Tuesday, 17 January 2012

Steamed Mussels with Lemon Grass from Simply Thai Cooking

Ladies and gentleman we have a winner! These Thai mussels with lemon grass are the most delicious thing we have eaten this month. There was so much groaning in pleasure at the table that we almost lost our PG rating. We doubled the batch. For three of us. We finished it in one sitting and are now dreaming of more.

Thai food is intoxicating - the flavours and perfumes transport you to another world. And did you know you could make it at home? I know what you're thinking - it's got to be complicated, or time consuming, or both. It doesn't have to be - Simply Thai Cooking is a great book for home cooks to bring the favourite flavours of Thai cooking into their own kitchens.

This is the third printing of Simply Thai, it already graces over 100,000 kitchens. The recipes are simple and straightforward and the results are out of this world.

 Simply Thai Cooking
Wandee Young, Byron Ayanoglu

Paperback, 192 pages

Contents include:
  • Appetizers
  • Sauces and Condiments
  • Soups
  • Salads
  • Noodles
  • Rise
  • Beef
  • Chicken and Duck
  • Pork
  • Fish and Seafood
  • Vegetables
  • Desserts

Some of the fan-favourite recipes include:
  • Thai cold spring rolls
  • Chicken satay
  • Lemongrass-shrimp soup
  • Thai hot and sour soup
  • Green papaya salad
  • Glass noodle salad
  • Pad thai
  • Coconut noodles with chicken and shrimp
  • Thai beef curry
  • Marinated grilled beef
  • Roast duck in red curry
  • Pork with red chili sauce
  • Shrimp in spicy coconut milk

Tossing the ingredients together.
Hoy Maeng Phou Oap
Steamed Mussels with Lemon Grass

Serves 4 as an appetizer or 2 as a main course with steamed rice

Mussels steamed in an aromatic broth is a delicious practice of all maritime countries, with Thailand no exception. This recipe is as easy to make as the very popular moules marinières of French cookery and makes for a pleasant, lemon-limey alternative to it.

28    mussels    28
    (fresh and cleaned or frozen)
2 oz    salted butter    60 g
1    stick lemon grass    1
30    fresh basil leaves    30
1⁄2 cup    fresh coriander leaves    125 mL
1 tbsp    chopped garlic    15 mL
1 tsp    black pepper    5 mL
1⁄2 cup    white (or rice) wine    125 mL
2    limes    2
2 tbsp    soya sauce    25 mL
1⁄2    medium red pepper,     1⁄2
    cut into thin strips  
    Additional fresh coriander leaves

Tastes just as gorgeous as it looks.
1.    Place mussels in a work bowl. Add chunk of butter.

2.    Smash lemon grass with the flat of a chef’s knife once and chop into 1-inch/2.5-cm pieces. Add to the mussels.

3.    Add basil leaves, coriander leaves, garlic, black pepper and wine. Stir a few times.

4.    Cut limes into quarters. Squeeze the quarters directly onto the mussels and then add the rinds to the mussels. Sprinkle soya sauce evenly over all and stir a few more times. If you wish, you can make up the recipe to this point and keep for up to one hour. Simply cover and refrigerate the work bowl and proceed with the recipe when ready. Alternatively, proceed after a 2-3-minute wait, once all the above ingredients have been combined.

5.    Place a large pot with a lid on high heat to get it red hot (about 2 minutes). Transfer the mussels and all the marinating ingredients into the pot, cover tightly and cook for 2 minutes. During this cooking, shake the pot a couple of times to mix things up, but do not uncover.

6.    Still on high heat, uncover the pot and stir the mussels several times to bring the ones from the bottom up to the top. Add half of the red pepper strips and cook for 1 more minute, until it’s all bubbling happily. Take off fire.

7.    Transfer to a deep serving dish, along with all of its broth. Top with the remaining red pepper strips and some fresh coriander leaves. Serve immediately with a bowl of YOUNG THAILAND Hot Sauce (page 41) on the side.

Excerpted from Simply Thai Cooking, 3rd Ed. By Wandee Young and Byron Ayanoglu © 1996, 2003, 2011 Robert Rose Inc. www.robertrose.ca Reprinted with permission. All rights reserved.