Spiced Mussels in Coconut Milk

Now that Thai red and green curry pastes are available in most large supermarkets, it takes only minutes to whip up a stunning dish like this.  Fishmongers and large supermarkets now sell ready-cleaned live mussels in 2kg bags, which need only soaking in cold water for 2 hours before cooking.  Discard any which stay open after you give them a tap.

Ingredients:  2 tbsp vegetable oil; 4 shallots, chopped; 1 red or yellow pepper, deseeded and chopped; 1 x 190g jar or 4 tbsp Thai green curry paste (from most large supermarkets); 1 x 400ml tin coconut milk; 2kg/4 lb 8oz mussels, cleaned; juice of 1 lime, or to taste; 3 tbsp chopped coriander; 1-2 chillies, deseeded and chopped, or to taste.

To Serve:  Lime wedges

  • Heat the oil in a very large, lidded pan (or divide the ingredients in two and use two pans) and stir-fry the shallots and pepper for 8-10 min over a low-medium heat, until softened.  Add the curry paste and stir-fry for 1 min more.
  • Add the coconut milk and bring to the boil, stirring, then turn up the heat, add the mussels and cover the pan/pans tightly.  Cook, shaking occasionally, for a few min or just until all the mussels are open, taking care not to overcook them.
  • Stir in the lime juice, coriander and chilli and serve in warmed bowls with lime wedges to squeeze over.
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