Steamed Mussels with Lemon Grass and Thai Basil, Coconut Rice, Bok Choy Stir Fry

I decided on this meal for two reason: mussels are yummy and when I was out shopping for Burmese week, I found some frozen mussels and I bought them. I needed to use those mussels. 

Up until last night, I had one experience with mussels. It was ten years ago and I had decided to make dinner for some friends. It was a Thai meal and I served shrimp lettuce wraps, steamed mussels, and Thai iced coffee. It was a great meal and the first time I had cooked for anyone other than myself and a boyfriend. That meal taught James and I the importance of owning a shrimp deveiner because we personally shelled and deveined two pounds of shrimp. It was a horrible experience and James had to go for a run afterwards because he was so frustrated.

By the way, we still don’t own a deveiner.

Anyway, my one experience with mussels had been good so I figured another try would also be successful. And it probably would have been, had I used fresh mussels.

But let’s talk about the sides first!

I made a quick bok choy stir fry because I have a lot. I bought some for a meal I’m making tonight but I only need one pound; I bought like two so I need to get rid of that. I made a sauce of garlic, fish sauce, soy sauce, and brown sugar and sauteed the bok choy in it. It was really good, a little tart but the right amount of sweet.

The coconut rice was my favorite. I actually made it earlier in the week to test it out and loved it. The coconut flavor isn’t very strong but you can taste it. It’s sweet and buttery but not overpowering at all. 

The mussels.

Man, the mussels were not good. These frozen mussels were tough and had a weird taste. I think the problem is that I cooked them. The package didn’t say anything about them being pre-cooked so I assumed I needed to cook them. Well, you know what happens when you assume…I just looked into it and apparently all frozen mussels are pre-cooked because you can’t really freeze raw mussels! I probably should have looked into this beforehand. So had I just thawed them out and maybe boiled them for a minute, they would have been fine. The broth was good and definitely had a kick to it; we didn’t even have to use the hot sauce. 

I’m not giving up on mussels though! I’ll just know how to properly prepare them next time.

Recipe, Recipe

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