Recipe reprinted by permission from Ceviche: Peruvian Kitchen by Martin Morales, published by Weidenfeld & Nicolson.
Although commonly made with mussels, this recipe also works with other types of shelled seafood such as large clams and raw oysters.
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100 grams choclo or sweet corn kernels
1 star anise
1 cinnamon stick
1 tablespoon white wine vinegar
1 tablespoon sugar
24 large mussels, cleaned and debearded
250 millilitres white wine
1/2 red onion, cut into wedges
2 garlic cloves, crushed
2 teaspoons black peppercorns
1 red onion, finely chopped
2 medium tomatoes, cored, seeded and finely chopped
2 chilies, seeded, deveined and finely chopped
1 tablespoon lime juice
1 tablespoon olive oil
2 coriander sprigs, finely chopped
Salt and pepper to taste
First, cook the choclo. Put the kernels in a saucepan with the star anise, cinnamon stick, cloves, vinegar and sugar, adding enough water to cover ingredients. Bring the water to a boil, cover saucepan and cook over medium heat for 10 minutes or until the corn has softened.
While the choclo is cooking, wash the mussels, scraping off any large barnacles and pulling off the beards. Discard any mussels that don’t immediately close when tapped on a hard surface. Put the mussels in a large saucepan with the wine, onion, garlic and peppercorns. Put the lid on, bring to a boil and cook for 2 minutes, shaking the pan a couple of times. Drain and discard the liquid as well as any mussels that haven’t opened. Gently pull the mussels from their shells. Discard one half of each shell and place the mussels back onto the remaining half shell. Let mussels cool.
To make salsa, soak red onion in ice water for 10 minutes, drain, then mix with remaining salsa ingredients.
To assemble, spoon the salsa over the mussels and garnish each with a choclo kernel.