There are lots of easy ways to make mussels. They don't need much more than some garlic and white wine and a sprinkling of fresh parsley. But this recipe requires only a teensy bit more effort, and is worth those three or four additional minutes, especially if you like the bright, tongue-tickling flavors of Thai cuisine.
You start by adoring mussels. Go get yourself some plump pretty coral ones (local, if possible, but please not farm-raised) and just do this:
Coconut Curry Mussels
Serves 2 as a main course, 4 as an appetizer
3 tablespoons unsalted butter
3 stalks lemongrass, dry parts removed
3 garlic cloves, minced
2 tablespoons minced peeled fresh ginger
1 can (13.5 ounces) unsweetened coconut milk (not cream, and not skim)
3 tablespoons red or green Thai curry paste (I prefer red)
3 pounds mussels, rinsed (discard open or cracked mussels and any beards you find)
2 tablespoons fresh lime juice (about 2 limes)
1/4 cup chopped fresh cilantro
- In a large pot with a lid, melt the butter over medium high heat. Pound the lemongrass with the back of the knife to bruise it, cut it into 1-inch pieces. Add the lemongrass, along with the garlic and ginger, to the pot, and cook until fragrant, 1 minute.
- Whisk in coconut milk and curry paste, stir to combine, and bring to a simmer over high heat.
- Add the mussels, stir to combine, cover, and reduce heat to medium-high. Cook until mussels open, about 5 minutes. Remove from heat and stir in the lime juice and cilantro.
- Serve in bowls, along with lots of country bread or baguette (there will be much dipping).
Be sure to discard any mussels that don't open or that open slightly but refuse to budge any more without a lot of force. Accompanied by a salad and crisp white wine, this is the perfect simple summer supper. The broth is so delicious, you definitely will need to serve it with spoons so you can slurp up every last drop.