Mussels in a Thai-Style Coconut Broth
March 12, 2012 in Uncategorized
Not only do mussels remind me of mythical creatures with their beards and archaic-like bodies, but they also hold a special place in my heart.
Each time I eat a mussel, memories are resurrected of a happy summer spent with my dad.
This summer, I had my dad all to myself and because I was a little obsessed with all things seafood and in particular mussels – we decided to try all the mussels in Plett.
My excitement as each steaming bowl of mussels was brought to the table was indescribable, not just because the smell was hypnotic – that heady combination of sea mingled with wine and garlic, or the fact that the aromatic liquid was about to be mopped up with a crispy piece of bread, but because I was sharing the experience with my dad.
Mussels will always be my ultimate comfort food; when I am sad or feeling lonely, I need only make a pot of these yummy morsels and I am transported to my happy place.
- 1 medium onion, diced
- 1 Tbs olive oil, for frying
- ½ tsp salt
- 1 Thai chilli, deseeded and finely chopped
- 15ml NoMU vegetable or chicken stock, diluted in 2 cups of water
- 400ml lite coconut milk
- 1 stalk lemon grass, bruised with the back of a knife to release the oils
- 3 baby leeks, whole
- 1 – 2 tsp sugar
- 30ml fresh lemon or lime juice
- 1 tsp fish sauce
- ½ cup thinly sliced basil leaves
- ½ cup chopped parsley
- 1 tsp ground Sichuan pepper (optional)
- 500g mussels (fresh or frozen)
- Vermicelli rice noodles or Jasmine rice for serving (optional)
- Defrost mussels, if frozen
- Fry onion until translucent, add the salt to prevent it from burning
- Add chilli and fry for a few minutes
- Add stock and coconut milk and bring to a gentle simmer
- Add lemon grass and baby leeks
- Add sugar, lemon juice, fish sauce, basil, parsley and Sichuan pepper
- Simmer for 10 minutes to allow flavours to infuse
- Taste and adjust flavouring where necessary
- Remove leeks and slice
- Remove lemon grass
- Add mussels and put lid on pot
- If mussels are already cooked, coat them in the sauce and allow them to heat through before removing from stove
- If mussels are fresh, simmer for 5 – 7 minutes, until cooked
- Discard any closed mussels
- Add sliced leeks back to pot and stir
- Test seasoning
- Serve with vermicelli rice noodles or jasmine rice or eat them just as is