Thai curries are a bit of an addiction for me when it comes to easy and interesting meals. Store bought curry paste is a game changer in this regard. I’ll sing the praises of store-bought curry paste all day long – it’s a time-saving technique, and it’s a way to get authentic tasting curries in your own home kitchen.
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So you might be looking at this post for Thai Green Curry Mussels thinking it looks complicated, but I assure you it’s not. Everything comes together in one pot and very quickly. Choose your own vegetables, clean some mussels, and get cooking!
Green Curry Mussels
Mussels for me are almost exclusively associated with moules frites cooked with white wine and tomatoes. The first time I had green curry mussels was actually at a restaurant here in Nashville called the Eastland Cafe. I love mussels and I love Thai curries, but I had never thought to put them together before.
The best part about any mussel dish is the broth that renders from the cooked mussels and their cooking liquid, and the broth that is created from these green curry mussels is liquid cold. It’s a little bit spicy, a little bit sweet, and perfectly savory with a backbone of lemongrass and ginger.
Most of the flavor in these green curry mussels comes from the green curry paste, so it’s important to pick a good one. I like Maesri green curry paste or Arroy-D green curry paste – just make sure you pick one that has lemongrass, galangal, and kaffir lime leaf listed prominently in the ingredient list.
Cleaning and Cooking Mussels
As a general rule when I buy seafood to cook at home, I buy it the same day that I plan on making the dish. Mussels are no exception, so make sure you’re working with fresh ones when making these green curry mussels. When you do buy the mussels store them in the container you bought them in in the fridge until you’re ready to clean them.
To clean the mussels, rinse them well and scrub gently with a soft-bristled brush to dislodge any sand or grit. Most mussels bought from grocery stores in the US are already de-bearded, though if you find any mussels with a clump of fibers attached to it where the shell closes you’ll want to pull on it firmly to remove it.
Make sure to discard any mussels that don’t close when tapped lightly or any mussels that have broken shells. If the shells don’t close that means the mussels are not live and not good to eat. This same logic holds true for mussels after they’re cooked – any that haven’t opened shouldn’t be pried open to eat them. Discard them if they don’t open after cooking.
In addition to the green curry paste and mussels, you’ll need some vegetables, other aromatics, and coconut milk to complete the meal. I like to add extra garlic and ginger to my green curry base for some extra oomph. Sometimes I like to add extra lemongrass as well, but since lemongrass can be tough even when sautéed, I didn’t add it to these green curry mussels.
For the vegetables, I used baby bok choy and green Thai eggplants because I recently visited one of the Asian grocery stores in Nashville and had access to these ingredients. If you have an Asian grocery store that stocks baby bok choy and Thai eggplant, I highly suggest you seek them out! Otherwise, plenty of other vegetables will work in their place. I see some mellow summer zucchini working very well in this recipe.
To cook the green curry mussels, you’ll first saute your vegetables. After that add the green curry paste, then the coconut milk. Bring the liquid to a boil then add the mussels. You’ll cover the pot and wait for the mussels to open – it should take 5-7 minutes
To serve the green curry mussels you have a few options – crusty bread, cooked rice, or softened rice noodles would all be wonderful accompaniments. I chose steamed jasmine rice but feel free to use whatever you have on hand.
Garnish the green curry mussels with sliced green onions and cilantro for an extra kick of freshness, and serve them immediately. Mussels are best served piping hot.
Thai Green Curry Mussels
Thai Mussels simmered in Coconut Green Curry Sauce are an easy and elegant main meal
- 1 tbsp neutral oil like avocado oil
- 1 lb Thai eggplant
- ½ lb baby bok choy
- 1 ½ tsp kosher salt divided
- 2 cloves garlic sliced thin
- ½ tbsp green curry paste
- 1 14 oz can coconut milk unsweetened
- 2 lbs mussels cleaned and de-bearded
- 2 tbsp lime juice
- 2 tbsp chopped cilantro
- 1 tbsp sliced green onions
- White rice, rice noodles, or crusty bread optional
Heat avocado oil in a large dutch oven over medium heat. Add the Thai eggplant, season with 1 tsp kosher salt and saute for 3-4 minutes.
Add the baby bok choy and an additional 1/2 tsp kosher salt and saute for an additional 4-5 minutes or until the vegetables are started to become softened.
Add the sliced garlic and green curry paste and saute for 30 seconds to 1 minute or until the garlic and curry paste are very fragrant.
Add the coconut milk to the dutch oven and stir well. Increase the heat to high and bring the liquid to a boil.
Once boiling, add the mussels to the pot and stir gently. Cover the pot, reduce heat to medium and let steam for 5-7 minutes or until most of the mussels have opened.
Remove the lid and turn off the heat. Add lime juice, cilantro, and green onions and stir gently. Taste the broth for seasoning and add salt, lime juice, or sugar as needed.