Monday, March 29, 2010

Thai Mussels with Coconut Red Curry Sauce

Thai Mussels with Coconut Red Curry Sauce
Courtesy of Jeremy MacVeigh

1 14 oz coconut milk
2 tbs oz lime juice
2 tbs red curry paste (recipe below)
1 tbs peeled, minced ginger
1 tbs Tahi Fish Sauce
1 tbs brown sugar
3 lbs clean mussels
½ cup chopped cilantro
Salt and white pepper to taste
2 limes, cut into wedges for garnish

Red Curry Paste

2 tbs coriander seeds
1 tsp cumin seeds
1 tsp whole black peppercorns
4 tbs dried red Thai Chiles
8 tbs lemongrass stalks, chopped (weigh after removing the dead outer blades, top 1/3, and root end)
1/4 cup cilantro stems
4 tbs chopped ginger
1 tbs lime leaves
1 tbs salt
4 tbs shallots, minced
1 tbs garlic cloves, minced
2 tsp shrimp paste

To prepare the curry paste:

In a dry sauté pan set over a medium-low flame, toaste the coriander, cumin, and black peppercorns (while moving the pan around to prevent them from burning) until the spices become noticeably more fragrant and darken slightly.

Place the toasted spices in a spice grinder (or a coffee grinder), along with the dried chiles, and grind to a powder; set the powder aside.

Using a large mortar and pestle, crush the lemongrass, cilantro roots, ginger, and lime leaves together to form a rough paste.

Add the salt to the mortar, and continue grinding to work in the salt.

Add the shallots and garlic to the mortar, and grind all of the ingredients together to form a paste (it will not be completely smooth, like something made in a food processor).

Remove the mixture from the mortar, mix the shrimp paste, spice, and chili powder into the curry to finish.

To prepare the mussels:

In a pot large enough to hold all of the mussels, combine the coconut milk, lime juice, red curry paste, ginger, fish sauce, and brown sugar; heat over a medium-low flame to bring the mixture to a gentle simmer.

Allow the mixture to simmer to 10 minutes to develop flavor.

Add the mussels to the pot, and cover; turn heat up to boil/steam mussels (this should only take a couple of minutes).

As soon as the mussels have opened, remove them from the heat and serve immediately.

Garnish with lime wedges.

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