STEAMED MUSSELS WITH THAI SPICES (for four as an appetizer, two as a main course)

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1 cup well stirred unsweetened coconut milk (about half of a 14 ounce can)

3 tablespoons fresh lime juice

3 tablespoons dry white wine

2-½ teaspoons Thai red curry paste

2-½ teaspoons minced garlic

1-½ teaspoons nam pla or other Asian fish sauce

1-½ teaspoons sugar

2 pounds mussels, preferably cultivated, scrubbed well and beards removed

1 cup chopped fresh cilantro sprigs

lime wedges to accompany

  1. Combine coconut milk, lime juice, wine, curry paste, garlic, fish sauce and sugar in a 6 to 8 quart wide pot and bring to a boil over high heat. Cover and boil, stirring occasionally, for 2 minutes.
  1. Add mussels and toss to combine. Cover pot and cook, stirring occasionally, until mussels just open wide, between 3 and 6 minutes.  Check often after 3 minutes and transfer mussels as they open with a slotted spoon to a large bowl. Discard any mussels that do not open after 6 minutes.
  1. Pour sauce over mussels in bowl and, just before serving, toss with cilantro. Accompany with lime wedges.


from The Gourmet Cookbook

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