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2 lb fresh mussels
1 tbsp oil
4 Thai shallots or 2 regular shallots, peeled and finely chopped
6 garlic cloves, peeled and chopped
1 large red chilli, sliced
2 sticks lemongrass, finely sliced
1 cup water (approx)
1 tbsp nam pla (fish sauce)
6 kaffir lime leaves
a good handful of holy basil or Thai sweet basil, to garnish
wedges of lime, to serve
Clean the mussels thoroughly under running water, pulling off any beards they may have. If any mussels are open, give them a firm tap with the back of a knife. If they refuse to close, discard them immediately.
Heat the oil in a large deep saucepan (one with a tight-fitting lid) and saute the shallots, garlic, chilli and lemongrass for 1 minute.
Add the water, nam pla (fish sauce) and lime leaves, and bring to the boil.
Add the mussels and bring back to the boil. Put the lid on and give the pot a good shake.
Leave on the heat for 3–4 minutes, or until all the mussels are open and cooked (any mussels that remain closed are dead, and should be discarded).
Serve in a bowl, garnished with the basil leaves, surrounded by the delicious cooking liquor, and squeeze the lime over as desired.
Author: Evening Standard
Total Time: 15 minutes
Yield: 1 serving, or 4 as a part of a larger Thai meal