Mussels in a Green Curry
(recipe, Ruta Kahate)
Buy the freshest mussels possible; choose only those that are tightly closed and smell briny and like the ocean. When you get home, fill a bowl with ice and lay a clean kitchen towel over the ice. If the mussels are in a mesh bag, simply lay the bag over the ice. If they came in a plastic bag, remove the mussels and arrange them over the cold towel. Place this bowl in the refrigerator until you are ready to cook the mussels.
- 1 lb. mussels
- ½ small tomato
- ½ cup cilantro leaves
- ¼ cup mint leaves
- Knob (1 inch) of fresh ginger
- 2 small green serrano chiles
- 2 Tbsp. canola oil
- ½ medium yellow onion, finely chopped (about 1 cup)
- 1 cup canned coconut milk
- Scrub the mussels well. Pull off any beards and discard any mussels that are not tightly closed.
- Using a blender or food processor, grind the tomato, cilantro, mint, ginger, and chiles to a fine, smooth paste. You may add a few tablespoons of water if needed.
- Heat the oil in a medium wok or cast-iron skillet over medium heat and sauté the onion until golden. Add the green curry paste and sauté until the curry smells cooked and fragrant, 4 to 5 minutes. Add the coconut milk and salt to taste and bring to a boil. Add the mussels and reduce the heat to low. Toss well, cover, and cook until all the mussels open, about 5 minutes. Discard any that have not opened.
- Serve hot with rice or French bread.
Culinate editor's note: If you don't have fresh herbs, chiles, and tomatoes on hand, make a simple curry using just onion, ginger, garlic, chile flakes, and the curry powder of your choice sautéed in oil or ghee, then simmered in 1 cup coconut milk and 1/2 cup seafood stock. Add the mussels at the end of the simmering time and cook just until the mussels have opened, then serve over rice or with bread.