Thai Cooking with Mussels
I love mussels, and Thai cuisine has so many great mussel recipes. Unfortunately, cooking classes with mussels don’t sell well in Seattle. But you can enjoy my recipe without being in my class. This delightful, easy recipe uses fresh Mediterranean mussels that are at their peak season right now. The Taylor Shellfish Farm stall at many Seattle Farmers Markets is a good place to get them.
Cooking Tips from the Expert, Jon Rowley
The Mediterranean mussels, which are just now coming into season and will be very plump, aren’t done when they open. They need to continue cooking after they open until you see the meat contract. This makes a BIG difference in the flavor. If the mussels are not cooked enough, they have an unpleasant, fleshy taste. If cooked properly they are gloriously sweet. These mussels are so fat, you don’t have to worry about overcooking.
Also if some mussels don’t open and the others are done, the ones that are closed will also be done, they just need to be pried open. Bum mussels will be open before cooking and should be discarded. Mediterranean mussels that are still closed after cooking (if you have any) are fine.
Steamed Mediterranean Mussels with Lemon Basil and Shallot, and Homemade Chili Sauce
Hoy Nueng Bai Meang LuckServings: 8 as appetizer 30 Mediterranean mussels, about 2 pounds 2 tablespoons grape seed oil 3 shallots, peeled and sliced 1 cup lemon basil leaves, or any type of basil 1 Serrano pepper, halved 1 cup sweet chili sauce (see recipe below)
De-beard mussels and clean under running water to remove sand and grit. Discard any mussels that open before cooking.
Heat canola oil in a pan and stir in shallots and basil for 30 seconds on high heat. Add mussels, cover the pan, and shake it back and forth without opening the lid until the mussels start to open, about 2 minutes. Keep cooking until the mussels contract and look plump and round, about 1 more minute.
Serve with sweet chili sauce as a dipping sauce or place ½ teaspoon sweet chili sauce on each mussel. Garnish with lemon basil leaves.
Wine Pairing: Washington Pinot Gris© 2010 Pranee Khruasanit Halvorsen I Love Thai cooking Pranee teaches Thai Cooking classes in the Seattle area. Her website is: I Love Thai cooking.com