Mother Nature has decided that Winter gets to have one last blow at us before Spring can take over again. This change in the weather, combined with a stint baby-sitting my nieces and nephews, prompted a return of the cold I’d had back in November. Fortunately, I’d been given a recipe last week for Mussels in Spicy Thai Coconut Broth in the cooking class* that I took at the Institute of Culinary Education that could chase the chill and the sniffles away.
This is also a perfect dish for a Lenten Friday, as it is a bit different from the usual fish/pasta/pizza rotation that I grew up with at least, and is relatively fast and easy to prepare. There’s every excuse to slurp up the soupy mussels in their shells after dipping them into the creamy broth. The leftover coconut milk bath for the mollusks is spicy and rich and perfect for sopping up with a bit of crusty bread. Steamed vegetables or a salad is all that is needed alongside of the mussels to complete the meal.
Mussels in Spicy Thai Coconut Broth
Prep Time: 15-20 minutes Serving Size: 4 people
Ingredients: 48 Mussels 1 can Coconut Milk (14 fl. oz. / 400 ml) 1-4 tsp. Thai Green Curry Paste 1/2 c. dry White Wine 2 Tbsp. Fish Sauce 2 Tbsp. Ginger, peeled and minced 2 tsp. (about 2 cloves) Garlic, minced 2-inch piece Lemongrass, minced (or 2 tsp. grated lime zest) 2 Tbsp. Cilantro, chopped, plus additional for garnish 1 pinch ground White Pepper 2 Scallions, sliced finely for garnish Lime wedges for garnish French Bread cut into rounds
Assembly: Put coconut milk and curry paste into a large pot or Dutch oven over a low heat and stir until the curry paste is completely mixed into the coconut milk. Pour in the wine and fish sauce. Add the ginger, lemongrass, garlic, cilantro, and pepper. Stir to mix together and bring liquid to a boil.
When liquid is boiling, put mussels in the pot and cover with a tight-fitting lid. Cook mussels for 3 to 5 minutes, until all of them have opened up completely. If any of them have not opened up on their own, do not eat them. Place mussels with some of the broth into bowls. Garnish each dish with the scallions, extra cilantro, and a lime wedge. Serve with rounds of French Bread.
*Thank you so much to my classmate who wrote down the ingredient list their group used in this recipe. I’ve taken it and expanded it here for this post.