1 cup thinly sliced shallots (about 3)
2 tablespoons roughly chopped galangal or ginger
1 tablespoon minced garlic, about 1 clove
1 tablespoon ﬁsh sauce
1 tablespoon light brown sugar
½ cup dry white wine
2 stalks lemongrass
6 Thai chili peppers, roughly chopped (adjust with diﬀerent chilis or the amount to achieve desired heat/spice preference)
5 Makrut lime leaves
3 pounds mussels, scrubbed and de-bearded*
¼ cup roughly chopped cilantro
¼ chopped fresh Thai or other basil
- In a medium soup pot over medium-high heat, place the shallots, ginger, garlic, ﬁsh sauce, brown sugar, and wine.
- Using the non-sharp side of a knife pound the lemongrass, chilis, and lime leaves, keep them whole, but release their essential oils and ﬂavors. Add to the pan and stir to combine. Cook until the shallots have become softened and translucent and the mixture is fragrant; about 5 minutes.
- Add the mussels and cover the pan. Cook, shaking the pan every minute or so to rotate the mussels so they’ll cook evenly, until the shells have opened (discard any that do not); about 8 minutes.
- Remove and discard any large lemongrass, chilis, or lime leaves. Stir in half the chopped cilantro and basil. Place the mussels on a large serving platter or 6 serving plates. Pour any pan juices over the top and garnish with remaining herbs.
*Mussels should be rinsed, and lightly scrubbed if necessary, to remove any debris. Most farm raised mussels come debearded, meaning that the thin, sticking membranes near the seam of the mussel has been removed. If there are any stubborn beards remaining, simply pull them oﬀ.
For mussels that do not close after rinsing, tap their shells or lightly squeeze them while running under water. If they do not close, discard them. Mussels that do not open after 8 to 10 minutes of cooking, also discard.
An Oldways recipe