- 500 g cleaned, debearded fresh Saldahna mussels (rinsed 3 times)
- 2 T seasame oil
- 80 g fresh ginger or galangal, cut into julienne
- 80 g lemongrass, cut diagonally into 1/2 inch pieces and bashed with a cleaver
- 2 garlic cloves, thinly sliced
- 2-3 diagonally sliced red bird’s-eye chillies
- 1/2 tsp palm sugar
- Freshly ground black pepper
- 1 tsp fish sauce
- 1 tsp light soy sauce
- 1 Tbl coconut cream
- 1 bay leaf
- 2 Tbls lime juice
- 3 Thai lime leaves, fresh if possible
- 3 coriander roots, left whole and bashed with a cleaver
- Dried shitake mushrooms, rehydrated and sliced
- A handful diagonally sliced spring onions
- 1 small bok choy roughly chopped
- Juice of half a kaffir lime, if available
- Handful coriander leaves
Heat the sesame oil in a wok. Sauté the ginger, lemongrass, garlic and chilli for half a minute to release the flavours.
Add the palm sugar, black pepper, fish sauce and soy sauce, stirring over low heat for about a minute.
Add the mussels and shake the wok vigorously in order to coat all the mussels.
Add the coconut cream, bay leaf, Thai lime leaves. Simmer for about 3 minutes until the mussels have opened.
Stir in the coriander roots, shitake mushrooms (if using), spring onions and bok choy, cooking for a further minute over a high heat. Remove the wok from the stove.
Add the lime juice and coriander leaves. (Don’t cook the lime juice too long or it will become bitter.)
Serve in a heated dish (accompanied by Jasmine rice, fresh diced chilli, fish sauce and lime juice) and enjoy the concentration of flavours, textures and aromas working in concert with each other.