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30 May 2010

Baked tahong

Baked tahong (mussels) is a yummy yet easy dish to make.  My friends back in Manila would serve baked tahong whenever there is a celebration and it goes well with beer.  Although, of course you do not need to have a drinking session to enjoy this dish.

This was the first time my wife and I tried to prepare this dish. Obviously, the photo above says we need to place more cheese on it. The tahong should have a nice cheese coating, which effectively seals up the meat as it gets cooked in the oven.

In this instance, we used mussels that have been pre-cooked and sealed. If you have fresh mussels, that will do nicely as well. You just need to take some extra steps to prepare it.

Place the tahong (1kg) in a tub of water for about an hour to remove the dirt. A bit of scrubbing and cleaning is also in order. Then, place the tahong in a thick-bottomed pan over medium heat. The shells will then open up. Discard those that did not open.

1kg tahong (mussels). If fresh, follow procedure above. Remove the top half of the shell, leaving only the shell with the meat on it.
1/2 cup butter
1 medium head garlic, crushed and minced
grated cheddar cheese (the Quickmelt brand will do nicely). Use as much as needed to thinly cover the tahong.
salt to taste

Pre-heat oven to 250F / 120C
Melt the butter over medium heat.
Saute the garlic.
Brush the tahong with this mixture, then sprinkle grated cheese.
Arrange tahong on baking tray, and place in oven.
Bake for 10 minutes or so, until the cheese has melted.

Sprinkle with a bit of salt on top and serve hot.

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