Mussels really do prove that the simple things in life are the best. Not only are they super easy to prepare, they are only around 100 calories (418 kilojoules) per 100g and are a good source of omega 3. And the great news for lovers of these little bivalves is that although traditionally the season is typically 6 months (August to Feb) farming techniques are so good that we can now enjoy them all year round.
When buying always aim to buy the day you plan to consume them, and only buy what you plan to eat. Typically allow between 350 to 450g per person.
Once purchased store in the fridge or in cold fresh water until ready to prepare. When you do come to prepare them don’t forget that that they absorb flavours really well, making strong flavours and herbs the perfect choice.
Preparation is easy, just give them a scrub, and remove the beard by giving a sharp tug towards the thick (hinged) end of the mussel. Pop the cleaned mussels into fresh cold water. Don’t forget to give any opened mussels a firm tap, live ones will close so discard any that stay open.
Ok time to get cooking. Don’t forget that mussels only take a very short time to cook, so better to save the cooking until the last minute, after you have prepared all other ingredients.
So first up make the sauce to cook the mussels in, this will allow the mussels to pick up all the flavours. When the it has come up to the boil carefully add the mussels and cover with a tight fitting lid, shake the pan occasionally to ensure even cooking.
When all the mussels have opened you are ready to serve (discard any that haven’t opened after 6 minutes of cooking time).
Heat oil in a large wok or saucepan over medium heat. Add lemongrass, garlic and chilli. Cook, stirring, for 1 minute or until fragrant.
Add the mussels, cover wok or pan with tight-fitting lid. Steam mussels, shaking the pan occasionally, for around 5 minutes or until opened. Discard any unopened mussels. Stir through coriander and zest.
Divide mussels among two serving bowls, spoon over coconut broth. Serve with crusty bread.