These Thai Mussels make a beautiful gourmet-style dinner, and they're easy to make too! The curry sauce is created right in the pan, so you don't need to bother with curry paste or even a food processor. If your mussels are already clean and ready to go, this dish can literally be on your table in just minutes. The spice level can be adjusted to your liking, so you can enjoy your mussels as spicy-hot or mild as you like. Pair with your favorite wine or dinner drink, and enjoy!
Prep Time: 15 minutes
Cook Time: 8 minutes
Total Time: 23 minutes
Yield: SERVES 2 as a Main Entree
- 1.5 to 2 lbs fresh mussels, cleaned (Serves 2 as a main entree)
- 1 shallot, finely chopped
- 4 cloves garlic, minced
- 1/2 tsp. whole cumin seed
- 3-4 Tbsp. white wine (or white cooking wine)
- 1 fresh red chili, minced, OR 1/2 tsp. dried crushed chili (from the spice asile), to taste
- 1/4 cup + 2-3 Tbsp. thick coconut milk
- 3/4 tsp. turmeric
- 1/2 tsp. ground cumin
- 1/2 tsp. ground coriander
- 1/3 tsp. white pepper
- 1 tsp. brown sugar
- 2 Tbsp. fish sauce
- 1 medium tomato, chopped into small pieces
- handfuls of fresh basil and coriander/cilantro for serving
- lemon wedges for serving
- 2-3 Tbsp. coconut or other vegetable oil
- Heat a wok or large frying pan over medium-high heat. Drizzle in 2-3 Tbsp. oil and swirl around, then add the whole cumin. Fry until cumin is sizzling and fragrant, then add the shallot and garlic (if using fresh chili, add this now too). Stir-fry 30 seconds to release the fragrance, then add white wine. Continue stir-frying 1 minute.
- Reduce heat to medium. Add the coconut milk plus remaining spices (dried chili, turmeric, ground cumin, ground coriander, white pepper). Also add brown sugar and fish sauce, stirring everything together.
- Add the mussels plus chopped tomato. Gently stir to coat mussels in sauce, then cover tightly with a lid. Allow mussels to 'steam' at medium heat 2-3 minutes, or until mussels have opened. Reduce heat to low. Add 2-3 Tbsp. more coconut milk and give mussels another stir (the coconut milk will thicken the sauce slightly).
- Remove from heat and do a taste-test, adding more fish sauce instead of salt, or more chili if not spicy enough. If too salty for your taste, add 1 Tbsp. fresh lemon or lime juice (note that lemon juice will also be added when serving, so it's okay if sauce is a tad on the salty side now). Add a little more sugar if needed.
- Serve mussels immediately, topping off the dish with generous sprinklings of fresh basil and coriander. Place lemon wedges on the side of the dish to squeeze over before eating, and ENJOY!