Red is usually not a colour we like to associate with black mussels, mostly because when there is red tide in the sea, it means we cannot catch black mussels. Thai red curry, on the other hand, is a flavour that goes well with mussels. This is the type of recipe that will add a lot of value to some lives as you realise that a great-tasting mussel potjie is pretty straightforward to prepare on the fire. Feeds 4.
- 1 kg half-shelled frozen black mussels
- 1 tot olive oil or butter 2 onions (chopped)
- 2 garlic cloves (crushed and chopped)
- 1 bell pepper (green, red or yellow, seeded and chopped)
- 1 fresh chilli (seeds removed if you prefer, chopped)
- 1 tot red curry paste
- 1 cup white wine
- 400 ml tin coconut cream
- salt and pepper (to taste)
- baguette (to serve)
- Rinse the mussels under cold, running water.
- Add the oil or butter, onion, garlic, bell pepper, chilli and curry paste to the potjie and sauté until stuff starts to brown.
- Add the white wine and coconut cream, and use your wooden spoon to ensure no bits of sautéed stuff are sticking to the bottom of the potjie.
- Now add the mussels, stir and toss them with the rest of the ingredients and close the lid of the potjie. Keep enough heat under the potjie to let the liquid in the pot boil so that the mussels steam for about 15 minutes until done. Then remove the lid and toss everything once more.
- Add salt and pepper to taste.
- Serve in bowls, scooping mussels, as well as sauce into each bowl. Serve with pieces of fresh baguette to mop up the sauce. The sauce is part of the meal. For bonus points, you can lightly toast the slices of baguette on a grid over coals before serving, as this will allow for extra flavour and improved appearance.
Not all red curry pastes are created equal. You might have to use more or less to fine-tune the amount of kick in your meal! You can obviously use fresh mussels for this recipe as well, but red curry paste is quite robust in flavour, perhaps even overkill – hence my suggestion is that you save this recipe for those days when the craving for a mussel pot speaks strongly to you, and the only mussels you can find are those half-shelled frozen ones. Once the onion and his friends are browned and you’ve added and stirred in the white wine, you can also opt to use a stick blender to transform everything in the potjie into one smooth sauce before adding the cream and the mussels and proceeding with the rest of the process.
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