Seasonal Dish: Korean Style PEI Mussels with Housemade Kim Chi & Smoked Bacon

Meaty mussels and Asian flavors make this aromatic dish a knockout.

Set in a comfortable country farmhouse in Bridgehampton, New York, Southfork Kitchen features two on-site gardens, a production area for growing vegetables and raised beds in front of the house where diners can sip on a glass of wine while strolling through the planted herbs, tomatoes and eggplants. It’s the perfect setting to embrace before sitting inside to indulge in the seasonal dishes Michelin-starred executive chef Joe Isidor creates. Showcasing the local game, fish and house-grown produce from the region, his Korean-style mussels are a favorite dish for a decadent dinner a deux:

For the Mussel Fume:
2 tablespoon chopped lemongrass
2 tablespoon chopped ginger
2 bulbs chopped garlic
2 tablespoon minced shallot
2 tablespoons kim chi spice base
4 cups Sho Xing rice wine
4 cups clam juice
1 tablespoon whole black peppercorns
4 pods star anise
8 cilantro stems
8 parsley stems
2 cups heavy cream

For the Korean pepper sauce:
2 cups Korean red pepper puree
1 tablespoon finely grated garlic
1 tablespoon finely grated ginger
½ cup fresh lime juice
½ cup rice vinegar

For the basil oil:
2 cups Thai basil leaves, blanched
1 teaspoon powdered sugar
2 cups grapeseed oil

For the housemade Kim Chi:
10 Kirby pickles
2 shredded carrots
2 cups of fish sauce
1 cup of salted shrimp
1 cup of sliced scallion
1 cup of sliced garlic chives
2 cups Korean hot pepper paste
½ cup dried Korean pepper flake
1 tablespoon of sugar
½ cup finely grated garlic
½ cup finely grated ginger

For the garnish:
½ cup Thai basil leaves
½ cup cilantro leaves
½ cup sliced breakfast radish, or red globe radishes
¼ cup fried garlic chips
¼ cup fried shallots
¼ cup rendered bacon lardons
2 cups chiffonade Napa cabbage

To make the fume mussel:
Combine the lemongrass, garlic, ginger and shallot. Add rice wine and reduce by half, then add clam juice along with parsley, cilantro, spices and heavy cream. Reduce slightly, strain and, reserve.

To make the Korean pepper sauce:
Mix all ingredients until well combined and reserve.

To make the basil oil:
Place all ingredients in a blender on high until a bright green color is achieved. Strain through a linen napkin and reserve.

To make the Kim Chi:
Slice Kirby in half, length wisem, season with salt and let sit for about one hour. Next, arrange in an air-tight container with the shredded carrot. Mix all the remaining ingredients together and pour over the Kirby, then mix and store in a dry pantry for up to 3 days, and afterward, store in refrigerator.
Note: You do not have to store in dry place. You can opt to store in a refrigerator.

To make the garnish:
In a shallow pan, sweat some shallot in grapeseed oil. Add 15–20 mussels and 8 ounces of fume. Season with salt and pepper, and cook until open. Remove mussels and cover to keep warm. Add in the bacon lardoons and chiffonade of napa cabbage. Cook until sauce is reduced slightly and cabbage is tender. In a noodle style bowl, place mussels and cabbage, and drizzle Korean pepper sauce and basil oil over mussels. Garnish with kim chi, radish, Thai basil, cilantro, garlic chips and crispy shallots. Serve while very hot.
Note: Griddled Texas toast is a great accompaniment to this dish.

Published on December 23, 2010