These Thai-style mussels aren''t hot per se. But sop up the sauce with your bread or (even worse) disregard all common sense about de-seeding spicy chillis and you might be cursing through fiery hot lips.
Perhaps my biggest mistake was using my thumbnail to scrape the seeds out of the chili. As I type, the soft underbelly of my nails are still stinging.
But regardless of the flaming fingers and lips, this is a Nigella Lawson recipe worthy of a repeat performance.
The cooking time is short so it's definitely worthwhile to prepare everything beforehand.
- 1 shallot, chopped finely.
- 2 cloves garlic, sliced or chopped finely.
- 3 kaffir lime leaves, chopped, OR one 10 cm stick of lemon grass, chopped finely.
- 1 cm piece of ginger, chopped finely.
- 100 mL stock (fish, vegetable, chicken, whichever is fine).
- 1 fresh green or red chili, de-seeded and sliced finely.
- About 20 mussels, cleaned and checked to make sure they are alive.
- 120 mL boiling water.
- 1 Tbsp. each of lime juice, mirin and fish sauce (or soya sauce).
- About 1/2 cup fresh cilantro, roughly chopped.
In a saucepan, add the broth, shallot, garlic, lemon grass and ginger. Heat on moderate to high heat for 3-5 minutes or until it starts to thicken a bit.
Add the chili. About 30 seconds later, toss in the mussels.
Throw water and mix of lime juice & mirin sauce on top. Shake a bit. Cover with a lid. Leave for about 3 minutes. The mussels should steam open.
Sprinkle 1/2 of the cilantro on top and mix in. Toss the rest of the cilantro on top and then serve.