The calendar months without an ‘r’ are almost here, and the temperature is telling us that summer is near, and in our trusted municipal markets, supermarkets and fishmongers we can already find that orange jewel that we miss so much the rest of the year, the Mediterranean mussel, Valencian mussel, or clóchina/clòtxina.
Here are some tips and tricks to teach lovers of this mollusc how to prepare them in typical Valencian style, or with an oriental recipe.
Cook Valencian mussel the traditional way with these tips from Casa Montaña
Alejandro García, from this centuries-old tavern, recommends respecting the product as much as possible. To preserve their characteristic flavour, simply put the clóchinas in a pot with no other ingredients and boil them just long enough so you can open them.
His trick is to add a splash of water to the pot before heating the clóchinas. This way, the water heats up and makes the clóchina open very quickly, almost without cooking it. Then, as soon as they start to open, they take them out and, one by one, finish opening them with a clam knife so they can be served as soon as possible.
Clóchinas with green curry and coconut milk from Ma Khin Café, for that Thai twist!
- 1 kg clean clóchinas
- 100 ml coconut milk
- Green curry paste
- 2 tbsp sunflower oil
- 8 lime leaves
- 1 lemongrass stalk, chopped
- A few slices of galangal
- 1 teaspoon of palm sugar
- Juice from one lime
- 1-2 tbsp fish broth
- A sprig of fresh coriander and some basil leaves
At his Ma Khin Café restaurant in the Mercado de Colón, Steve Anderson serves up a dish full of aromas, nuances, flavours and textures thanks to this original recipe. Heat the coconut milk in a deep saucepan and when it starts to boil, add the green curry paste, which in his restaurant is completely homemade. After sautéing the paste, add a lime leaf, galangal, grated lime, citronella and the clóchinas and cover for a couple of minutes. Afterwards, remove some of the liquid released by the Valencian mussel and add more coconut milk, a dash of fish broth, another of jaggery and lime juice. Finally, add cilantro and basil and the dish is ready to serve.
Follow the process live with this video from Steve: