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Thai Green Curry Mussels

Thai Green Curry Mussels
Clean the mussels with a stiff brush under cold running water. Remove the beard, the little tuft of fibers the mussel uses to connect to rocks or pilings, by cutting and scraping it with a knife or scissors. You may also pull it sharply down toward the hinged point of the shells with your fingers.

Ingredients:

  • 1 can (14 fl. oz.) coconut milk
  • 1 Tbs. Thai green curry paste
  • 1 stalk lemongrass
  • 1 kaffir lime leaf (optional)
  • 1 Tbs. Asian fish sauce
  • 1 1/2 lb. mussels, scrubbed and debearded if
      necessary
  • 3 Tbs. slivered fresh basil or mint leaves

Directions:

In a wok or large saucepan over medium-low heat, combine 1/4 cup of the coconut milk and the curry paste. Cut the bottom one-third of the lemongrass stalk into 1-inch pieces. Crush the pieces with the flat side of a chefs knife. Add to the wok along with the lime leaf. Increase the heat to medium and bring the curry mixture to a simmer. Cook, stirring occasionally, until fragrant, about 5 minutes.

Add the remaining coconut milk, 1/2 cup water and the fish sauce to the curry base and stir. Discard any open mussels that do not close to the touch, then increase the heat to high and add the mussels. When a few start to open, cover the wok and cook for 2 minutes. Uncover and, using a slotted spoon, transfer the opened mussels to individual bowls. Cover the wok again and continue to cook until the remaining mussels open, about 2 minutes more.

Transfer the mussels to the bowls, discarding any that have failed to open. Ladle the broth over the mussels, garnish with the basil and serve immediately. Serves 4.

Adapted from Williams-Sonoma Food Made Fast Series, Seafood, by Jay Harlow (Oxmoor House, 2007).