Thai mussels

Serves 4

Thai spices and herbs go really well with mussels and this recipe makes a really refreshing and light starter either served individually or served in a large bowl in the middle of the table for people to help themselves to. Thai herbs and spices are fairly easy to get hold of these days and some supermarkets even sell packets of galangal, lemon grass and lime leaves all ready to go.

2kg live mussels, bearded and washed

2tbsp vegetable oil

1 medium onion, peeled, halved and finely chopped

4 cloves of garlic, peeled and crushed

2 sticks of lemon grass, trimmed and finely chopped

40g galangal or root ginger, peeled and finely chopped or grated

2 medium chillies, trimmed and sliced

4-6 lime leaves

3-4tbsp fish sauce

500ml fish stock

tbsp cornflour

250ml of coconut milk

A handful of coriander leaves

A handful of Thai basil leaves

Salt and freshly ground black pepper

Heat the vegetable oil in a large saucepan and gently cook the onion, garlic, lemon grass, galangal and chilli for 2-3 minutes on a low heat. Add the lime leaves, fish sauce and fish stock and simmer gently for 5 minutes, then dilute the cornflour in a little water and stir in and simmer for another 5 minutes. Whisk in the coconut milk, season, add the mussels, cover and cook on a medium heat for 3-4 minutes, stirring every so often until the mussels have all opened, then stir in the coriander and basil leaves and serve immediately.

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