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Thai Red Curry Mussels

Watercress is prized in Asian cuisine for its peppery flavour and in this dish stands up to the sweet spiciness of the mussels in a coconut-laced red curry sauce. If you can find it in your market, use Thai basil for the garnish — it adds a unique sweet anise flavour that will make the dish taste all the more authentic.

Thai Red Curry Mussels
Cuisine: Thai
Recipe type: Seafood
Ingredients
  • 2 teaspoons peanut oil, or canola oil
  • 2 medium cloves garlic, minced
  • 2 spring onions, thinly sliced, whites and greens separated
  • zest and juice of 1 lime
  • 1-2 teaspoons Thai red curry paste
  • 2 cups coconut milk
  • 1 tablespoon brown sugar
  • 2 teaspoons fish sauce (see Note)
  • 2 kg mussels, scrubbed and debearded
  • 6 cups trimmed watercress, (1-2 bunches) or trimmed spinach
  • 2 tablespoons thinly sliced fresh basil, for garnish
Instructions
  1. Heat oil in a large high-sided skillet or Dutch oven over medium-high heat. Add garlic, spring onion whites, lime zest and curry paste to taste; cook until fragrant and the paste is sizzling, 1 to 3 minutes. Add lime juice, coconut milk, brown sugar and fish sauce. Bring to a boil and let cook for 2 minutes.
  2. Add mussels, return to a simmer, cover and cook for 6 minutes. Spread watercress (or spinach) over the mussels, cover and cook until slightly wilted, about 4 minutes; stir into the mussels. (Discard any unopened mussels.)
  3. Serve garnished with spring onion and basil.
Notes
Red curry paste and fish sauce, typical Thai ingredients, can be found in the Asian food section of large supermarkets.
To clean mussels, scrub with a stiff brush under cold running water. Scrape off any barnacles using the shell of another mussel. Pull off the fuzzy "beard" from each one (some mussels may not have a beard).

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