Hmm… mussels. Yum. Nutritious, delicious and good for the environment, they’re a great seafood all-rounder. I like to think of them as the cooler weather compadre to the oyster.
Today, the lovely and ridiculously talented Gillian Saxon, from one of my favourite food blogs, My Square Frying Pan, is here sharing her gorgeous recipe for Thai-style mussels. If you have a moment, I’d really recommend checking out her blog it’s a charming melting pot of stories, recipes and beautiful photos.
The Sea’s Super Food – The Humble Mussel
Images and recipe by Gillian Saxon
Once caught wild along the southern coast of Australia, commercial fishing depleted natural stocks so all mussels you buy today at your local farmers market or supermarket have been farmed.
Available all year round, the most common locally farmed mussel you’ll find is the Blue Mussel, which is grown on ropes. Farming has a low impact on the surrounding environment and mussels do their bit as filter feeders requiring no extra food and cleaning the water around them as they grow. They are good for you too being a low fat super food rich in protein, antioxidants, zinc and vitamin C.
Mussels are the ultimate fast food for busy families only taking a few minutes to cook. Their salty, briny liquor and juicy interior go especially well with stocks, white wine and aromatics like ginger, garlic and chilli. Also try them in soups and chowders, with bacon, roasted tomato sauce or a French inspired Dijon mustard and cream with a hunk of fresh bread to mop up the lovely juices. For something different, mussels can be barbecued in their shell or smoked, marinated or fried once removed from their shells too.
1 kg/2.2 lb of fresh mussels
400ml/14 fl oz can light coconut milk
1 stalk lemongrass
2 cloves garlic
1 red birdseye chilli
2 knobs fresh ginger grated
4 kaffir lime leaves
2 spring onions
1 cup of fresh coriander
3 tablespoon of red curry paste
1 tablespoon fish sauce
Method for cooking mussels
- Clean mussels by removing ‘beard’ and rinse with water
- Chop lemongrass, garlic, chilli, ginger, lime leaves, spring onions and coriander then add curry paste and roughly blend for a few seconds
- Sautee ingredients until fragrant then add coconut milk and fish sauce and heat for 5 minutes
- When coconut milk is hot, add mussels and simmer for approximately 10 minutes until all mussels have opened. Top with extra coriander and serve with fresh crusty bread