Walking through the grocery store I glanced over and saw that dreaded sign that sucks me in each time, SALE! Fresh mussels were on sale for 50% off. I grabbed them and made this coconut curry mussel recipe for supper asap!
Here’s a little bit about me: I grew up in a seafood loving house. My dad is from Nova Scotia. I distinctly remember my first bowl of mussels. It occurred one summer during a family vacation in Nova Scotia. My family used to go up there for 3 weeks during the summer and visit my dad’s huge family of siblings (he has 9 siblings= lots of aunts and uncles). We were all sitting around the dining room table. My aunt passed a bowl of mussels to everyone seated. Then I was asked if I wanted one. I looked around and thought this looks disgusting. My family members were gobbling down these orange morsels dipped in butter like it was a delicacy. I gathered the courage and said sure. I have never turned back.
What do mussels taste like?
I don’t know how to describe to you that eating a mussel where you see the whole body; even the guts can ever be delicious but somehow dipped in buttery goodness it turns into awwwwesomeness. Please try some today. Also if you are at a restaurant and need something gluten free to eat as an appetizer, restaurants often have a bowl of mussels offered beside all of those other gluten filled appetizers.
Basic Steamed Mussel Recipe:
If you have never eaten mussels I would suggest you start with the basic method of eating them which would be steamed mussels dipped in butter. (Another great reason to eat butter!)
- Fill a large pot with a few inches of water.
- Bring to a boil. Place the mussels in a steamer (like this one) and place in the pot. Cover the pot with a lid. Steam the mussels for about 5 minutes. The mussels are done when you peek inside and see the mussels are all opened up.
- Melt salted butter and some chopped garlic. Use a fork to scoop the mussel out of the shell and dip in the butter and eat!
Then if you like it try other recipes like this one or mussels in a wine sauce, in a tomato sauce etc.
Here’s some tips to follow when buying mussels and cooking them:
- Buy fresh mussels instead of frozen. You can purchase fresh mussels at your grocery store’s seafood section or online (here is a vendor).
- If the person at the seafood counter doesn’t poke holes in the bag, poke holes in the bag once you get home. Mussels are alive and need air. Be nice and poke some holes at the top of the bag.
- Store your mussels in the fridge until you are ready to cook with them.
- Cook your mussels within 24 hours of purchasing.
- After you have steamed the mussels DO NOT eat any mussels where the shell did not open. If the shell didn’t open this usually means the mussel was dead before you steamed it.
- When mussels are steamed they turn an orange colour. You might notice a few that are more “whitish” in appearance. I discard those depending on how light the colour is.
- When mussels are steamed they do not make any noise unlike how steaming lobsters create a faint whistling echo.
- Most recipes say you need to scrub the mussels clean before steaming them. My family has always rinsed the mussels and never needed to literally scrub the mussels clean.
- You can add the discarded shells to your gardens (whole or ground up).
- 1 tbsp coconut oil
- ½ tsp of Cayenne Pepper
- ½ tsp of Chili Spice
- 1 can Full Fat Coconut Milk
- ½ cup white wine
- Salt & pepper
- 1 tbsp fresh ginger, finely chopped
- 3 cloves or more of chopped garlic
- ½ onion, diced
- 1 lb fresh mussels
- In a large pot, heat some oil (I used coconut oil). Add cayenne pepper, chili spice, salt and pepper, ginger, garlic and onion.
- Sauté until you can smell the aroma and the onions are translucent.
- Add the coconut milk and wine. Turn to high heat and simmer for 5 minutes.
- Add the mussels and turn to boiling. Boil the mussels for 10 minutes.
- Serve immediately.
Remember, do not eat the unopened mussels.