Photo: Hannah Whitaker; Illustrations by John Burgoyne

Sweet and plump, wild blue mussels straight from Long Island Sound are here. Find them at P.E. & D.D. Seafood and other Greenmarket stands, then give them the Momofuku treatment with this recipe from Má Pêche chef Tien Ho. A shopping tip: Look for mussels whose shells are tightly closed or those that snap shut when given a tap (indicating they’re still alive), and pass on any that are wide open.

Má Pêche’s Mussels in Crab-Paste Beer Broth

For the Crab- Paste Mix:
10 cloves garlic
5 shallots
4 tbs. canola oil
4 tbs. crab paste (available at Asia Market)
1 1/2 tsp. shrimp paste (at Asia Market)
Pinch chile flakes
4 oz. beer

For the Pickled Bean Sprouts:
2 oz. rice vinegar
2 oz. water
1 tbs. sugar
1/4 lb. bean sprouts

For the Mussels:
2 lbs. mussels
2 tbs. butter
10 oz. beer
1 bunch Vietnamese mint (at Asia Market)
Fish sauce to taste

For the Crab-Paste Mix:
Roughly chop the garlic and shallots. In a medium-size pan, over medium heat, cook the garlic and shallots in the canola oil until fragrant, about 4 minutes. Add the crab paste, shrimp paste, and chile flakes, and cook for 4 more minutes. Add the beer, and mix. Remove from heat, and reserve.

For the Pickled Bean Sprouts:
In a small pot, bring rice vinegar, water, and sugar to boil, and pour over bean sprouts. Cool, and reserve.

For the Mussels:
(1) Clean the mussels well under cold running water, and (2) remove any “beards,” the fibrous tufts protruding from shells. (3) In a medium pot, over high heat, add the mussels, the reserved crab-paste mix, butter, and beer. Cover, and cook until mussels begin to open. Remove from heat and add reserved pickled bean sprouts and mint and stir. Season with fish sauce to taste.