea a second time, in the same manner, with the remaining 4 cups water, and add this tea to the pot.
    – Add the ginger to the brewed tea in the pot.
    – Mix well.
  4. Place the mussels in a large bowl and cover with water.
    – Discard any that are cracked or broken.
    – Gently stir the mussels to wash them, and scrub any that need cleaning.
    – Change the water as necessary until the mussels are clean.
    – Discard any mussels that remain open and have not closed tightly. If any of the mussels has a hairy beard, grab the beard near the base of the shell and remove it with a firm tug.
    – Drain the mussels.
  5. Bring the tea to a simmer over medium-high heat and add the mussels, spreading them evenly over the bottom of the pot.
    – Cover tightly and simmer for 5 minutes.
    – Remove the lid and carefully shift the mussels around with a wooden spoon.
    – If necessary, cover and continue cooking for a few more minutes, until all the mussels have opened.
    – Discard any that do not.
  6. With a slotted spoon, remove the mussels to a serving bowl.
    – Ladle a generous amount of the cooking liquid over them.
    – Serve with hot crusty bread and pass bowls of the two mayonnaises for dipping or stirring into the broth.

Mussels are so versatile and are a wonderful canvas for your culinary creativity. Here they are given an Asian preparation, but in Normandy, France, restaurants serve up earthy and delicious plates of steaming mussels that have been cooked in locally produced hard cider and rich cream.

Reference: Mary Lou Heiss (2006). Green Tea: 50 Hot Drinks, Cool Quenchers, and Sweet and Savory Treats Boston, MA: Harvard Common Press.

P.S: I really like this book, it has lots of unique ideas on how to use green tea, and expands my creativeness in experimenting my ultimate favorite drink ingredient in cooking recipes 🙂 Hope you will find this recipe interesting 😉

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