Coconut Green Curry Mussels
The mussels that grow in the waters off Vancouver Island are sweet and plump—a perfect match for chef Labossiere’s fragrant Thai green curry sauce. The sauce itself could easily be made a day ahead of time, making it a snap to pull this dish together for a quick supper or lunch. Just be sure to offer plenty of bread to soak up every delicious drop of the sauce.
- Yield: Serves 4 to 6.
4 cups high-fat coconut milk
½ yellow onion, sliced
2 cloves garlic, sliced
1 stalk lemongrass, sliced
2-inch piece galangal, peeled and sliced
2-inch piece ginger, peeled and sliced
3 lime leaves, sliced into thin strips
3 tbsp Thai green curry paste
1 bunch cilantro, chopped
1 bunch green onions, cut in 2-inch pieces
Lime juice to taste
Fish sauce to taste
Sambal oelek or sriracha sauce (optional)
1 cup chicken stock
5 lbs Salt Spring Island or Gallo mussels
1. Skim 4 tbsp pure coconut fat from top of coconut milk and add to a medium-sized pot. Over medium heat, bring coconut fat to a simmer, then stir in yellow onions, garlic, lemongrass, galangal, ginger and lime leaves. Mix well. Continue to cook vegetables in coconut fat until onions are soft and translucent and fat starts to separate.
2. Stir in green curry paste, making sure to completely coat vegetable mixture. Cook for 2 to 3 minutes or until mixture begins to stick to bottom of pot. Reduce heat if necessary.
3. Add remaining coconut milk, stirring well, and bring to a gentle simmer. Cook uncovered for 30 minutes or until curry starts to thicken.
4. Stir in half the cilantro and half the green onions. Simmer for 5 more minutes, season to taste with lime juice and fish sauce, then remove from heat and strain into a container.
5. The curry base can be prepared a day ahead to this point. It should be slightly salty, tangy and spicy; if you like more heat, add some sambal oelek or sriracha sauce.
6. To make the mussels, bring the curry base and chicken stock to a simmer in a large pot over medium-high heat. Add mussels, cover and cook for 7 to 10 minutes or until they have all opened. Discard any that don’t.
7. Divide mussels and curry between four to six bowls—or just one big one that everyone can share—and garnish with remaining cilantro and green onions. Serve with warm or grilled bread.