This is a different take on my usual tomato, basil with white wine sauce based chilli mussels. This Thai style broth is actually based on a recipe I use to make Thai coconut milk and chicken soup - Tom Ka Kai. The method of cooking and ingredients used does change a bit, and the chicken is substituted with the mussels.
Try to buy the small black mussels and not the big green lip mussels.
Thai Style Chilli Mussels
- 1 tablespoon peanut oil
- 5 shallots (quartered)
- 5cm piece fresh Galangal (thinly sliced)
- 1 stalk of lemongrass (sliced diagonally)
- 5 Kaffir lime leaves (torn in 1/2 down the spine)
- 3 whole dried chillies
- 1 fresh chilli (sliced diagonally)
- 1 cup coconut milk
- 3cm piece palm sugar
- 2 tablespoons fish sauce
- 1 kg mussels (scrubbed clean and debearded)
- 1/2 cup of fresh Coriander (leaves - roughly chopped)
- Juice from 1 kaffir lime
- In a large wok, heat up the peanut oil and add in shallots, galangal, lemongrass and kaffir lime leaves. Stirfry the spices around for a about a minute.
- Add in the chillies then the coconut milk. Turn up the heat on the wok and bring the broth to boil, then reduce the heat down to a slow simmer.
- Add in palm sugar and fish sauce.
- Add in the cleaned mussels, place a lid on the wok, and let the mussels 'steam' and cook in the coconut milk broth.
- Remove the lid as the mussels start to open. The mussels should cook in about 3 mins.
- Add in the coriander leaves and squeeze in a the juice from 1 lime.
- Stir the contents in the wok around and make sure everything combined and the sauce gets into the opened mussels.
- Taste the broth. Add fish sauce if its not salty enough, more sugar if its too sour and more lime juice if its not sour enough.
- Serve immediately with rice or with some warm bread to soak up the broth.
- If you don't have any fresh limes, you can use 1 teaspoon of tamarind pulp (diluted with a bit of water) as a substitute.
- Discard any unopened mussels.
- Try not to overcook the mussels. 3 mins is all that is needed for the steaming process. Overcooked mussels tend to shrink and become chewy.