Ingredient Name: Baby Mussels (dried)

Traditional Chinese Name: 青口幹 (qīng kǒu gàn)

What is this?

  • A dried and processed type of salt of fresh water shellfish of the clam family with elongated shells
  • The shells are often black, brown, beige in color and are found without the shells when they are used in soups
  • The mussels used in these soups are smaller in size
  • Dried and prepared mussels are more commonly used in Chinese soups than fresh mussels (which are not common at all)
  • Dried mussels are also used in various Chinese dishes along with black moss
  • They are often tougher in texture than their relative clams and to some are an acquired taste

How do I prepare it?

  • Soak in water for 10-15 minutes and rinse before usage

Where can I buy this?

  • You can buy dried mussels at supermarkets, wet marts or Chinese herbalists
  • Canned, processed mussels can also be used for soups – which are available at supermarkets

What is the cost

  • The prices vary depending on size, breed, availability and whether they are imported or organic

Any benefits?

  • Mussels are an excellent source of B12, Selenium, Zinc, Iron and folate
  • They are also an excellent source of protein
  • Compared to meats, they have less fat
  • They are also an excellent source of omega-3 fatty acids (which help reduce heart disease)

Any precautions?

  • Be sure to buy from a reputable source
  • Dried and processed mussels should have a salty, fragrant smell to them so be sure to take a good whiff before purchasing (this is more common to the bulk buys available in Asian markets)

Additional Information

  • Dried mussels can be kept frozen for up to 6 months (and taken out when needed for soups)
  • Dried mussels can also be kept in the fridge for up to 2 months in a sealed container
  • Keep mussels in a dry environment