Basil Coconut Mussels
This recipe gives you a whole new perspective on just what you can do with mussels! It compliments the mussels and their touch of sweetness and their taste of the morning ocean tide gently kissing the beach with light hints of Thai and basil. As well as bursts of garlic and white wine to enhance the flavors you are sure to love this! Don’t forget to get a couple slices of French bread to dip into the steaming sauce, because this is truly good to the last bite!
• 1 lb Mussels
• 1 tb Organic Coconut Oil
• 1 tb Fresh Ginger, grated
• ¼ c Yellow Onion, Diced
• 3 tb Garlic, minced
• ½ tsp Crushed Red Pepper
• 1/3 c White Cooking Wine
• ½ c Fresh Basil Chopped, and extra for garnish
1. Rinse mussels under cold water. I usually let mine hang out in the sink while I’m preparing everything else.
2. Place all Basil Coconut Sauce ingredients in a food processor. Process well until you have a smooth mixture. Set aside.
3. Heat a large skillet over medium high heat. Add oil and swirl around to melt, then add ginger, onion, garlic and red pepper flakes. Cook for about 2-3 minutes or until onions are translucent.
4. Add white wine, basil coconut sauce and mussels, stirring gently. Bring to a boil.
5. Reduce heat to medium low and simmer, covered with lid to steam 5 minutes.
6. Take off lid and stir gently. Cook until most mussels have opened.
7. Once cooked, top mussels with additional basil for garnish and serve with French bread!
How do you pick and prepare market fresh mussels?
Mussels are sold and cooked live. Why? It’s because once their immune systems flake out after death, they tend to go off rather quickly, and it’s very difficult to tell how long a dead mussel has been in that state. Mussels can live out of water for a few days, but they should be kept well-chilled and stored in a breathable environment. When you’re at the fish market, make sure the mussels are kept over and under ice, and that their shells are glistening with moisture. Dry shells on the outside are a good indication of dead or dying mussels on the inside.
Place your mussels in a colander or bowl in the sink and run them under cold water. Rinse them to get rid of any debris or seaweed on their outer shells. If you feel any muddy spots, rub them off under the water, but you’re very unlikely to with farm-raised mussels.
Mussels attach themselves to stable surfaces using thin, sticky membranes referred to as “beards.” Again, most farm-raised mussels will come debearded already, but the odds are good you’ll find a couple of stubborn beards left over. When you find one, grasp it between your thumb and forefinger and pull it downwards towards the hinged-end of the mussel shell. Pull firmly until it comes out and discard. If you have trouble gripping the beard with just your fingers, a dry paper towel can help.
Oh, and for the record, you can go ahead and ignore the conventional wisdom that a mussel that doesn’t open after cooking shouldn’t be eaten.
For more information on mussels check out Serious Eats for other helpful tips and facts on mussels and other arrays of food!