The majority of black mussels that are sold in today’s markets come from Prince Edward Isle off the coast of Canada. These lovely mollusks are shinny black and should be purchased only if they are completely closed. A mussel that is open may have died (they are sold live). To find out of the mussel is open but still alive, simply use your fingers to tap on the shell…..if you see it start to close your mussel is good. If it doesn’t close, throw it out.
After you purchase your mussels, wash them and remove any “beard” (a little bit of stringly substance in between the shell) that may be on them. I keep the mussels in the refrigerator in a pan then rest the pan on a bed of ice. They should be used within a day of purchase.
- 48 Prince Edward Isle Black Mussels
- (cleaned and debearded)
- 1 red bell pepper, seeded and diced
- 4 green onions, cleaned and finely chopped
- 1 bunch of cilantro leaves, finely chopped
- 1 tablepoon fresh mint leaves, finely chopped
- edible flower garnish (optional)
- 8 pieces of French bread
The Coconut Curry Broth
- 1 can of unsweetened coconut milk
- 1/4 cup white wine
- 1 stalk fresh lemongrass
- 1/2 cup vegetable or chicken stock
- juice of one lime
- 1/4 cup chopped fresh mint
- 1/2 teaspoon red curry paste (or to taste)
- 2 to 3 tablespoons sugar
- salt and white pepper to taste
- 2 teaspoons cornstarch mixed with 2 tablespoons water
Place the mussels in a large sieve and wash under cold water. Remove any “beards” on the mussels. If any of the mussels are open, check to see if they are still alive by clicking on the shell. If the shell starts to close, they are alive and usable. If they do not close, discard them.
Refrigerate until ready to use.
To make the coconut broth
Peel off the hard outer stalk of the lemon grass. Chop into pieces. (Lemon grass is often difficult to find. If you cannot find it, just add the zest of a fresh lemon)
Place the coconut milk, vegetable or chicken stock, lemon grass, lime juice, white wine and sugar in to a pot. Add the red curry paste. Add the chopped mint. Let the sauce simmer for 1/2 hour, stirring to break up the chili paste.
Strain the sauce to remove the mint and lemon grass. Use immediately or cool and refrigerate. Reheat when ready to use. Can be refrigerated for several days.
Sauting the mussels
Heat a large pan over medium heat. Add the mussels, red bell peppers and scallions. Add the sauce to the pan. Cover the pan loosely with a lid and let simmer until the sauce becomes hot and the mussels open up. Discard any mussels which have not opened.
Place the mussels in four serving bowls.
Garnish with toasted French bread slices and top with additional fresh herbs and/or edible flowers.