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Tuesday Night Thai Mussels

October 11, 2012

This was a big hit with some friends and relatives who visited from the mainland recently more, they admitted to us, to chow down on PEI shellfish than to actually enjoy our company. I think they were partly joking.

Anyway, we convinced them to spend the evening with us (rather than go to the Beer Festival) in part by offering to prepare oysters and mussels. This is a mussel recipe I was able to prepare with ingredients on-hand. It’s really easy to make (thus it gets the Tuesday Night tag), and will now be a regular in our recipe book.

The sauce is a variation on Nuoc Cham, which is actually a Vietnamese dipping sauce so I’m not sure why I decided to label these as “Thai.” I think there are Thai recipes I’ve prepared in the past which are fairly close to this. At any rate, I reserve the right to post further mussel recipes in the future which could be labelled as Thai, Vietnamese or anything else for that matter, because there are many, many ways to do this and most of them would be delicious.

Tuesday Night Thai Mussels

For the drizzle:
2 cloves garlic, minced
1-inch piece ginger root, peeled and minced
1-3 dried red chilies, finely chopped
1/4 cup Thai fish sauce
1/4 cup hot water
2 tbsp light soy sauce
2 tbsp sugar
1 tbsp sesame oil
grated zest and juice of 1 lime

splash of cooking oil
1 clove garlic, chopped
1/2-inch piece of ginger root, peeled and chopped
1/4 cup white wine
about 3 lbs mussels
1 bunch fresh cilantro

1. In a bowl, combine all the ingredients for the drizzle. This should be allowed to sit for 30 minutes or more, to allow the flavours to combine.

2. Prep the mussels by rinsing, debearding if necessary, and discarding any mussels that won’t close with a few taps on the counter or by submerging them under water. For more detailed instructions, look here.

3. Heat the oil over medium-high heat in a large saucepan or Dutch oven. Add the garlic and ginger and cook until aromatic, about 30 seconds or so. Add the wine and then the mussels. Cover and steam, moving the mussels around to ensure even cooking, for about eight minutes. The mussels are done when they’ve all completely opened and the flesh is firm and easily pulls out of the shell.

4. Plate the mussels, add the cilantro and top with several generous spoonfuls of the drizzle. You might want to scoop some of the cooking liquid in the bowl as well, and then scoop it out with slices of a nice fresh baguette.

  1. To make it Thai…For 3 lbs of mussels:

    Thai-Steamed Mussels
    · 2 tbsp vegetable oil
    · 2 (two large) sweet onion, sliced
    · 2 cloves garlic, chopped
    · 1 tbsp freshly grated ginger
    · 1 Thai chili, finely, chopped
    · 3 stalks lemongrass, sliced
    · 1/2 tsp coriander, seed, ground
    · 1 lime, zested, juiced
    · 1 orange, zested, juiced
    · 1/2 cup coconut milk
    · 3 lb. PEI mussel, bearded, scrubbed well to remove dirt
    · 1/4 cup fresh chopped coriander
    · pepper, to taste
    · salt, to taste

    Thai-Steamed Mussels
    1. In a large deep skillet, heat the vegetable oil. Add onion and garlic and sauté for about 3 minutes.
    2. Add the garlic, ginger, chili, lemongrass, crushed coriander seeds and citrus zest and sauté for a further 5 minutes just to develop flavour
    3. Add coconut milk, juices and the mussels
    4. Cover and steam over medium setting for 5-7 minutes until mussels open
    5. Remove from heat immediately and stir in chopped coriander and adjust seasoning.
    6. Substitution: If you want a light sauce, just leave out the coconut milk and add ½ cup white wine.

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