To me, there is nary a better flavor in food than the ingenious blend of Thai flavors. The blend of sweet, salty and spicy is something I never tire of – so when we found these great mussels (2 pounds for $4.50 CDN) at a store called “Poissonerie Shamrock” near the Jean-Talon Market here in Montreal, I knew the flavors I wanted to blend them with. The sauce was so lovely, that I know it will inspire a soup down the line somewhere in my kitchen. By the way – Poissonerie Shamrock has the best when it comes to price and quality that I’ve found thus far here in Montreal.
I also had some cabbage that I needed to use – it wasn’t much, but it was enough for a side dish. I just braised it with some nice balsamic vinegar, garlic, onion, butter and a pinch of sea salt. I served the cabbage over rice with a bit of hot sauce drizzled over it. The flavor worked well with the mussel dish.
A reminder – Be sure to wash your mussels well, scrub the little fellas down and be sure to inspect them. If the shell is broken or open give it a toss. If the shell is open just a bit give it a firm knock on the counter and if it closes, your good to go. If it does not, toss it and continue scrubbing the survivors. Also, after they have cooked and you find some that have not opened, toss those as well.
Now once you put the mussels in the pan to cook they will only take about 5 minutes or so; therefore you should have your other side dishes done and ready or just about ready. Again, I used rice with this particular recipe. If you were doing a sauce with more of an Italian flair, then pasta would be the perfect choice. Some prefer fries with their mussels. But no matter what you have as a side, you must and I say must have some great crusty bread so you can sop up the sauce. We are so very lucky to be here in Montreal – in particular we live in a borough of Montreal called Pierrefonds and there are some amazing bakeries here with fresh bread daily. Well, enough of this. Let’s get on to the recipe!
1 can (13.5-ounce) coconut milk
1/2 cup white wine
2 tablespoons Thai ginger marinade, (Such as Lawry’s)
1 tablespoons brown sugar
1 tablespoon curry paste (red or green), (Such as Thai Kitchen)
1 tablespoon bottled minced garlic
3 tablespoons butter
1 pound fresh or thawed frozen mussels* (rinsed, de-bearded, and drained)
2 tablespoons chopped green onion, for garnish
1. For sauce, in a medium saucepan, combine coconut milk, wine, marinade, brown sugar, curry paste, and half me garlic. Bring to boil over medium heat. Reduce heat and simmer for 20 minutes until sauce thickens and is reduced by half. Remove sauce from heat; set aside.
2. In a large skillet: over medium-high heat, melt butter. Add mussels and the remaining garlic. Add 1/2 cup of sauce to mussels. Let simmer until mussels start to open, about 3 to 5 minutes. Transfer to a shallow bowl and spoon remaining sauce over top. Garnish with green onion.
Note: If mussels ore not available, substitute one 12-ounce bag of uncooked large-count shrimp