Thai Red Curry Mussels
One of the last meals I cooked with a friend pre-pandemic was linguini al vongole, and I think that’s the last time I had fresh shellfish. So when I saw mussels on Don’s site, I had to get them. They were plump and sweep and worked so well in a spicy, tangy curry broth (the lime and bird’s eye chili are not optional!) and served with sticky rice.
- 2 pounds mussels, cleaned and debearded
- 2 small or 1 medium shallot, thinly sliced
- 4 cloves garlic, minced
- 3 tbsp red curry paste (~1/2 a can of a Maesri 4 oz tin)
- 1 stalk of lemongrass, tough leaves removed and cut into ~3 inch pieces. Smash with something heavy to release fragrance
- 1 can full fat coconut milk (do not shake! You want the cream and milk to be separated. Aroy-D and Chaokoh brands preferred)
- 1 tsp palm or brown sugar
- 1 tsp fish sauce
- Handful of Kaffir lime leaves
- 1/4 cup water
- Handful of cilantro
- 1 lime
- 1-2 bird’s eye chili, sliced
- You’ll want to “crack” the coconut cream. In a pot/dutch oven over medium-high heat, add in 4 large spoonfuls of the coconut cream that’s at the top of the can (~1/4 cup). Stir frequently.
- Once you see the oil start to separate (~5 minutes), add in the shallots, garlic, and curry paste. Sauté until fragrant and shallots soften ~2-3 minutes (If you’re struggling to see it separate and you’re not using high quality coconut milk, add some coconut oil to help it out)
- Add rest of the coconut milk, lemongrass, kaffir lime leaves, sugar, and fish sauce. Crush lime leaves with your hand as you’re adding in to release fragrance. Add 1/4 cup water and close the lid and simmer on medium low for 10 minutes.
- Season with salt to taste and add mussels in and place the lid back on. Steam until they open up ~5-7 minutes, giving them a turn halfway.
- Top with cilantro, juice of one lime, and sliced birds eye chili. Serve with sticky rice.