I recently went to this incredible seafood restaurant in New York City called “Flex Mussels.” On their menu they feature 23 different mussels preparations. The Thai Steamed Mussels were my favorite and I had to recreate it when I returned home! I also had a little help from my Staten Island friend, Carolyn, who shared her version of Thai mussels with me. I know most people are accustomed to the Italian preparation (which I also love), but this Asian-inspired mussels recipe is absolutely worth trying. I promise! Make sure to have a side of crusty bread for dipping in the yummy sauce!
- 2 tablespoons virgin coconut oil
- 3 large shallots, sliced
- 3 garlic cloves, chopped
- 3 cups chopped leeks (whites only)
- 2 stalks lemongrass, finely chopped (soft white bulb only)
- 1 teaspoon red pepper flakes
- Zest from one lime
- 1 13-oz. can coconut milk
- 1 tablespoon fish sauce
- 3 cups dry white wine
- 2 tablespoons green curry paste
- 6 pounds fresh mussels
- Chopped fresh cilantro to garnish
- Clean, scrub, and de-beard mussels. Discard any open mussels. Heat coconut oil in a heavy sauce pan, Dutch oven, or wok. Add shallots, garlic, leeks, and lemongrass and sauté 3 minutes, until fragrant. Stir in red pepper flakes and lime zest. Add in coconut milk, fish sauce, white wine, and curry paste. Stir well and bring to a boil. Add mussels, reduce heat to a simmer and cover for 8 to 10 minutes until mussels are open. Sprinkle with cilantro to garnish. Serve with crusty bread for dipping.
- Adapted from: Carolyn Decorato
Don’t these look fancy? You can make these at home! Rice paper wrappers used to be hard to come by, but now they are sold at your local grocery store. I’ve even seen brown rice paper wrappers, which I would not recommend because they taste rubbery. You roll these just like a burrito: (how to wrap a spring roll). Here’s the great thing about these spring rolls — you can fill them with just about anything! I’ve used shrimp in this recipe, but chicken is a perfectly good substitute. Vegetarian rolls are also very tasty. Feel free to experiment with these! The spicy dipping sauce is the perfect condiment on the side. Go ahead, roll with it! Your dinner guests will be bragging on you for days!
- 8 large cooked shrimp, peeled and cut in half lengthwise
- 8 8.5" round rice paper wrappers
- 2 oz. rice vermicelli or bean thread vermicelli
- 1 shredded carrot
- 16 large basil leaves
- 3 large lettuce leaves, chopped
- Toasted sesame seeds
- ¼ cup light soy sauce
- ¼ cup rice wine vinegar
- ½ teaspoon grated fresh ginger
- 2 tablespoons creamy peanut butter
- 1 tablespoon lime juice
- ¼ teaspoon red chili flakes
- In medium saucepan, add vermicelli to boiling water and remove from heat for 5 minutes. Drain water and set aside to cool.
- Working one at a time, soak spring roll wrappers in warm water for 15 seconds. Place on flat surface and working from bottom third of the wrapper arrange lettuce, carrots, handful of vermicelli, 2 basil leaves, 2-3 shrimp pieces, and sprinkle of sesame seeds. Rolling the spring roll like a burrito, fold uncovered sides inward, then tightly roll the wrapper, beginning at the bottom of the wrapper to the top. Lay the finished spring roll on a tray lined with plastic wrap or waxed paper. Repeat with remaining wrappers. When all spring rolls are finished, cover the tray tightly and refrigerate for 2 hours or overnight. Cut spring rolls in half on an angle when ready to serve. Serve with the dipping sauce.
- Combine all ingredients into a food processor or blender until well blended. Serve on the side with spring rolls.
To toast the sesame seeds: Place in a skillet on the stove over medium heat and dry toast it until light brown. Don't overcook.
When my sister-in-law, Laurel, first introduced me to this amazing dish she served it whole as an entree. So delish, but I’m not a big fan of thick tuna steaks, so I decided to slice it thinly and serve it as an appetizer. Let me tell you, it’s always a big hit with my dinner guests! It’s on the light side so it won’t fill you up before your main meal. Make sure you watch carefully when you’re searing the tuna because it can get overcooked very quickly. I prefer mine rare on the inside so it takes very little time to sear. The wasabi peas are not at all spicy, but give the tuna a pretty outside color and nice texture. This starter dish is made to impress!
- 1 cup wasabi peas
- 1 tablespoon black sesame seeds
- 2 medium sized, thick sushi grade ahi tuna or yellowfin tuna steaks
- 3 tablespoons canola oil
- Salt & pepper
- Wasabi paste
- Dipping Sauce:
- ¼ cup low-sodium soy sauce
- 2 tablespoons rice vinegar
- 1 teaspoon grated fresh ginger
- ¼ teaspoon red pepper flakes
- 1 chopped green onion for garnish
- Pulse wasabi peas in a food processor until it forms a course powder. Place in a shallow dish for dredging such as a pie pan. Pat dry the tuna steaks and brush one tablespoon of canola oil on both sides. Sprinkle both sides with salt and pepper. Dredge tuna on all sides in wasabi peas to coat. Heat a medium cast iron skillet on high heat. Sear tuna for 3 minutes on first side and 2 minutes on second side until nicely seared on the outside and rare on the inside. Make sure to sear the sides as well. Take out of skillet and let rest on cutting board for 5 minutes. Slice thinly against the grain and serve with dipping sauce and wasabi paste.
- For the dipping sauce: Whisk together soy sauce, rice vinegar, ginger, and pepper flakes in a small bowl. Top with green onions to garnish and serve alongside tuna slices.
Adapted from: Laurel Schwartz