This classic recipe, just like the ones found in Japanese sushi restaurants, contains no crab, and you can use either fresh or frozen mussels. Tobiko is flying fish roe, found in most Asian markets.

Japanese Baked Mussels


  • 1 dozen mussels, cleaned if fresh, or thawed if frozen
Japanese Sauce Topping
  • 3/4 cup mayonnaise
  • 2 teaspoons sugar
  • 1 1/2 teaspoons prepared wasabi
  • 1 teaspoon minced fresh ginger
  • 1 teaspoon soy sauce
  • 1/2 teaspoon lemon zest, finely grated
  • 1/4 teaspoon toasted sesame seed oil
  • Juice from half a lemon
  • Up to 2 tablespoons Panko crumbs
Baked Mussels Garnish
  • 1 green onion, sliced fine (green and white parts)
  • Tobiko


For the Mussels
  1. If using fresh mussels, quickly sauté them in a hot pan with a bit of oil until they pop open. Remove them from the pan. Pull meat from the mussels and slice in three pieces and place back into a mussel half shell. If using pre-cooked frozen mussels, remove the meat from the shell, cut into three pieces, and place back into a mussel half shell. Arrange all the mussels in a baking pan that is broiler safe.
Mussels Topping
  1. Combine the ginger, lemon zest, fresh lemon juice, wasabi, sugar, soy sauce, toasted sesame seed oil with the mayonnaise. Stir until smooth.
  2. Spoon about a tablespoon over each mussel in a half shell, and sprinkle with a bit of Panko crumbs.
  3. Place the baking pan under the broiler element and broil until the mussels are bubbly and lighly browned.
  4. Remove from baking pan to a platter and top with green onions and tobiko.
  5. Serve immediately.
John’s motto is ‘release it unharmed or do it justice on the plate.’ Executive Chef, photographer, and surfer, John photographs ocean marine life when he’s out fishing, and creates masterpieces in the kitchen with what he keeps on deck. His photo works have been used in OEHHA Fish Advisories, National Geographic presentations, and nonprofit marine life groups. When he’s not fishing, he’s making great BBQ. Visit him at, and send him a message using the contact form using the link above.