This Thai mussel recipe makes an incredible appetizer, or add a salad and enjoy as the main course. Fresh mussels are steamed in white wine, then briefly simmered in a basil and coconut sauce. The dish is finished off with a sprinkling of fresh red chillies, coriander, and more basil for a seafood dish that is easy to make but tastes truly gourmet! Excellent with your favorite wine.
Prep Time: 20 minutes
Cook Time: 8 minutes
Total Time: 28 minutes
- 1 lb fresh mussels (serves 2 as a large appetizer or main entree)
- 1 thumb-size piece galangal (or ginger), grated
- 2 shallots, chopped finely
- 3 cloves garlic, minced
- 3 kaffir lime leaves, snipped into thin strips with scissors (available frozen at Asian stores)
- 1/3 cup white wine (or white cooking wine)
- a handful of basil and coriander leaves for garnish (tear basil into smaller pieces if large)
- optional: 1/2 red chilli, finely sliced
- BASIL-COCONUT SAUCE:
- 1 cup coconut milk
- 1/2 tsp. ground coriander
- 1/4 cup fresh coriander leaves and stems
- 1 Tbsp. fish sauce
- 1 tsp. shrimp paste (if unavailable, substitute 1 more Tbsp. fish sauce)
- 1 Tbsp. lime juice
- 1 Tbsp. soy sauce
- optional: 1/2 red chili, minced, OR 1/2 tsp. dried crushed chili
- Clean and rinse the mussels under cool to cold water. Soak in cold water and place in the refrigerator until ready to use.
- To make the sauce, place all sauce ingredients in a food processor. Process well. Taste test for salt, adding more fish sauce if not salty enough. If too salty for your taste, add a little more lime juice. Add more chili for a spicier sauce. Set aside.
- Add 1-2 Tbsp. oil to a wok or a large frying pan. Add the galangal (or ginger), shallots, garlic and kaffir lime leaf strips. Stir-fry 1-2 minutes over medium-high heat, until shallots are cooked.
- Add the white wine to the wok/frying pan. Now add the drained mussels, stirring well. Bring to a boil.
- Reduce heat to simmer (medium-low). Cover with lid and allow to "steam" cook in this way for 2-3 minutes.
- Take off the lid and stir gently. If most of the mussels have opened, they are ready to eat. Discard the ones that haven't opened. (If there are quite a lot that still haven't opened, try replacing the lid and allowing them to cook another 30 seconds to 1 minute.) Be careful not to overcook them, or they will become tough.
- Reduce heat to low. Remove lid and add the basil-coconut sauce. Stir gently. As soon as the sauce is warm, this dish is ready (30 seconds to 1 minute).
- To serve, slide mussels and sauce onto a serving platter, mounding them into a pile. Sprinkle with red chili (if using), basil leaves, and fresh coriander. If desired, serve with a fresh French loaf, or garlic toast to soak up the juices. Enjoy with a bottle of nice wine and a loved one!