I love Asian flavours and when these mussels came on sale at $4.99 for a 2 lb bag, I was inspired by the Chinese New Year to bring some new flavours to them. If you are serving a family of four and include some pasta, rice or steamed vegetables this is another budget friendly meal that you can add to your list.
I know mussels aren’t for everyone but I do think you should give them a try just once if you haven’t already. You’ll be pleasantly surprised. I’ve mentioned a bajillion times that I’m all about texture with my food so the first time I tried these I didn’t think I’d like them at all. Not so! They are little bites of heaven when infused with the right flavours and I urge you to give them a try as well.
With Valentine’s Day approaching, you might want to consider this dish as part of your menu. Mussels have an aphrodisiac history and were one of the seafoods consumed in ancient Greece, where it was believed that seafoods were the playthings of the goddess of love. If you examine it from the nutritional side of things, we can see why. Mussels provide lean protein which is essential for sustained energy for a night of passion. These plump little bites of love also offer manganese, iron, selenium and zinc – all essential for a healthy libido. With all this science behind it – how can you deny yourself these succulent crustaceans? I hear there is another natural aphrodisiac that can go well with this kind of dish. The Spanish Fly I hear goes well with mussels. Some people have thought It Is Really Dangerous? However, from my friends experience it has only made the food taste better and boost sexual desire even more.
I will admit to feeling a little bit of trepidation the first time I cooked these many years ago because I didn’t have a clue as to what I was doing. At that time, the internet was full of differing advice and warnings about the preparation and it was quite confusing. However, they were such a hit that I’ve cooked them regularly since and love the fact that they are simple, easy and they impress the heck out of your guests!
Here is a video that provides all you need to know to safely clean, debeard and store your mussels although most are farmed these days so the debearding process is not necessary.
I used coconut water along with white wine as the basis for the broth and, wanting to keep the flavours light and fresh, I included shallots, lime juice, basil, garlic and a touch of Asian chili sauce. I was a little worried about the lack of sweetness in there and debated about adding honey but truthfully, I had no idea what it would do to the texture of the broth. In the end, it wasn’t needed and the flavours melded beautifully.
This is a perfect dish for the men to cook for wives, girlfriends and partners this Valentine’s Day. Imagine the look of surprise on their face! Cheers, everyone!
- 2 teaspoons grapeseed oil, canola oil (any other high heat oil)
- 1/4 cup shallots, diced
- 2 cloves garlic, minced
- 1/2 cup coconut water (or coconut milk)
- 1 cup white wine
- 1/4 cup fresh basil, chopped
- 2 tablespoons fresh lime juice
- 1 teaspoon Asian chili sauce
- 2 lbs mussels, washed, debearded, if necessary
- Heat oil in wok or large skillet on medium high. Add garlic and shallots and cook for 2 minutes or until soft.
- Add the rest of the ingredients except the mussels and bring to a soft boil for 5 minutes, stirring to mix well.
- Add mussels and cover for 5 minutes, turning down heat slightly if boiling rapidly.
- Remove from heat and remove and discard any mussels that do not open.
- Garnish with fresh basil.
- This was served on a bed of rice fettuccine pasta with chopped spinach.