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Mussels with
Thai Green Curry
Makes 6 Servings
*120 large mussels (about 5 pounds)
*2 teaspoons kosher salt, plus more as needed
*2 tablespoons vegetable oil
*6 scallions, white and green parts chopped separately
*1 large yellow onion, diced (about 2 cups)
*3 cloves garlic, chopped
*1 stalk young lemongrass, center only, very finely minced
*3 tablespoons Thai green chile paste
*2 teaspoons nuoc mam or soy sauce
*2 tablespoons peeled, grated fresh ginger
*2 (10-ounce) cans coconut milk
*4 Kaffir lime leaves (optional)
*1/2 cup dry white wine
*1/4 cup cream sherry
*4 small Thai bird chiles or other fresh hot chiles, chopped
*2 tablespoons freshly squeezed lime juice
*1 tablespoon sugar
*Cracked black pepper
*1 cup cilantro leaves, for garnish
1Soak the mussels in ice water with the salt for 1 hour or so. Remove the beards from the shells and discard any mussels that don't close when squeezed. Keep refrigerated.
2To make the curry base, in a braising pan large enough to hold the mussels, heat the vegetable oil over medium-high heat. Add the scallion whites, onion, garlic, lemongrass and green chile paste. Saute for 5 to 7 minutes or until the onions are translucent. Add the nuoc mam, ginger, coconut milk, lime leaves, wine and sherry and bring to a boil. Cook for 3 to 5 minutes. If you like, you can freeze the mixture at this point.
3Add the mussels, Thai chiles, lime juice and sugar and cover the braising pan. Cook for 3 to 4 minutes. Discard any mussels that have not opened. Add salt and pepper to taste.
4To serve, fill 6 warm pasta bowls with the mussels and pour the sauce over them. Remove the lime leaves and garnish with scallion greens and lots of cilantro leaves.
  • Once the curry base is made, the rest of this preparation is very easy. I suggest that you make extra base and freeze it for later use. Clams, shrimp or a mixture of fish and shellfish can also be used to make this spicy soup.
  • This recipe requires a good number of Southeast Asian ingredients: lemongrass, Thai chiles, Thai curry paste, nuoc mam, coconut milk and Kaffir lime leaves. All can be found in a well-stocked Thai, Vietnamese or Asian grocery. In mainstream grocery stores in many cities, there are aisles dedicated to ethnic products. You may have good luck there. Kaffir lime is usually difficult to find, so when you locate it, buy extra; it freezes well.
  • Cultivated mussels are recommended for the quantity called for here, as they don't require the cleaning that wild mussels need.
  • Source
    Executive Chef Bob Kinkead, Kinkead's Restaurant, Washington, D.C.