This Asian dish is simply delicious… It is fragrant, reasonably easy, it needs some preparation but it is totally worth it once you taste the broth of coconut milk, flavoured with lemon grass, chilli, ginger and lots more! The amounts below will serve 2 as a main course or 4 as a starter. This may seem a lot but remember that the shells are the bulk of the weight!
- 1kg mussels, scrubbed and de-bearded. Please make sure they are fresh and keep them cool in the fridge if you’re not making these immediately.
- 1 stick of lemongrass, trimmed and finely chopped
- 2 kaffir lime leaves, shredded- fresh or dried
- 1/2 red chilli, chopped (or more if you choose to make it hotter)
- 5cm ginger, peeled and chopped
- 2 garlic cloves, peeled and chopped
- 1 teaspoon turmeric for the lovely yellow colour
- 1 teaspoon fish sauce or soy sauce if you do not have fish sauce
- Zest and juice of one lime
- 400ml tin of coconut milk
- fresh coriander or parsley for decoration and serving
First we start by making a paste. For this put the chopped lemongrass, chilli, ginger, garlic, turmeric, fish or soya sauce, zest and juice of your lime into a mini blender and whizz this all together. Also add 2 tablespoons of water and blend to a smooth paste. If you have fresh kaffir lime leaves, you can also blend them into the paste. If you only have dried lime leaves (like me – unfortunately couldn’t find the fresh ones * sad face* ), then proceed as below.
In a pot large enough to steam a kilo of mussels, heat up the coconut milk with the kaffir lime leaves added in. Leave softly simmering for a good 10 to 15 minutes for the coconut milk to absorb the flavour of the leaves. They will start rehydrating and turn a darker green again.
Transfer the paste into the coconut milk by passing it through a sieve. Press the paste with a spoon through the sieve to get all the flavours and juices out and into the milk. Then fish out the kaffir lime leaves and bring the milk to the boil on a low-medium heat for 5 minutes. Stir occasionally for the flavours to blend together.
Add the mussels into the sauce, cover and cook over a medium-high heat for 4-5 minutes, shaking the saucepan a few times until the mussels have opened. Discard any that have not opened as they would not be good to eat.
Serve immediately with fresh chopped coriander or parsley on top and most of all, enjoy!