Inexpensive mussels are a boon for busy cooks, as they cook up in a matter of minutes. This recipe takes advantage of prepared red curry paste. Available at almost any grocery store, commercial curry pastes vary significantly in their heat level, so you might to reduce the quantity if yours is very spicy. Serve the mussels with a loaf of crusty bread so that you can sop up all of the delicious liquid.
- 2 Tbs. canola oil
- 1/2 cup sliced shallots
- 1 red bell pepper, seeded and diced
- 1/4 cup (2 oz./60 g) red curry paste
- 2 Tbs. minced garlic
- 2 tsp. grated fresh ginger
- Pinch of red pepper flakes
- 2 cans (each 15 oz./470 g) coconut milk
- 2 Tbs. fish sauce
- 2 Tbs. fresh lime juice
- 2 lb. (1 kg) mussels, well scrubbed and debearded
- Salt, to taste
- Chopped fresh cilantro for garnish
- Lime wedges for serving
In a 4-quart (4-l) sauté pan over medium heat, warm the canola oil. When the oil is shimmering, add the shallots and bell pepper and sauté until the shallots are translucent and the bell pepper is soft, 3 to 4 minutes. Add the curry paste, garlic, ginger and red pepper flakes and cook for 30 seconds. Add the coconut milk, fish sauce and lime juice and bring a boil.
Add the mussels to the pan, discarding any that do not close to the touch. Cover the pan and steam the mussels until they open, shaking the pan occasionally so they cook evenly, 4 to 6 minutes. Discard any unopened mussels. Season to taste with salt.
To serve, spoon the mussels into large warmed soup bowls, ladle some of the broth over them and sprinkle with the cilantro. Serve with lime wedges alongside. Serves 4 to 6.
Williams-Sonoma Test Kitchen