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Florence Fabricant of NY Times Pairs Matcha with Mussels

May 25, 2011

Matcha tea works hot, cold, sweet and savory.  You are probably familiar with matcha ice-cream, truffles, pastry and macarons, but the savory recipes are more rare.  Today we found one in the NYT Dining Section, written by Florence Fabricant.  She doesn’t specify which grade of tea, but I would recommend Cafe Grade Gotcha Matcha for best color and flavor.  The recipe does call for sifting matcha, which we endorse in our tag line, “Sift | Whisk | Enjoy”.  For a free sample of Gotcha Matcha, call the office at 310 845 9392 and mention “Matcha with Mussels.”  But you have to promise and send a pic of your efforts. Here’s the entire article:

Pairings: Mussels in Broth with Matcha

By FLORENCE FABRICANT, Published: May 24, 2011

Phil Kline for The New York Times

Whether your Fiano is lean and steely or in a richer style, several flavors should emerge from any food that is served alongside. Notes of grassiness, nuttiness and a hint of bitterness are paramount. Thinking about these tastes led me to matcha, the earthy powdered Japanese green tea. But how can you eat matcha?

The Japanese tradition, using a fine bamboo whisk to make matcha, which becomes frothy when done properly, does not have to be limited to a bowl of tea. Why not add matcha to mussel broth?

Against the briny-sweet mussels, this broth also offers a touch of wasabi for heat, lime for acidity and cream for added foamy richness. These elements brought the flavor of the wine, and the matcha, into elegant focus.

Time: 30 minutes

  • 1 tablespoon vegetable oil, preferably grapeseed
  • 1/4 cup minced shallots
  • 2 tablespoons minced ginger
  • 2 teaspoons wasabi paste (from a tube or mixed from powder)
  • Juice and grated zest of 1 lime
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt
  • 1/2 teaspoon sugar
  • 1 1/2 cups dry white wine
  • 2 pounds mussels, scrubbed
  • 1/2 cup heavy cream
  • 1 tablespoon matcha (Japanese powdered green tea).

1. Heat the oil in a large sauté pan. Add the shallots and ginger and cook, covered, over very low heat until soft, about 10 minutes. Whisk in the wasabi paste, lime juice, zest, salt and sugar. Stir in the wine and bring to a simmer.

2. Add the mussels, cover, and cook over medium heat until they open, about 8 minutes. Transfer them with a slotted spoon, draining well, to 4 shallow soup plates. Cover the plates to keep warm.

3. Whisk the cream into the broth. Bring to a slow simmer. Sift matcha into the pan through a small strainer and, using a fine whisk or a hand blender, blend vigorously until the mixture starts to look frothy. Spoon over mussels.

Yield: 4 servings

2 Comments leave one →
  1. Laurance permalink
    June 10, 2011 4:55 pm

    I seriously can’t eat seafood at all, but everything else sounds really good. Would this work with something other than mussels? What other meat or protein ingredient would go with this?

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