↑↑↑ ♥♥♥ Wish I had emojis right now because I don’t think I have words for Mussels in Red Coconut Curry. Can we please hold hands, sit back together, and drool over this dish?
This has been in the making since December of 2014. Really, folks. I made Chilled Mango Red Curry Soup with Shrimp more than two years ago and I quote:
I went to one of my favorite local restaurants last weekend and ate a bowl of mussels in a red coconut curry sauce. And ya know what? It ruined me+mussels for the rest of my life, unless said mussels happen to be hanging out in a swimming pool of delightfully creamy and smoky red coconut curry sauce. In which case, they are goners.
I was living in North Carolina at the time and my favorite restaurant was Mozelle’s because… 1/2 price bottles of wine on Mondays. But also because of the food. Always really good upscale Southern food.
Recreating Mussels in Red Coconut Curry has been on my recipe to-do list for a long time. It’s not traditional Thai food for sure, but WHATEV. I’m a regular rule-breaker and I don’t think you’ll have any misgivings about mussels swimming in a pool of delightfully creamy and smoky red coconut curry sauce. Except that maybe you can’t get enough!
Bonus: They are really surprisingly easy to make and done in 15 minutes!
I also want to share a bit about Bangkok.
I didn’t find Bangkok as charming as the Thai mountains, but I think, for me, it’s because I’ve lived in New York City, I’ve lived in Chicago, and Bangkok is another big city. When I vacation, I wanna do the outdoor, middle-of-nowhere, tiny town, adventurist trip. That being said, I was absolutely in awe of The Grand Palace and in awe of the street food and in awe of the Thai people.
My favorite moment in Bangkok happened as we were eyeing a street full of food carts. An elderly Thai woman swept us into her tightly-filled picnic table with a handful of locals, all of whom were speaking another language and giving us curious looks, none of whom spoke English. The elderly woman proceeded to serve us food we didn’t order, and food that I wasn’t even hungry for!, food that I couldn’t identify except to say there was broth and noodles and pork and it was maybe one of the best things I’ve ever been served. We sat in 100 degree weather, eating steaming hot soup, and enjoyed the hustle and bustle of taxis, tuk-tuks, and motorcycles, the smell of surrounding food stalls, and the voices of Thai people.
I want to keep this post relatively short, so I’m gonna stop after just one small story, but scroll past the recipe for a few more photos of Muay Thai, ziplining, The Grand Palace, and more.
Mussels in Red Coconut Curry
I don't think you'll have any misgivings about delightfully creamy and smoky Mussels in Red Coconut Curry. Except that maybe you can't get enough!
- 2 pounds mussels you usually buy them this way, scrubbed and beards removed
- 2 tablespoon butter
- 1/2 cup shallots thinly sliced
- 1 red bell pepper thinly sliced
- 3 cloves garlic minced
- 1/4-1/2 cup curry paste to taste
- 1 tablespoon fresh ginger
- 2 cans coconut milk you may use light, but it won't be quite as creamy/indulgent
- juice of 1 lime
- 1/2 cup fresh basil to garnish
- 1/2 cup fresh cilantro to garnish
- dried chilies to garnish
Keep the mussels refrigerated until you're ready to use. Discard any mussels that have opened and do not close after a quick tap. Keep the mussels in the ice water until ready to drop into your dish.
In a deep saucepan, heat butter over medium heat. Add the shallots, bell pepper, and garlic and saute until softened and fragrant, about 3-4 minutes. Add curry paste and ginger and fry about 30 seconds before adding the coconut milk and lime juice. Bring to a boil.
Once boiling, add the mussels. Cover and cook about 4-5 minutes, stirring occasionally to ensure even cooking. Discard any mussels that don’t open.
To serve: Divide among 4 bowls, top with fresh basil and cilantro and dried chilies.