Thai-style steamed mussels

This is basically that classic French dish, moules marinières but cooked with Thai seasonings and aromatics. It is dead simple.

You will need;

1 kg of cleaned mussels (nowadays fishmongers sell them in convenient ready-to-use net bags)

1 chopped onion

1 crushed clove of garlic

1 sliced red chilli

1 chopped piece of ginger (about as big as your thumb)

a couple of kaffir lime leaves

1 chopped bunch of coriander

the juice of one lime

1 tablespoon of fish sauce (nam pla)

salt and pepper

sunflower or groundnut oil

250 ml white wine, cider or dry perry (I used perry because I was drinking it)

Give the mussels a wash and check for open ones or ones with broken shells. These will probably be dead and will make you unwell. clean any that still have the beard attached. Drain them into a colander.

Heat the oil in a large pot and add the first five aromatics and cook until the onions have softened but not started to colour. season with salt and pepper.

Add the mussels, half the coriander, the fish sauce and the wine (or other liquid). Cover and bring to the boil. Cook the mussels covered for four or five minutes and then look to see if they are all opened. Add the rest of the coriander and the lime juice and serve. Discard any mussels that haven’t opened. They will also probably make you unwell.

That’s it. Simple.

The leftover cooking liquor can be strained and kept as the basis for an Oriental soup noodle dish, Tom Yam soup or to cook rice.


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