I have nothing funny to say or any fun Youtube videos. Just a damn good Thai food recipe below.
- Mussels (2 lbs)
- Dry white wine (Pinot Grigio)
- Fresh herbs (Thyme, Rosemary, Tarragon, etc)
- Lemongrass (2 stalks)
- Cilantro (10-15 sprigs)
- Garlic (3-4 cloves)
- Thai chilies (3-4)
- Shallot (1-2)
- Lime (1)
- Coconut milk (1 can)
- Fish sauce1
- Thai curry paste (red or green is fine…I used red)
Prep time is ~30 minutes. Cook time is ~30 minutes. Timing and preparation is very key, since everything cooks incredibly quickly. We will have to go back and forth between our broth, mussels, and bread if we want everything to be served fresh and warm.
1 No worries if you can’t find fish sauce at your local grocery store. I actually couldn’t find fish sauce at the Williamsburg Whole Foods (tbh it has an incredibly disappointing “Asian section” that’s only like 1⁄3 of an aisle).
This is by far the most time-consuming and annoying part of the recipe. I followed the Youtube tutorial above. First check for dead mussels. You can tell if a mussel is dead if its shell is open and if you try to pinch the shell close, the shell still stays open. If a shell is open and closes after you pinch it, good news! It’s still alive! Next give the mussels a scrub to remove any debris and if you spot a beard (tiny white string on the side of the shell), grab a paper towel and tug the beard out. Lastly, if you plan on storing mussels for any period of time, DO NOT submerge them in water, because they will die, and eating them will give you some terrible food poisoning. Mussels are bivalves and live in saltwater.
Slice baguette and place onto a large buttered baking sheet. Preheat the oven and set the baking sheet aside.
Now onto preparing the aromatics for the broth. Finely slice shallot, ginger, and Thai chilies. Zest 1 lime. Peel and smash 4 cloves of garlic. Cut lemon grass into quarters and smash with either a meat tenderizer or the backside of a knife (smashing the lemongrass breaks down the root fibers and releases its wonderful flavors). Pick cilantro leaves off of the stem, and finely chop the stem.
Add olive oil to a medium sauce pan over medium heat. Add all the aromatics and cook until shallots are translucent.
Add a few dashes of fish sauce and cook for about 30 seconds until the fish sauce is cooked off (Don’t add too much…this gives off quite a pungent smell). Add about half a tablespoon of thai curry paste and stir. Cook for about 1 minute to fully integrate the paste. Finally, add coconut milk and turn the heat to low. Let the broth reduce by about 1/3 to 1/2 (~10 minutes).
While the broth is reducing we can cook our mussels. Use a deep stock pot and turn the heat to high (do not add oil). Add fresh herbs to the bottom of the stock pot and then add mussels. Add ~1/3 bottle of white wine and cover, letting the mussels steam for about 8 minutes. Shake the stock pot every 2 minutes or so to toss the mussels with the wine and fresh herbs. Strain the mussels and reserve the leftover water. Place the mussels back into the stock pot and cover.
Place baguette baking sheet into the oven and toast to your liking (I like mine a little burnt on the edges).
Okay, back to the broth! After the sauce has reduced and thickened, strain through a fine mesh colander and press to get every last drop of liquid-gold broth. Add chopped cilantro leaves. Add the white wine mussel water to thin out the broth and adjust the consistency to your taste.
Add muscles to the broth and serve with toasted baguette.