My love for pickled mussels began when I started working at New York's Estela. Chef Ignacio Mattos dreamed up a dish that has become the staple on his much-adored menu.

When developing my own pickled mussels recipe, our editorial director, Adam Sachs, jokingly warned me not to draw too much inspiration from Mattos's beloved dish. So I dropped the Grenache and sherry vinegar marinade, got rid of the aioli and went in a completely different direction.

I decided to pull some of my favorite Asian flavors: ginger, sesame, rice vinegar, soy sauce and Chinese hot oil. What results is an acidic pickling liquid that contains some lip-smacking heat. Serve it with crusty bread and see what you've been missing.

To learn more, read "Cool Moules."