Last night my wife decided she was tired of steak. Instead, she wanted halibut … until we got to the store. Then, though she still wanted seafood, she didn’t want any fish. That leaves crustaceans and bivalves, we just had shrimp the other night and we didn’t want to spend the kind of money that lobster or crab takes.
So we zeroed in on mussels. It’s been a while since we’ve had them. Years, in fact. Too long for me to remember how I used to make them. But I did remember a dish we had at a restaurant that had coconut milk as a base. I set out to create my own version.
It turned out pretty well, I must say.
Spicy Mussels in Coconut Milk Broth
What You Need
2 tbsp. shallots, chopped
1 tbsp. ginger, minced
1 serrano, deseeded and sliced thin (or leave the seeds in for extra heat)
1 garlic clove, minced
2 mushrooms, diced
1 can coconut milk
2 cups dry white wine (or champagne)
1 tsp coriander
1/3 cup cilantro
Rice sticks (rice vermicelli)
What To Do With It
First, purge the mussels. Set them in cold water. They’ll “evacuate” any sand.
Next grind up the coriander and cloves. (I used a mortar & pestle. A mini food processor will work. If not, use 1/2 tsp of curry powder.)
Saute the garlic, shallots, ginger and serranos.
Pour in the wine and coconut milk. Squeeze in the lemon and 1/2 lime. Simmer on medium for 10 minutes, then add the mushrooms. Continue to simmer. Add water if it’s getting too thick. Salt to taste. If it’s not spicy enough for you, add some red pepper.
When you add the mushrooms, put on a pot with 1/4 chicken broth and 3/4 water to boil (this will be for your rice sticks). Once it boils, throw in the rice sticks.
After 2 minutes (when your rice sticks should be almost done, if not all the way), put the mussels and 1/2 the cilantro in the coconut milk. Turn the heat to medium-high and cook 3 minutes.
While this is going on, remove the rice sticks, drain and wash with cold water for 2 minutes(otherwise, they’ll make your broth very thick, trust me.)
Serve by placing the rice sticks in a bowl, then adding mussels and broth. Add a couple drops of lime juice and fresh cilantro on top.
Serve with a bottle of prosecco. We used Riondo Spago Nero Prosecco.