Garlic Butter Tahong (Mussels)

Home-cooked tahong may seem intimidating, but we've got this affordable and simple recipe that's perfectly paired with a garlic butter sauce.
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4 servings
Prep Time
05 Mins
Active Time
15 Mins

If you’ve only had tahong (mussels) at restaurants, they can look intimidating to cook at home. But they’re affordable, nutritious, and very easy to cook, especially if you’re using the frozen kind. Here we toss them in a garlicky butter sauce that you’ll want to spoon over rice. Consider it your gateway recipe to a lifetime of home-cooked tahong.

  • water, for boiling
  • 1 kg tahong (mussels), cleaned
  • 1 block (225g) unsalted butter
  • 3 tbsp minced garlic
  • 3 tbsp minced white onion
  • 1 ½ tsp atsuete (annatto) powder
  • ¼ cup rice wine
  • lemon juice, from 1 lemon
  • chopped parsley, plus more for garnish
  • salt, to taste
  • lemon wedges, for garnish (optional)

Add water to a wok or pot over high heat. Once the water is boiling, add tahong. Cover the wok with a tight-fitting lid. Cook until all the shells have opened, about 5–7 minutes. Discard any shells that remained closed. Drain and set aside to cool.


Wipe the wok clean and melt butter over medium heat. Add minced garlic and cook, stirring frequently, until soft and the flavor is infused into the butter, 3–5 minutes.


Add onion and atsuete, stirring to cook until aromatic. Add rice wine, lemon juice, and parsley. Season with salt, adjusting to taste.


Add tahong to the garlic butter sauce. Toss and stir to coat.


Transfer to a serving dish, making sure to scoop up the sauce at the bottom to ladle over the tahong. Sprinkle with parsley and garnish with lemon wedges, if using. Serve with hot rice.

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