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Steamed Mussels in Thai Basil Coconut Broth


Steamed Mussels in Thai Basil Coconut Broth

This is one of my favorite mussel recipes. It comes together very quickly. I don’t always assemble  mise en place when I cook, but for this recipe you should have all the chopping and measuring done before you start.  Feel free to substitute ingredients or increase/decrease the amounts.

This makes a great starter or main course. As a main allow at least a pound of mussels for every two people, more is advisable. As with many mussel recipes the broth is delicious, so make sure you have crusty, country bread available to soak it up.

The recipe specifies individual plating but I generally serve the mussels family-style. To make it easier to get to the broth I use a slotted spoon to place the mussels in the serving bowl and then pour the broth into a small side bowl so that everyone can spoon as much as they want over their mussels.

Mise en Place

Steamed Mussels in Thai Basil Coconut Broth

adapted from Dishing with Kathy Casey: Food, Fun, and Cocktails from Seattle’s Culinary Diva

  • 2 tsp. vegetable oil
  • 1 Tbsp. minced ginger
  • 2 tsp. minced garlic
  • ¼ tsp dried red pepper flakes
  • 1 Tbsp. minced fresh lemongrass (Optional) – I added this
  • 13.5 oz can of unsweetened coconut milk
  • 2 tsp. Thai fish sauce (nam pla)
  • 2 tsp. soy sauce
  • 3 Tbsp. coarsely chopped fresh Thai Basil
  • 1 Tbsp. fresh lime juice
  • 2 pounds fresh mussels, washed and debearded
  • ½ cup matchstick cut carrots
  • ½ cup matchstick cut red bell pepper
  • ¼ cup slivered green onion
  • Salt and pepper, to taste
  • 1 Tbsp. chopped fresh cilantro

In a large soup pot or Dutch oven, heat the oil over medium heat until hot. Add the ginger, garlic, red pepper flakes and lemongrass and cook, stirring often, for about 30 seconds; do not let the mixture burn.

Add the coconut milk, fish and soy sauce, Thai Basil, lime juice, carrots, red peppers, and green onions. Stir for about one minute and bring to boil.

Add the mussels and bring back to a boil. Cover immediately. Steam the mussels covered for 3 to 5 minutes – or until mussels open. Immediately remove from heat and with slotted spoon divide the mussels (discard any not open) and vegetables between 4 bowls.  Taste the broth and add salt or pepper, if needed.  Pour the broth over the mussels. Sprinkle with cilantro and serve immediately.

White wines like Dry Riesling or Pinot Gris go well with this dish as they help cut the heat from the pepper flakes.

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