If you like mussels, this Thai style mussels with rice sticks recipe is really quick and tasty! If mussels aren’t your thing, at step 4 you can substitute chicken, shrimp, or firm tofu. Go easy on the red chili if you don’t like your food too spicy. For more information on mussels, buying and cooking them refer to our article on mussels.
1. Prepare mussels as described in Ann’s Tips.
2. Put the rice sticks into a large bowl. Bring enough water to cover them to a rolling boil (I use an electric kettle) and pour over the noodles to soften them. When they are al dente, about 5 minutes, drain and rinse with more hot water. Divide between 3-4 individual soup bowls.
3. Over a medium high flame, heat the oils in a wok or large sauté pan. When the oil starts to ripple, add the garlic, ginger, chili/jalapeno peppers, and lemongrass. Stir and fry until the garlic starts to color, do not let it burn.
4. Add the carrot and onion and stir-fry until the onion starts to soften and turn golden, about 8 minutes. Add salt and freshly ground black pepper to taste.
5. Drain the mussels and add them to the pan, stirring to coat them with the aromatics. Cover the pan and cook while shaking the pan back and forth until the mussels have opened. Add the coconut milk and water as needed and bring to a boil. Add the cilantro, cook 1-2 minutes then add the lime juice.
6. Divide mussels and sauce over the noodles in the soup bowls. Serve immediately.
- 2 pounds fresh mussels rinsed and de-bearded
- 6 to 8 ounces Thai rice sticks (allow 2oz per person)
- 2 to 3 tablespoons grape seed oil
- 1 to 2 teaspoons toasted sesame oil
- 2 cloves garlic, thinly sliced
- 1 ½ inch ginger root, thinly sliced
- 1 green jalapeno, thinly sliced
- 1 small red cayenne or thai chili, thinly sliced (optional)
- 1 stalk of lemon grass, outer leaves removed and minced
- 1 small onion, thinly sliced
- 1 medium carrot, thinly sliced
- 2 to 3 tablespoons fresh cilantro, chopped
- ¼ to ½ cup water
- Juice of 1 lime
- Salt and black pepper
Ann's Tips and Tricks
Mussels are living things, or should be. Eating a bad one can cause great misery. Here’s how to avoid this happening to you:
When you get the mussels home from the market, put them straight into a bowl of cold salted water and let them sit in the fridge for an hour or so to clean out any grit and sand
When you are ready, drain and then de-beard the mussels with a sharp knife. Put the cleaned mussels into fresh bowl of salted water discarding any that are broken
Tap any open mussels sharply with your knife. This should make them close. If they stay open discard them too (tapping makes them think you’re a gull!)
Do not pry open and eat any mussels that have stayed closed during cooking!!