Thai-Style Mussels

Had a bag of beautiful fresh local mussels – decided to use them to make Thai-style mussels. Yummy!

If you like mussels, you are in for a tasty and healthy treat. Mussels are rich in heart-healthy unsaturated omega-3 fats, the very important mineral zinc, vitamins and iron. It’s health in shells!

And they are low in calories and yet filling.

The only type of fat I used when making these Thai-style mussels was coconut fat – coconut oil (for frying the vegetables) and coconut milk (for the broth). I am using full-fat coconut milk but you can swap this for a light version.

Coconut oil is the type of fat I mostly use for cooking all types of Asian-style food. The jury is still out on whether coconut fat can, as some claim, promote weight loss - and be good for your heart. 

Going back to my gorgeous Scottish mussels – the one Incredibly Important thing about mussels is to make sure that you are not using dead or damaged mussels as these can make you seriously sick.

Go through each and every one. If a mussel is open, tap it lightly on the counter. It should close its’ shell tightly, quite quickly. Discard any that remain open plus any damaged ones.

Pull off the beards of the mussels and using the back of a knife, scrape off any barnacles attached to the shells. Rinse under plenty of cold water.

Once the mussels are cooked, discard any mussel that has not opened its’ shell.

Thai-style mussels for 4 people:

2 tablespoon coconut oil

2 shallots, finely chopped

2 garlic cloves, crushed

Thumb-size piece of fresh ginger – peeled and finely chopped

1-2 large red chillies, deseeded and finely chopped

1 kilo, 2¼lb, fresh mussels – cleaned as per above

1 teaspoon sesame oil

1 tablespoon Thai fish sauce

400ml, 13½floz, 1¾ cups coconut milk

Juice of a lime

2 spring onions (scallions), chopped – or use a good handful of fresh coriander (cilantro) 

1.    Add the coconut oil to a large pot over a low-medium heat. Place the chopped shallots in the pot and fry gently for about 5 minutes – making sure the onion doesn’t burn.

2.    Add the garlic, ginger and chilli to the pot and continue to fry for another couple of minutes. Place the mussels in the pot and cover the pot with a tight-fitting lid. Increase the heat a little bit and cook for 4-5 minutes – shaking the pot gently a couple of times – until the mussels have opened.

3.    Remove the mussels from the pot – discarding any that have not opened – and leave to the side. Add the sesame oil, Thai fish sauce and coconut milk to the pot and bring to a simmer. Let the broth simmer for 3 minutes and then add the juice of a lime.

4.    Turn of the heat and add the cooked mussels, spring onion (scallion) – or coriander (cilantro) – to the broth. Serve immediately. 

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