Author Notes: This dish is wonderful. Spicy, kicky, coconut-y, mussels, so plump, briny and rich, bracingly fresh, simple and exquisite. —F for Food
- 2 tablespoons coconut oil (or safflower oil)
- 1 shallot, finely chopped
- 3 garlic cloves, finely chopped
- 1 stalk lemon grass, trimmed (outer layers removed) and finely chopped
- 1 serrano chile, seeded and finely chopped
- 1 cup unsweetened coconut milk
- 2 pounds pounds fresh mussels, rinsed well & de-bearded
- Zest of 1/2 of a lemon
- 1 teaspoon lemon juice
- 1/2 teaspoon fish sauce
- 1/2 cup whole cilantro leaves
- Heat the oil in the bottom of a large pot until hot. Add the shallot, garlic, lemon grass and chile. Cook over medium heat until soft, about 3 minutes. Add the coconut milk and mussels. Cover with a tight-fitting lid and cook until the mussels have opened, 5 to 7 minutes (discard any mussels that remained closed). Remove from heat, and use a slotted spoon to transfer the mussels to a large bowl, leaving the liquid in the pot. Stir the lemon zest and juice, fish sauce and cilantro into the pot. Taste and add more fish sauce and/or lemon juice if needed (fish sauce provides the salt).
- Scoop the mussels into a large serving bowl. Pour the remaining sauce on top. Finish with a generous sprinkling of fresh cilantro. Add lemon or lime wedges on the side. Serve with crusty French loaf to help soak up the juices.
- A good, crisp white wine pairs nicely with this dish.
- This recipe was entered in the contest for Your Best Coconut