Delicious, spicy and fragrant, mussels, like oysters, are generally thought to be best in the colder months of the year (those with an ‘r’ in them). Use a good-quality red Thai curry paste, such as Gang Ped. You can serve the mussels on their own, but they’re also good with a fragrant coconut and coriander rice to soak up the juice.
- 1.5kg mussels
- 3 tablespoons olive oil
- 1 onion, finely chopped
- 1 garlic clove, finely chopped
- 3cm piece of fresh ginger, peeled and finely chopped finely
- 1 lemongrass stalk, finely sliced
- 2 tablespoons red Thai curry paste
- 2 teaspoons dark brown sugar
- 350ml fish or vegetable stock
- 100ml white wine
- 2 teaspoons fish sauce (optional)
- Small bunch of fresh basil or coriander, chopped
- Juice of 1 lime
Clean the mussels under cold running water. Discard any broken or cracked ones and remove the beards.
Heat the oil in a large flameproof casserole. Add the onion, garlic, ginger and lemon grass and sauté gently for 3–4 minutes. Add the curry paste, stirring until you can really smell the spices, then stir in the sugar, stock, wine and fish sauce (if using). Bring to the boil.
Reduce the heat to a simmer and cook the mussels, covered, for 5–6 minutes. Take off the heat and discard any mussels that have not opened.
Stir in all but a tablespoon of the chopped herbs and the lime juice. Sprinkle over a little more chopped basil or coriander.
This recipe first appeared in Sarah Raven's Food for Friends and Family Cookbook.