thai curry mussels


Yeah, so I'm excited.  What is it about mussels? I feel like they get so much grief in the world - people are always trying to hate on them because they're "weird" and have a "funny texture" and are "slimy". What?! People, seriously, none of those are true.  Give 'em a chance! The great thing about mussels ALSO is that they are just a nice little canvas for greatness - a mollusk of many masks if you will.  Moules marinieres - steamed in white wine with shallots and garlic. (Why this is "sailor style" is of interest to me - I suppose sailors like shallots, garlic and wine...but who doesn't?).  A la Lily's Seafood in Royal Oak, Michigan - cooked sailor style, but with Huntsman Cheese melted in the broth.  Sounds odd? Yes. Tastes epic? Double yes! Or how about cooked with tomato and chorizo? Or breaded and broiled on a half shell? OR - Thai Red Curry mussels? Yes, please. And that is exactly what I cooked today.

The great thing about mussels - among many things - is that they are really inexpensive and SO simple and quick to cook! They literally take only a few minutes to steam into tender goodness. So go pick up a bag of mussels, sling it over your shoulder, and get cooking!

Thai Red Curry Mussels
2 lbs. mussels - Prince Edward Island, New Zealand, whichever!
1 stalk lemongrass, hard outer leaves removed and minced
1 clove garlic, minced
1 shallot, minced
2 T olive oil
2 or more T red curry paste (depending how spicy you want them!)
1 14-oz can coconut milk - I use light
A few tablespoons each of mint, basil, and cilantro chiffonade for garnish
1/2 lime
Fresh ground pepper

How easy is this? Before you start anything, be sure to clean your mussels. Most of the time, this is already done  - they've been purged of sandy water, and the beards have been taken off.  Either way, be sure to inspect them just in case! Discard any mussels with broken shells.

Heat up a saute pan large enough to hold all of your mussels over medium heat, and swirl in the olive oil.  When it's shimmering, toss in the lemongrass, garlic, and shallot and sweat - be careful not to burn anything! After a few minutes, pour in the coconut milk and the red curry paste - whisking together until they're combined - the color of this broth is beautiful!  Taste the broth for seasoning, and add and salt or pepper if you deem it necessary.

Bring this mixture to a boil, and slowly place the mussels into the broth and cover.  Steam the mussels for a few minutes until they open up - don't cook them any longer or else the meat will start to get tough! Right when they open, they are perfectly done.  Remove the mussels from heat, place in a bowl, and sprinkle with basil, mint, and cilantro!  Squeeze a bit of lime juice over top, and serve with a nice crusty baguette - the best part is sopping up the delicious broth!

Simple - one, two punch!  Better yet - if you end up not finishing your mussels, you can remove the meat from the shells and you're left with a wonderful Thai curry soup as leftovers.

This is a pretty standard, go to mussel recipe for me - it's super simple, and super flavorful! It's got a nice subtle kick from the curry paste - but it also has a great, refreshing taste from the coconut milk and the fresh herbs. Tasty delicious.  This broth is SO good!! I'm already looking forward to eating this for lunch tomorrow!


I tried this last week and it was amazing, thank you for this Thai recipe.
Lauren Gottlieb said…
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