When the cat’s away the mice will play. In my case, that means playing with mussels, a tasty mollusk that my wife refers to as “the black death” on account of her relatively severe allergy to the stuff. My favorite preparation is an 80s-90s style fusion affair that combines aspects of the flavor profile of classic Moules Mariniere with Thai ingredients and plays off of the natural affinity between Thai flavors and Gewürztraminer wine.
When Nancy returns to town I may just have to make this again…but with clams.
Steamed Mussels with Gewürztraminer and Southeast Asian Flavors
For the Broth
- 2 leeks, white parts only, in half moon slices
- 4 cloves garlic, smashed and minced
- 3 Thai Bird (or cayenne) chile pepperss, finely chopped
- ½ inch knob of galangal (ginger will work as a substitute), smashed and finely chopped
- 2 stalks of lemongrass, rough outer leaves peeled, in one inch chunks
- 2 cups good quality Gewürztraminer (or other dry white) wine
- 1 cup shrimp, fish or vegetable stock
- 1 tablespoon fish sauce
- 1 cup unsweetened coconut milk
- 1 pound mussels (washed and bearded)
- 5 basil leaves, cut in chiffonnade
- Sriracha Sauce
1. Make the Broth Base. Sweat the leeks and garlic in a medium sized soup pot over low heat for 5 minutes. Add the remaining broth ingredients and bring to a boil over high heat. Reduce the heat to low, simmer the broth for 10 minutes.
2. Cook the Mussels. Bring the broth back to a boil and add the mussels. Cover the pot with a tight fitting lid and cook until the mussels have opened, 5 to 7 minutes (discard any mussels that remained closed). Add the basil leaves and cook for 30 seconds. Taste the broth and adjust the seasoning with fish sauce and Sriracha sauce.
3. Serve the Dish. Transfer the mussels to wide rimmed bowls using a slotted spoon. Ladle the broth over the mussels and serve. Serve with jasmine rice.