I have lived in Joburg for almost 7 years now and the one thing I miss about living in Cape Town is fresh seafood. There are seafood restaurants in Joburg, but unfortunately I have not found one that does justice to the delicacy. I have always found seafood difficult to prepare, thus I thought I would "challenge" myself with something simple to make and I was not disappointed at all. Hope you enjoy the dish!
3Tbsp Coconut oil
1 Shallot, thinly sliced (or replace with red onion)
3tbsp Garlic, sliced
1stick Lemongrass, chopped
2tbsp Red Thai chilli, chopped
80ml Cold water
65ml Rice wine
½ tbsp Fish sauce
½ cup Thai basil (or use normal basil, as it is not readily available)
125ml Coconut milk
Heat a large pan on medium heat and add coconut oil.
Once oil is hot, add the shallots and fry until lightly golden brown.
After frying the shallots, place the shallots aside on a paper towel lined dish.
Using the same pan and oil, add garlic, lemon and chilli.
Saute the ingredients of step 4 for 3 minutes, then add the mussels.
Stir the mussels for 1 minute and add water, rice wine and fish sauce.
Put stove onto a high heat and stir thoroughly.
Cover the pan for the mussels to fully cook through for 6 to 8 minutes.
Discard any un-opened mussels, as this indicates that the mussels are not fresh and should not be consumed.
Reduce heat to medium, then add half the basil leaves and pour in the coconut milk.
After cooking for 1 to 2 minutes, add black pepper to taste and remove from heat.
Chop lime into quarters. Place the lime and remaining basil leaves over the mussel pot to finish. The lime is to be squeezed over the mussels before serving.
Serve the mussel pot with toasted bread, ciabatta or baguette, as it soaks up the fragrant broth and an added bonus of a crunchy texture to complement the dish. This mussel pot is more South-East Asian inspired with more spice and tropical flavour compared to the French’s Moules Marinières, which I intend to attempt making. Who doesn't love white wine?