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Sunday, February 8, 2015

Thai Mussels with coconut, chilli and lime

The last time I had really good mussels was when I was in Brussels, Belgium. Till today, I can still remember the soup that the mussels were soaked in along with the chips and beer. It was superb for a chilly day especially if you are eating it al fresco. Those were the days. Of course, I want to replicate the experience but given the weather here. I doubt it can come anywhere close.

At IHCC this week, we are having a East meets West theme and I thought, this dish from Diana Henry would be superb. Diana's dish is from her book Plenty, a book with 300 satisfying and easy to make recipes for family. Exactly what I need!!

Typically this recipe serves 4 but if you are a mussel lover, you might even have it for 1 or 2 :) See comments or modifications in blue.

Ingredients:

For The Mussels• 4½ lb mussels (about 2kg mussels) 
• 1½ tbsp groundnut oil
• 1 onion, finely chopped
• 2 garlic cloves, finely chopped 
• 3/4 in square fresh ginger, peeled and finely chopped
• 2 fresh red chiles, seeded and shredded 
• 2 x 14 oz cans coconut milk (I used about 450g fresh coconut milk)
• juice of 1 lime 
• 1½ tsp soft light brown sugar 
• 2 kaffir lime leaves, cut into strips (or grated zest of 1 lime)

To Serve
• 2 kaffir lime leaves, cut into strips (or grated zest of 1 lime) 
• 1/4 cup coarsely chopped cilantro 
• 1/2 fresh red chilli, seeded and shredded

Method:

  1. Wash the mussels really well, scrubbing off barnacles and removing any "beards." Tap each on the side of the sink. If it doesn't close, chuck it away. Rinse the mussels well.
  2. Heat the oil in a large saucepan. Add the onion, garlic, ginger and chiles. Cook over a medium heat until the onion is soft and very pale gold. Add the coconut milk, lime juice, sugar, and lime leaves. Bring to just under a boil, then add the mussels.
  3. Cover and cook for 4 minutes, or until the mussels have opened, shaking the pan a couple of times. Throw away any that haven't opened (and remind your diners to do the same).
  4. To serve, stir, then throw the lime leaves, cilantro, and chilli on top.

I love how the flavours I'm familiar with like the coconut, chilli and lime blends so well with the briny flavour of the mussels. It just goes so well with each other. If you have been finding a way to cook mussels, try this. As you would have expected, the mussels were gone in no time :)

I'm submitting this post to I Heart Cooking Clubs - East meets West.



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