Thai style mussels

P1010789

Preperation time: 20 minutes
Cooking time: 15 minutes

The ingredients: 4-6 people

  • 1 kg mussels
  • 2 stalks of celery
  • 2 shallots
  • 1 clove garlic
  • 1 piece of fresh ginger (2 cm)
  • 2-3 fresh small red chili peppers (depends on how spicy you like it)
  • 4 stalks of lemon grass
  • 4 dried lemon leaves
  • 1 lemon
  • 1 large glass of white wine
  • 1 can coconut milk
  • Fresh green herbs: coriander, basil, mint
  • 1 tbsp. fish sauce
  • 1 tsp. trassie
  • 2 cubes fish stock
  • olive oil
  • salt & pepper

The work:

Clean and rinse the mussels extensively. Grate the ginger, the garlic, the lemon grass & the red chili’s. Cut the celery and the shallots.

Heat the olive oil in the wok and braise the onions and the garlic. After a few minutes, add the rest of the grated ingredients. When this mix has baked shortly, add the mussels, the white wine, the fish stock, the fish sauce, the trassie, the lemon leaves and season with salt & pepper.

Close the lid and cook until the mussels open (typically 10 minutes). Now add the juice of 1 lemon and the coconut milk and stir to disperse the taste. Add the coarsely chopped leaves of the green herbs, stir and serve immediately.

The secret:

The secret is the trassie (shrimp paste), this Eastern ingredient really lifts the taste of the mussels.

The tip:

We serve these mussels as a starter with some bread to dip in the juice. But us Belgians like mussels in many styles as a main course and then we typically prepare 1 kg mussels per person. Although the standard in Belgium is mussels with frites, these Thai style mussels come out much better with good bread like Turkish pide.

If you don’t like grating ginger, use a small blender to cut ginger, chili, etc.

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Scampi “Diabolo”

DSC00208

Aka spicy prawns

Cooking Time: 30 minutes

The ingredients for 2 persons:

  • 8-10 scampi (prawns, langoustines)
  • 1 glass of white wine
  • 250 ml cream
  • 2 shallots
  • 1 clove garlic
  • 1-1,5 fresh chili peppers
  • 0,5 cubes fish broth
  • tomato paste
  • oil
  • pepper and salt

The work:

Cut the shallots, garlic and peppers very small and braise them in some oil. Add a glass of white wine and let this boil down a bit.
Add the fish broth and a bit of water. Let sauce reduce.
Add the cream and let reduce some more.
Season with salt and pepper and add a small bit of tomato paste to colour the sauce orange.
Peel the scampi’s and remove the intestines (=black thread in the length of the scampi). Bake the scampi in some oil in a separate pan. The baking time is very short, make sure you don’t leave them too long, or they will become hard and chewy. Add the scampi to the sauce and you’re ready to serve.

The tip:

Chili peppers are unpredictable in their spiciness. Be careful not to overdo, certainly if you double the recipe to for instance 4 people.

Served with fresh French bread this is one of our favourite Sunday evening dishes in front of the telly. Some last hours of quality time together before everyone leaves again for a week on early Monday.