Thailand | Thai-Style Mussels
with green papaya salad / pineapple smoothie
- Pineapple cubes - 2 cups
- Coconut milk, light (14 oz / 397 g can) - 1 can
- Ice - 1 cup
- Lemongrass (opt) - 2 bulbs , smashed
- Onions - 1/2 , chopped
- Bell peppers, any color - 1 , chopped
- Mussels, cleaned and debearded (most come debearded by the fishmonger) - 1 lb
- Cilantro - 2 Tbsp , leaves torn
- Oil, cooking - 2 Tbsp
- Curry paste, red (sub green or yellow) - 1 Tbsp
- Coconut milk, light and unsweetened (14 oz / 397 g can) - 1 can
- Stock, any type - 2 cups
- Bragg's / coconut aminos - 1 Tbsp
- Limes - 1/2 , juice of
Green Papaya Salad:
- Cashews, roasted and unsalted - 1/4 cup , chopped
- Jalapenos (sub serrano or bird's eye chilis if you like extra spice) - 1/2 , sliced
- Garlic - 1 clove , chopped
- Limes - 1/2 , juice of
- Fish sauce - 2 tsp
- Carrots, medium - 1 , shredded
- Papaya, unripe and green (look for dark green, firm fruit or sub 2 cucumbers per papaya) - 1 , shredded
- Lemongrass / Onions / Bell peppers / Cashews - If lemongrass came in a long stalk, slice off the lowest part of the stalk (the bulb) and discard the rest. (You want only the portion of the lemongrass stalk that is light purple inside.) Use a meat tenderizer to smash the lemongrass stalks just to break them open. Chop onions and bell peppers. Combine lemongrass, onions and bell peppers in one container. Store cashews separately. (Can be done up to 5 days ahead)
- Jalapenos / Garlic - Prep as directed and combine. (Can be done up to 4 days ahead)
- Make dressing - Combine jalapenos, garlic, lime juice (portion for salad) and fish sauce. (Can be done up to 4 days ahead)
- Carrots / Papaya - Shred carrots and papaya / cucumbers (if using papaya, peel papaya first) with a Julienne peeler or box grater and combine. (Can be done up to 2 days ahead)
- Mussels - Clean and debeard if not done by your fishmonger. Scrub and soak in a bowl of water. It’s rare to find mussels that have not been debearded, but if you need to do this yourself, here’s a demo from The Kitchn. (Can be done 1 day ahead)
- Cilantro - Chop cilantro.
- Make smoothies - Combine pineapple cubes, coconut milk (portion for the smoothies) and ice in a blender. Blend until smooth.
- Toss carrots and papaya in dressing (if you have a large mortar and pestle, gently pound the salad to soften veggies). Refrigerate salad while preparing mussels.
- Heat a Dutch oven or pot over medium-high heat. Add oil and then lemongrass, onions and bell peppers to heated oil. Saute until onions and peppers are tender, 3 to 4 minutes. Add curry paste and saute until it starts to release oil, about 1 minute.
- Add coconut milk (portion for the mussels), stock and aminos. Bring to a simmer.
- Add mussels. Cover and cook for 6 to 8 minutes until mussels have opened up.
- While mussels cook, taste papaya salad and add additional lime juice or fish sauce to suit your taste. Top with cashews.
- Divide mussels and cooking liquid between serving bowls (discard any mussels that didn't open during cooking and discard lemongrass stalks). Top mussels with cilantro and lime juice.
- Serve mussels with papaya salad and smoothies on the side. Enjoy!