A classic dish that’s great to share on a warm summer evening on the west coast. This one was made with a spicy thai red chili coconut curry broth, which pairs perfectly with the rich mussels.
I’ve perfected fries over the years, I hate deep frying at home, so my method involves baking the fries in the oven over an extended period of time instead to achieve similar results. The most important tip is to spread them out, and cook by color! When they’re golden, they’re done!
This broth packs quite a bit of heat, so scale back the chilis as desired.
2 lbs fresh mussels, cleaned and de bearded
1 can coconut milk
A half cup chopped cilantro stems
2 garlic cloves
1 lime, zest reserved
1 tbsp coriander seeds
1 tbsp madras curry powder
Good handful thai bird chilis
3 large potatoes, cut into fries
4 tbsp grape seed oil
Salt and pepper
1. Preheat the oven to 425 degrees F. Add half the oil to a large baking dish (make sure they are well spaced) and place in the oven to preheat. After 5 min, remove from oven and toss in fries. Immediately turn down heat to 375. Let the potatoes cook for 30 minutes before checking. They won’t burn at 375.
2. Meanwhile, make the curry paste. Start by adding shallots, garlic, cilantro, coriander, curry powder, lime zest, half of the chilis, and 1 tbsp of oil to a food processor. Pulse until you get a paste. Set aside and check the potatoes.
3. Potatoes will be ready to flip if they come free from the bottom of the baking dish with a light golden brown color and minimal effort. Toss around at this point a bit, then place back in the oven to continue to develop color. Keep doing this until the potatoes develop a bit more color and a bit of crispiness. Then turn down the oven to 300 degrees F.
4. Now that the potatoes are done, start on the broth. Place a large pot on high heat, then add the remaining oil and curry paste. Let cook for about 2 minutes, then add the coconut milk, lime halves, and the remaing chilis. At this point, you can also add lemongrass stalk, extra shallots, or ginger if you have them on hand. Sadly I didn’t. Let the broth come to a boil, then add the mussels and cook for 2 minutes, or until they open.
5. Serve immediately with the fries. Discard any mussels that didn’t open.