Wheat-free * Dairy-free * Gluten-free * Paleo ~~~
I really love the fish department at Whole Foods, so whenever I’m there I check it out to see if something is calling to me. This week it was the mussels – they were the small ones that I prefer (though I know many people live the larger meatier ones).
I usually try to buy only wild caught fish, mussels are the exception. The difference between farmed and wild caught mussels are….sand – and lots of it. Although I rinse and scrub my mussels before cooking them, no matter how hard I work there is always at least a few gritty mussels. Now I like gritty people just fine, but gritty shellfish (or vegetables for that matter) are just not acceptable. To explain the difference between farmed and wild here’s a piece from Sunset magazine http://www.sunset.com/food-wine/flavors-of-the-west/seafood-farmed-or-wild :
Clams, oysters, scallops, mussels are the ideal farmed seafood. In the wild, they may be harvested using hydraulic dredges, which rip up the ocean floor.
Farming, on the other hand, involves either raising the mollusks on beaches and hand-raking to harvest, which has very little impact on the beach itself; or growing them on strings hanging from floating platforms or in metal-mesh sacks laid on floating racks, neither of which does any environmental damage whatsoever.
Moreover, these little bivalves eat plankton, so do nothing to deplete other fish populations. And best of all, they’re filter feeders, leaving the water cleaner than it was before.
Now about the sauce…I use store-bought Thai green curry sauce (I bought it at Whole Foods but I know they also carry it at Trader Joe’s and most gourmet stores have it in their Asian section or of course you can find it online). I don’t feel guilty about buying it prepared as there is a large list of “unusual” ingredients that goes into it like galangal, lemon grass, coriander roots, and shrimp paste. Surprisingly the prepared pastes are generally paleo. Check the label before you buy it.
This is one really delicious way to prepare mussels. Enjoy!
Mussels in Thai Green Curry Sauce
You could use this recipe to prepare clams as well, but the cooking time will be slightly longer.
1 1/2 teaspoons olive oil
1/3 cup chopped onion
2 tablespoons green curry paste
1 cup coconut milk
3/4 to 1 pound mussels
Salt to taste
Chopped cilantro for garnish
1. Thoroughly rinse and debeard (pull off any stringy material) the mussels. Discard any mussels or clams that are not tightly closed or do not close tightly when tapped or that are cracked.
2. In 2-quart pot with a lid, heat the oil over medium high heat. Add the onion and cook, stirring, until softened, 1 to 2 minutes.
3. Stir in the green curry paste.
4. Add the coconut milk; increase heat to high and bring to a boil.
5. Add the mussels; cover and cook until all the mussels have opened, about 2 minutes or more depending on the size of the mussels. Discard any mussels that have not opened.
6. Taste the sauce to see if it needs salt. Place in serving bowls and sprinkle with chopped cilantro if desired. You can use the shells to scoop up the sauce and enjoy the total experience or just use a soup spoon to eat up the yummy sauce.
Serves: 2 as main course or 4 as appetizer
MENU: Mussels in Thai Green Curry Sauce, Green Salad, Poached Pears