I don't know why we don't make mussels more often, but it's one of the easiest and quickest things to throw together for a savory weeknight meal. Garlicky white wine mussels are great, but coconut curry mussels have my heart. The slow burning spiciness of the fragrant broth, punctured by bright lime juice makes it a special dinner for any and all occasions.
You may notice that the background in some of the photos is different, and that's because we moved! While I already miss the neighborhood-y feel of the UWS and the proximity to the park, my new kitchen has a window (luxury) and a BIG sink, both of which I hope will contribute to more frequent posts.
Mussels in Coconut Curry Broth (Serves 2 for dinner, 4 as an appetizer or lunch)
- 3-4 pounds mussels, cleaned and de-bearded
- 1-2 red chili, sliced thinly
- 2 cloves garlic, roughly chopped
- 4 tablespoons red curry paste
- 1 stalk fresh lemongrass, roughly cut into 3 inch pieces
- 1 tablespoon fish sauce
- 14-oz can coconut milk
- 14 oz water
- 14 oz chicken broth
- 1-2 limes
- 1 small bunch cilantro, roughly chopped
- 2 tablespoons olive oil
- salt, to taste
First, prepare the garlic, chili, and lemongrass. Using the blunt end of your knife, whack the lemongrass to bruise it a bit. Heat up the olive oil in a large saucepan (one with a lid) or dutch oven on medium heat. Saute the garlic, chilis, and lemongrass until fragrant. Once the garlic starts to brown, add the curry paste and give it a stir to mix it all together.
Next, add the liquids. Pour in the coconut milk, including the solids. Using the can, measure out another can of water and another of chicken broth. Add the fish sauce and stir to combine. Simmer the mixture until 20 minutes before you're ready to serve the mussels. (If not serving until later, feel free to put the lid on and turn the flame off, then bring it back up to temp before adding the mussels).
When you're ready to add the mussels, turn the heat up to medium high and bring the broth to a low rolling boil. Add the mussels, and give them a toss to coat them. Put the lid on to steam them until the shells are open - around 20 minutes. Add a handful of chopped cilantro and the juice of 1 lime to the pot, and give it one last toss. Taste, and add salt if necessary. Serve immediately with additional lime wedges, crusty bread, and lots of broth.