The Lechasseurs' Recipes

Only the "keepers"

Exotic Thai Curry Mussels


4 lbs Mussels, scrubbed clean and beards taken off
2 Heads of garlic, roasted in tinfoil in 325°F oven until soft
4 6” long pieces of lemongrass, roasted in tinfoil at 325°F until soft
1 Thumb sized piece, peeled ginger, roasted in tinfoil in 325°F oven
6 Shallots, roasted in tinfoil in 325°F oven until soft
2-3 Kafir lime leaves
1 Bunch fresh basil
1 Bunch cilantro, stems and leaves separated
6 Green chilies, roughly chopped
½ tsp White or black pepper corns
1 tsp Cumin seeds
2 tsp Coriander seeds
1 tbsp shrimp paste
2 cups Coconut milk
½ cup Tamarind pulp
Sugar to taste
¼ cup Thai fish sauce
1 Fresh lime, juiced
¼ cup Peanut oil
1 cup Roasted unsalted peanuts, roughly chopped


Place peeled, roasted garlic, ginger, shallots and roughly chopped green chilies into a mortar and pound with pestle until a smooth paste is achieved. Scrape out contents and reserve. Toast peppercorns, cumin and coriander seeds in a dry pan until slightly brown and fragrant. Transfer to a mortar and grind with pestle to a fine powder. Add basil, kafir leaves and cilantro and grind with a pestle into a paste. Add roasted garlic mixture back and combine with spice and herb paste. Allow to sit 1/2 hour before using.

In a large wok with a tight fitting lid, add peanut oil and preheat until oil is smoking. Add a healthy dollop of the paste that is in the mortar and cook until the green "flecks" are bight are bright and everything is fragrant. Add shrimp paste and coconut milk. Bring to a rapid boil and reduce volume by half over high heat. Add mussels, Stir to coat. Cover and cook for 6-7 minutes. Discard any mussels that do not open after this time. To serve, evenly distribute mussels between bowls, bring the sauce back to a boil and reduce sauce by 1/3 to intensify flavour. Ladle the sauce over the mussles. Garnish with cilantro leaves and peanuts. Serve with limes.

by David Forestell