1kg fresh mussels
Green curry paste. As little or as much as you like.
1tbsp or more of coconut oil
1 can coconut cream
3 spring onions chopped
A good handful of bean sprouts
1 lime or lemon
I’ve chosen this recipe because you can vary the amount to suit your taste or ingredients.
Me personally, I love to load it and go large with flavour, but not everybody likes it the same so adjust the curry paste to your taste.
I like to make my own paste but the store bought ones work and make life easier.
Start with your mussels. In a clean sink with a bowl you sort through them removing any beards and discarding any dead or damaged mussels.
On a medium heat sauté your curry paste in coconut oil. Let it catch just a little before adding the coconut cream. Let it come to a simmer while you gently stir from the bottom making sure you pick up all the bits that caught.
After about 3-5 minutes turn the heat up let the sauce come to a boil and add the mussels
Place a lid on the pot and let the mussels steam open. Give the pan a gentle shake here and there to allow the unopened mussels sink to the bottom. After about 1-2 minutes the mussels should be cooked.
Stir through the bean sprouts, chopped spring onions and coriander. Squeeze the lime juice over the dish to finish.
This is really good served with rice or bread. Personally, I like to use Roti.
Also good with a pale ale on the side.
It is in the rich southern waters of Australia where the vast majority of mussels are grown for local markets. It is focused on the production of a native species of blue mussel (Mytilus galloprovincialis). Most of these farms are carefully located off shore or in remote areas that are suited to mussel growing. These locations are fully monitored with great care being taking to maintain the environment which is vital to growing healthy mussels. Many farmers seek to exceed environmental standards so they can maintain exceptional water quality.
The traditional method of collecting mussel seed (spat) would be to suspend spat catching ropes in the water but with the growing potential of commercial hatcheries this practice could slowly change and we can be assured that there will be a consistent supply. It takes around a year to grow good mussels and this is done on ropes that drop vertical in the water with horizontal ropes supporting. Above the water you will see the buoys that mark the spot and allow the farmers to find and lift the mussel laden ropes out of the water. There is often special anchors that holds the rope system in place.
These farms don’t have any significant impact on local marine life in fact they can attract a variety of species who share the same food as the mussels. They don’t use pesticides or carry out any mass culling off other marine. In short very little is done to change the environment they just provide the platform on which the mussels can grow, keeping things as natural as possible. We are lucky to have such a quality resource at our disposal so make the most of it Australia.
Well aside from being utterly delicious and nutritious they are also convenient and easy to cook. Not to forget that they are grown in abundance in our Australian waters with almost no impact on the environment.
Blue mussels (Mytilus edulis) are the most common mussels served across the country. You can pick up a kg in the shops for as little as $10 these days. They are kept alive out of water for more than 10 days in tidy vac bags, easy to transport and store. Making it possible to have fresh mussels in the fridge for dinner. A lot of mussels are grown on Australia”s southern coastline and around Tasmania, with naturally clean water full of plankton and other microscopic sea creatures for the mussels to filter out.
Farming mussels has very little impact on the environment, with.the mussels often grown on ropes exposed to the oceans currents and tides. This way they can filter the water to obtain the nutrients that are needed to grow. It takes about 12 to 15 months for them to be market ready.. These little farmed beauties are a great source of protein, omega 3, zinc, vitamin b12 and selenium.
When we get down to the business of cooking and eating mussels there are a few things we need to be aware of. Never cook and more importantly to remember is never eat a mussel that was dead before it was cooked. You should only work with live mussels. You know that they are still living when the shells close after a few taps. Any mussels that remain open have died and need to be discarded. Once your mussels are checked and safe to eat it doesn’t take much to cook them and can also be eaten raw. Just ask the French. I love cooking mussels in tomato with chilli, garlic, basil and olive oil. I guess that’s my go to but I keep coming up with new recipes because these things are so versatile and can bring a gourmet touch to any meal.
So come on Australia, there is nothing to lose and so much to gain by including mussels in your diet.