Mussels Recipe

As you readers know, we love mussels, it seems like a difficult shellfish to cook but its really fairly simple and quite affordable. A visit to the farmers market recently led us to these lovely mussels and it reminded us of a dinner we once had. We got a bit of food envy, you know what we mean, when you order something that is seemingly delicious and then the people at the next table from you get something that looks EVEN better FOOD ENVY! Not that our meal was absolutely delectable, but they got mussels in a saffron-coconut broth! Yea, we pretty much have been wanting that ever since.Our version is a little bit like that but with a sweet and sour taste to it, just think Tom Yum soup with mussels. We had a couple stems of lemongrass sitting (and to be honest, drying up) in our produce drawer, which we used to reinforce our coconut/chicken broth for that extra flavor. As for a bit of tang, we added a lime juice at the very end. Tangy and tasty.

Sweet and Tangy Mussels
adapted from Mussels with Lemongrass, Chile, and Garlic by The Red Lantern
found in Best of the Best Cookbook Recipes
Serves 4
2 pounds black mussels
2 1/2 cups chicken stock
1 cup coconut milk
4 lemongrass stems, white part only, finely sliced
4 tablespoons oil
3/4 onion, chopped
4 cloves garlic, chopped
2 birds-eye chile, sliced
2 tablespoons oyster sauce
2 tablespoons Asian fish sauce
2 teaspoons corn starch
1 tablespoon sugar
1 teaspoon salt
1 teaspoon black pepper
handful of cilantro leaves
2-3 limes

Scrub and debeard mussels, set aside. In a wok, over high heat, place chicken stock, 2 stalks of lemongrass, coconut milk, and mussels, cover and cook for 5 minutes or until mussels are done. (discard any that do not open) Strain the mussels, reserving the liquid for later use.

Put the wok back over medium heat, add oil and gently fry lemongrass, onion, garlic, and chile. Once golden, add mussels and increase the heat. Add oyster sauce and fish sauce, then add 1 cup of reserved cooking liquid. Mix corn startch with 1 tablespoon of water and mix with mussels til the sauce thickens. Season the mussels with sugar, salt and pepper. Remove from heat, squeeze 2 limes and taste. Add 1 more lime if it is not tangy. Serve in a bowl with broth and sprinkle with cilantro. Serve with sliced baguette.