If you’re me, you’re five days into a NO CARBS EVER NOTHING DELICIOUS PASSES YOUR LIPS UNLESS IT’S MEAT-BASED kind of diet. It’s pre-holiday, making room for massive holiday gorging. Totally foolish and I’m well into it. Anyway the boyfriend started the diet with me but lasted exactly 1.5 days so I was looking for something we could both eat tonight, as last night we shared a roast chicken (no veg) and it was nice, but a bit confronting.
Mussels. Get the vaguely rude things into you, they’re quite nice and excitingly dangerous. You never know if you’re poisoned till after.
This is a kind of asian version, crossing the Viet/Thai/Japanese borders, impossible in real life.
Fish Sauce (Nam Pla – not shown here)
Chilli (semi dried, home grown in this instance, not really hot enough)
Chop up the chilli, garlic and ginger really finely, slice the spring onions and arrange your citrus in a pleasing manner.
This is a mussel with its beard on. Rip the beard upwards, away from the hinge/joint, in a sharply dominant way.
One clean mussel, one beard. Discard the beard.
In your bag of mussels you may find cracked or open mussels. They are Bad and Must Not Be Eaten. Chuck’em at this stage. Do not contemplate cooking them, not even if you’ve been in a plane crash high up in the Andes and are a pescatarian and cannot bring yourself to eat the tasty butt-flesh of a former passenger.
In a big pot, and in some warmed peanut or vegetable oil, cook the garlic, ginger and chilli. Do not burn.
At this point I had a blast of inspiration and asked the boyfriend for some sake. He, hopefully, thought I might break my killer-meat-diet to drink some. Nay! It is replacing the white wine. Slosh a good amount into the pot to join the aromatic goodness already there.
Add a splash (about a dessert spoonful) of nam pla. Stir through till it’s bubbling. I’ve added the coriander now as in our house it needs cooking before eating due to allergies, but ideally you’d leave it out till the end.
Throw in the mussels, stir through and stick on the lid.
Leave the lid on. Shake the pot about occasionally. Cook some bok choi and soy while you’re waiting.
You’ll be waiting around 4-5 mins.
When they’re open and displaying their rather rude-looking insides, they’re done. Obviously any not-open ones are not to be eaten either.
Delicious. Eat the mussels, and as you do push the veg into the sauce you’ve spooned over it all, along with the chopped spring onions. Veg dipped in the sauce is lush.
Eat like thus. No person should be using metal utensils when eating this. Fools.