Delicious, versatile and easy to make!
2 tablespoons coconut 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 fresh mussels, rinsed well & de-bearded
Zest of 1/2 lemon
1 teaspoon lemon juice, or to taste
1/2 teaspoon fish sauce, or to taste
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.