Sunday, January 11, 2015

Thai-Green-Curry-Coconut-Broth-Deliciousness-Mussels with Homemade Frites. (Yes. You can make fries at home.)

Ya heard right. You can make fries at home. This discovery could be my undoing, as I generally think everything is best accompanied by french fries. It's true. Just ask anyone who's eaten out with me. Salad: side of fries. Coffee: side of fries. Steak: side of fries. Hamburger: 2 sides of fries. Ice cream sundae: side of fries. If you've got 'em, I'll take 'em.

So we can probably go ahead and plan for my epic weight gain starting now, as we'll be churning out buckets of fries most evenings in Brooklyn. Sad, but true. And delicious.

But let's not get totally distracted. The point here is the recipe for the green-curry-coconut-broth mussels, which is easy-breezy to make and 100% excellent. And, based on the dinner party we had least night, people are pretty impressed when you serve them moules-frites at home, so you can wow-and-amaze your friends without too much effort either.

I made this recipe with just a few minor tweaks:


  • 8 sprigs cilantro, leaves and stems roughly chopped and reserved separately
  • 4 medium cloves garlic, thinly sliced
  • 2 small shallots, thinly sliced
  • 1/2 teaspoon whole coriander seeds
  • 1/2 teaspoon dried Thai chilies or red chili flakes
  • 1 teaspoon zest plus 1 tablespoon juice from 1 lime (plus additional limes for serving)
  • Kosher salt (I think skip the salt and add at the end. The mussels and the fish sauce add a fair amount of saltiness on their own...) 
  • 1 (15 ounce) can coconut milk (do not shake before opening) (If you can track down organic coconut milk, I've found it's actually a little thicker and creamier. Not imperative, but if you've got the source, go the extra mile.) 
  • 1 tablespoon vegetable or canola oil
  • 1 tablespoon Thai green curry paste 
  • 1 tablespoon brown or palm sugar
  • 1 tablespoon fish sauce, plus more to taste
  • 2 pounds mussels (see note above)
  • 1 small Thai or Serrano chili, thinly sliced
  • ** I also added about 1-tablespoon of lime juice when I added the fish sauce, because I love that tart citrus-y flavor. Dealer's choice there... 

  1. Combine cilantro stems, half of garlic, half of shallot, coriander seed, dried chili, lime zest and a small pinch of kosher salt in a mortar and pestle. Pound and grind until a smooth paste is formed.

  2. Scoop 2 tablespoons of thick cream from the top of the can of coconut milk and add to a large saucepan. Add oil and heat over medium heat until shimmering and sputtering. Add remaining garlic and shallots, pounded paste, and the store-bought curry paste. Cook, stirring and scraping the paste around the bottom of the pan until very aromatic, about 4 minutes. Add remaining contents of coconut milk can, sugar, and fish sauce. Bring to a simmer and cook until rich and aromatic, about 3 minutes. Season to taste with more fish sauce as desired.

  3. Add mussels, stir, cover, and cook, shaking pan constantly and peeking every 30 seconds to stir. As soon as all the mussels are open, stir in chopped cilantro leaves, fresh chili, and lime juice. Serve immediately, with additional limes at the table.

Okay. Now the recipe you've all been waiting for... John found this online and he makes it exactly according to the instructions. And they're fool-proof. And spectacular. Just thinking about them is making me hungry... Maybe I'll make some to have as an afternoon snack... 

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