Show us yer mussels

Once upon a time I went to a risotto cooking class where the charming Milanese doing the demonstration told us that “making risotto is like making love. You don’t look at your watch!”

It’s a good mantra to remember, especially if you often feel time is against you in the kitchen. Normally I’m no fan of books that promise ‘dinner in five minutes’ because I find rushing while cooking is ultimately counterproductive (and I hate sitting down to eat feeling like the stopwatch is still ticking). However, Xanthe Clay’s ’10 Minutes To Table’ might be an exception to the rule. Lots of lovely, fast dinner ideas – including this one for mussels done in a sort of Asian fashion. Just don’t look at your watch while you’re making it.

Mussels with coriander, chilli and coconut

Locally farmed greenshell mussels are incredibly cheap here and available almost year-round from supermarkets. This treatment makes them plump, sweet, juicy and just right for a relaxed supper for two.

1kg live mussels in the shell
slosh of olive oil
1 bunch spring onions, roughly chopped
thumb-size knob of fresh ginger, finely chopped
1 red chilli, finely chopped
1/2tsp turmeric
1 small glass white wine
200ml coconut milk
handful of fresh coriander, roughly chopped

Give the mussels a quick scrub and pull out the beards (the furry bits). Set aside.
Heat the oil in a large pot (big enough to take the mussels) and add the onions, ginger, chilli and turmeric. Saute for about three minutes over medium heat, then add the wine and let it bubble up. Throw in the mussels and clamp on the lid. Cook for three-four minutes, shaking the pot every now and then. Pour in the coconut milk, replace the lid and cook for another couple of minutes. Take off the heat and divide the mussels between two waiting bowls, discarding any that haven’t opened. Pour the coconut liquor over the top and scatter over the coriander. Eat, slowly.



  1. December 6, 2010 / 11:21 pm

    I must remember that saying, "making risotto is like making love". That is so true.
    I've been seeing mussels everywhere today and I think it's a sign for me to cook some. Your dish is right up my street. It's light and refreshing. Yum!
    Thank you for the nice comment on my blog. I look forward to reading your delicious posts. 🙂
    Have a great one.

  2. December 8, 2010 / 7:21 am

    look delicious : )

  3. December 13, 2010 / 1:41 am

    Lucy, thank you so much for sharing with Cookbook Sundays. I love your blog!!! You make me laugh and that's a good thing. :o) My hubby and I adore mussels and I'm a huge coconut fan so I know we would love these. Looking forward to reading more of your blog! Have a great week!

  4. December 14, 2010 / 2:51 pm

    Oh my goodness, I love the quote. haha! So very true!! And the meal looks delicious, I gasped a little when I read the title. This looks heavenly!

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