For this recipe, all you need are your hands, some friends and permission to get a little messy. Mussels have a reputation for being difficult to cook but this couldn’t be further from the truth. The hardest part is the cleaning and de-bearding process– however, these days you can buy mussels already prepped and ready to cook. They’re inexpensive, take minutes to cook and really do make an impressive, stress-free meal. I love to make this in a big pot to serve it in the middle of the table. After a few drinks, everyone is grabbing mussels from the bowl, slurping from the shells and splashing it all over their clothes. It’s a happy, slapdash affair that never fails to get a laugh (and a few requests for the recipe).
- 1 long red chilli, de-seeded, finely chopped
- 3 garlic cloves, peeled and finely chopped
- ½ Spanish onion, peeled and finely diced
- ½ bunch flat-leaf parsley, roughly chopped
- ½ bunch coriander (cilantro), roughly chopped
- 1 lemongrass stalk (white part only), thinly sliced
- 1 kg (2 lb) black mussels, scrubbed and de-bearded
- 2 tablespoons extra virgin olive oil
- 125 ml (4 fl oz) dry white wine
- 150 ml (5 fl oz) coconut milk
- fresh coriander (cilantro) leaves
- In a large bowl, combine chilli, garlic, Spanish onion, parsley, coriander and lemongrass. Add the mussels and toss to combine.
- Heat olive oil in a large saucepan until it begins to smoke. Add mussels and cook for 10 seconds, then stir through white wine, followed by the coconut milk.
- Cover with a tight-fitting lid and cook, shaking pan continuously, over high heat for 3–4 minutes or until mussels have opened.
- Divide mussels between four bowls, pouring over the coconut milk sauce. Scatter with coriander and serve immediately. To make this a more substantial meal, serve with your choice of grain (steamed brown rice, quinoa or buckwheat).
Images: New Holland Publishers. Photographer Kyle Manning; Stylist Jane Graystone.