Mussels, like most shellfish, are nature’s fast food. They cook in minutes and can be served many ways with only a few ingredients. This recipe is for Thai Mussels in Coconut Curry Sauce.
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I grew up on the Canadian prairies where we ate meat and potatoes. Fish and shellfish were not served in our house. But in my late teens I became interested in food and wanted to try everything. I still remember the first time I ate mussels.
I was on vacation with a friend visiting her relatives in Paris who took us camping to the south of France. We drove down a long cobblestone drive and came to a large stone building with tables on both sides of the road. They were all set with white tablecloths and wine glasses and we sat only a few feet away from the sand and the Mediterranean Sea. The entire vacation was filled with amazing experiences and lots of new foods but that dish of mussels is something I will never forget.
When I cook mussels I always wonder why I don’t do it more often. For amazingly delicious shellfish the most important part is having a reliable place to buy it. We have a Fish Shop nearby and I appreciate their knowledge and experience, they know how to handle fish and the quality speaks for itself. They don’t sell frozen mussels but I pass along the warning, NEVER buy frozen mussels. When you cook mussels they must always be fresh.
If you haven’t cooked mussels at home I encourage you to give it a try. The more you do it the more comfortable you will be handling them. When I buy mussels they put them in a plastic bag. Fishmongers know that the quality deteriorates with every hour shellfish is not refrigerated so they always include a little ice with your purchase.
Older cookbooks and recipes instruct you to scrub and debeard your mussels. Most cooks don’t want to do that or worry that they won’t do it right. When I buy them that has already been done and I just need to rinse them.
I cook mussels in my wok because I think it’s easy but you can cook them in the largest pot of a typical set of pots. Simply boil the liquid, add the mussels and steam them for a few minutes. Almost every recipe includes white wine and garlic so you really can’t go wrong.
I wrote a long blog post about a Gluten Free Asian Pantry and the many gluten free ingredients you can cook with. In this recipe I use canned coconut milk, red curry paste and fish sauce. I keep these ingredients in my pantry so that makes this a quick and easy dish.
Are you going to cook some mussels? I’d love to hear about it in the comments below.
If you love mussels try:
|2 lb fresh mussels|
|1 can (14 oz/400 ml) coconut milk|
|⅓ cup lime juice|
|⅓ cup white wine|
|1½-2 Tbsp red curry paste|
|1½ Tbsp minced garlic|
|1 Tbsp Asian fish sauce|
|1 Tbsp sugar|
|FINISHING - 1½ cups chopped fresh cilantro|
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