Mussels make such a quick, easy and delicious meal. Sometimes I go through patches of forgetting how good they are. This is my current favourite mussel recipe with simple Asian flavours – lemongrass, lime, chilli and coriander. Jason always has fresh lemongrass stalks, coriander and chillis. He doesn’t always have kaffir lime leaves but he did last week. I keep them in the freezer.
Mussels, scrubbed clean
2-3 spring onions, sliced
1-2 chillis (to suit your taste), finely chopped
1-2 stalks of lemongrass, tougher outside leaves and the thicker end cut off and added to the mussels, the rest finely sliced
4 kaffir lime leaves, 2 left whole and 2 very finely sliced
3-4 cloves garlic, crushed
Bunch of coriander, stalks left whole and leaves finely chopped
270ml can of coconut cream or coconut milk (I particularly like using the Ayam brand of light coconut cream or milk)
1 tbsp fish sauce
Juice of 1 lime
1tsp coconut sugar (or brown sugar)
Freshly ground black pepper
Put the mussels in a large pot and add a little water, the thicker piece of lemongrass stalk and the outer leaves (crushed a bit to release the flavour), 2 kaffir lime leaves, slightly crushed in your fingers and some coriander stalks. Put the lid on and steam on a high heat until the mussels open, giving the pot a shake if some mussels are slower than others. Turn off the heat.
In a large pan heat a little vegetable oil. Add the spring onions and soften for a minute. Add the chilli, lemongrass and garlic and cook for another minute. Next add lime juice, fish sauce, coconut cream and sugar. Stir and simmer till combined. Strain the mussel juices and add up to a cup or more to the sauce. Let it simmer for another minute or two. Add the mussels and most of the coriander.
Serve in large bowls and sprinkle with a little extra coriander.