Updated: Feb 15
A fragrant delicacy in oriental style!
Recently I bought some good quality mussels from my local fishmonger and my favourite way to serve them is with delicious Thai Red Curry sauce and jasmine rice.
When buying mussels make sure they are good quality, few things to look out for :
Pleasant sea smell
The bright colour of the flesh
No damage to the shell
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Ingredients for Red Curry Paste (enough to make this recipe twice):
4 red chillies, seeds removed and sliced (leave the seeds if you like it extra spicy)
40g (1.4oz) of peeled ginger, sliced
2 lemongrass stalks, outer layer removed and sliced
2 medium shallots, peeled and sliced
3 garlic cloves peeled and sliced
1tsp of ground coriander
1tsp of cumin
1tsp of mild chilli powder
0,5tsp of black pepper
4tbsp of vegetable oil
1tsp of salt
Ingredients (serves 2):
700g (1,5Pounds) of Mussels (Bought 800g but 100g were not good)
3tbsp of homemade red curry paste
400ml (0.42quarts) of coconut milk
juice of 1 lime
fresh coriander to garnish
cooked Jasmine rice to serve with
How to check and clean mussels?
When resting, some mussels open their shells slightly.
When pressed with fingers they will tighten their muscle and close meaning they are alive. Most of them will be closed and that is normal.
Mussels that are open and do not respond to tapping should be thrown away.
To clean, remove any calcification that forms on the shell by smashing it off with a blunt side of a knife then clean the surface with a steel scourer. Next, deaberd them by removing their little hair that sticks out of the shell, grab it and pull it towards the backside to use it as the cut-off point (They use it to attach themselves to the surface and when buying from the farmed source this is usually removed).
Be aware that chlorinated water kills them so cleaning is advised as soon before cooking as possible to maintain their best quality,
1. Prepare the curry paste by blending all the ingredients together to a smooth paste (chopping ingredients to fine pieces before blending, helps).
2. High heat medium pan and fry half of the curry paste for 2 minutes.
3. Pour in coconut milk and whisk it then add mussels.
4. Cover with a lid and bring to the boil, then reduce to simmer.
5. Cook mussels for 4 minutes.
6. When ready drizzle with lime juice and serve immediately with rice and chopped coriander.
Check useful equipment for this recipe:
If your blender is not strong enough your paste will not be smooth, in that scenario infuse the milk with the paste then strain it before adding mussels.
Mollusc has rich flavour thanks to the amino-acids that they store for energy. This substances also help them to balance the external salinity of the seawater. One of those acids is glutamic acid that brings the umami flavour.