Serves 2 – Prep 45’ – Easy
Start by cleaning the mussels. Put the mussels into a colander and rinse with cold water. Check each mussel individually, discarding any mussels with cracked shells and tapping on those that are open – in a live mussel, this will trigger a reaction to close its shell. If the mussel doesn’t close, it has died and should be discarded. If any of the mussels have beards sticking out of the shell, debeard them by pulling off the hairs. Rinse the cleaned mussels again and set aside.
Peel and slice the shallot. Trim the chilli (and deseed if you don’t want the dish to be too spicy) and ﬁnely slice. Peel the ginger and cut into small cubes. Bash the lemongrass stalk with a pestle or a rolling pin.
Heat the chicken stock in a large saucepan and add the shallot, chilli, ginger, lemongrass and lime leaves. Bring to the boil, cover and cook for 8 minutes to infuse the ﬂavours.
Remove the lid and check that the liquid is at a roaring boil. Add the mussels to the saucepan and cover with the lid immediately. Cook with the lid on for 3 minutes, shaking the saucepan once or twice during cooking, with the lid still on.
After 3 minutes, remove the lid and check the mussels. Nearly all the mussels should be open by now. If not, cover and cook an additional 1 to 2 minutes. Mussels that haven’t opened should be discarded.
Pour the coconut cream over the mussels, and serve with coriander and crusty bread or rice.
Kaffir lime leaves are fragrant leaves widely used in Thai cuisine, similar to how bay leaves are used in French cuisine. They taste very fresh, zingy and aromatic and are the key ingredient in many Southeast Asian dishes. You can ﬁnd bags of frozen kaffir lime leaves in the freezer section of most Asian supermarkets. I always keep a bag in my freezer, it’s a handy way to always have some at hand to satisfy your Thai cravings.
Unfortunately reheating unshelled mussels is not advised, so if you have any leftover mussels, take them out of their shells and use them in a salad or serve them cold with some mayonnaise.
If you have any leftover cooking liquid, it makes for a lovely soup – you can add some bean sprouts and rice noodles to bulk it up.