There are certain flavors I simply cant get enough of and although I’ve never visited the country, the flavors and dishes of Thailand remains my absolute favorite. Theres something about the combo of ginger, lemongrass, plenty of chilis, and fish sauce that literally have me craving for more every time I take a bite. The recipe below merges those flavors in a rich & creamy sauce with plump wild caught mussels from Maine and rice noodles, providing the perfect amount of flavors for any time of the year.
This dish came through on a chilly autumn day when I was feeling like some fresh chili peppers would serve me right. Having a bag of fresh mussels in the fridge, i scanned the pantry for a few perfect accompaniments and quickly put the dish together in my head. As with many recipes, the mussels can easily be replaced with your favorite sustainable seafood option or switch it up with chicken or beef. And, of course, dropping the protein and adding a few more veggies is totally doable and delicious as well.
If planning on cooking this up for an evening meal, go ahead and prep all you ingredients ahead of time and store them in the fridge until ready to go.
Thai Flavored Steamed Mussels
1/2 cup minced onion
1 tablespoon minced lemongrass
1 tablespoon minced ginger
1 tablespoon minced garlic
1 fresh chili pepper (more if you like)
1 tablespoon olive oil, rendered lard, or ghee
2 large carrots, slices thinly into coins
2-3 pounds fresh mussels, rinsed well, beards removed
1 can full fat coconut milk
2 tablespoons Red Boat Fish Sauce
2 scallions, sliced thin
1/4 cup roughly chopped cilantro
1/4 cup chopped toasted cashews
1 package Pad Thai noodles, soaked and cooked accordingly to producers instructions (keep warm)
Once the onion and aromatics are chopped, combine in a small bowl.
Heat a Dutch oven then add the oil or ghee. Add the onion mixture, stir to combine, and saute for 2-3 minutes.
Once softened, add the maple sugar, coconut milk, and fish sauce. Bring to a simmer, then add the mussels.
Cover and allow the mussels to steam and open fully, about 3-4 minutes.
While the mussels cook, portion out the noodles into 4 bowls.
Scoop out the mussels and sauce evenly over the 4 bowls, then top with cilantro and scallions, and a few lime wedges.