Makes 2 to 3 small servings
This tasty shellfish soup produces an irresistibly aromatic broth. It's meant as a prelude to a meal.
1 teaspoon peanut oil
6 thin slices galangal
1 lemongrass stalk, bottom 3 inches sliced thinly on a bias
1 serrano chile, julienned (seeds and all)
1 kaffir lime leaf (optional)
15 mussels, debearded and scrubbed (about 1/2 pound)
1 cup chicken broth
1 teaspoon fish sauce
1 teaspoon sugar
2 tablespoons coconut milk
2 Thai basil leaves, julienned
1 tablespoon fresh cilantro leaves
1/4 small lime
Healthy dash of freshly ground black pepper
Heat a large saucepan or skillet. Add the oil. When hot, add the galangal, lemongrass, chile pepper, and lime leaf, and stir briefly. Add the mussels and toss briefly with the herbs. Add the chicken broth and simmer until the mussels open. Discard any that don't open. Stir in the fish sauce, sugar, and coconut milk, bring to a boil, and immediately turn off the heat.
Pour the broth into one or two serving bowls (holding back the mussels). Sprinkle in the basil and cilantro leaves, squeeze in the lime, add the pepper, then arrange the mussels in the bowl(s) on top. Serve.
Big Bowl Noodles and Rice
By Bruce Cost with Chef Matt McMillin
HarperCollins Publishers, 2000
Recipe reprinted by permission.
This page created November 2000
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