19 April 2009

Thai Style Chilli Mussels

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


  1. 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.
  2. 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.
  3. Add in palm sugar and fish sauce.
  4. Add in the cleaned mussels, place a lid on the wok, and let the mussels 'steam' and cook in the coconut milk broth.
  5. Remove the lid as the mussels start to open. The mussels should cook in about 3 mins.
  6. Add in the coriander leaves and squeeze in a the juice from 1 lime.
  7. Stir the contents in the wok around and make sure everything combined and the sauce gets into the opened mussels.
  8. 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.
  9. 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.

11 April 2009

Chicken Steak with Onions

My grandma used to make this for breakfast. Yes.. breakfast. Gran's typical breakfast was usually 2 dishes served with lots of steamed rice. Most breakfasts were bigger than what we would usually eat for lunch. Breakfast was the most important meal...and every important meal had to have rice.

I usually make this dish for dinner now. :)

Chicken Steak with Onions
Original recipe from my grandma
  • 350g of Chicken Thigh Pieces (skin removed, sliced into 4-5cm pieces)
  • 1 brown onion (sliced)
  • 2 thumbsized pieces of ginger (smashed)
  • 1 tablespoon of vegetable oil
  • 1 teaspoon of salt
  • 1 teaspoon of sugar
  • 1 tablespoon of chinese rice wine
  • 1 tablespoon of soy sauce
  • 1 tablespoon of oyster sauce
  • 1/2 teaspoon of cornflour


  1. Place thigh pieces in a mixing bowl, add ingredients one by one (except for the onions), mixing until they are combined. Cover and leave to marinate in the fridge for at least 1 hr.
  2. In a heated pan add a dash of cooking oil and saute the onions with a pinch of salt. Before the onions become too soft, remove and set aside.
  3. Bring the pan to medium-high heat, add some more cooking oil and the ginger from the marinated chicken.
  4. Once the oil has the ginger fragrance, add the chicken to the pan and brown on both sides.
  5. Once chicken is about done, add onions back to the pan and saute around. Place a lid on the pan and turn the heat down.
  6. Let simmer for about 5-7 minutes. Remove and serve with some steam rice.

  • I prefer to cut the chicken thighs into smaller pieces about 4-5cm. Making it easier to cook.
  • Add some water if the sauce becomes too thick during the simmering stage.

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