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Thai Curry Mussels with Pineapple - Recipe with Pictures
Whenever my family has a get-together at a beach, one of the dishes we usually order is a huge bowl of mussels, simply steamed with fresh Thai herbs and served with a limey dipping sauce. There is even an inside joke in our clan: If you don't like mussels, you're dead to us! Well, today I'm not going to make steamed mussels, but will use my family's cherished ingredient in a curry dish. If you love an intense combination of spicy, sweet and tangy flavors, you will most likely thank me for this recipe. In Thai, we call this curry "kaeng kua hoy." I know that might be somewhat difficult for non-native speakers to pronounce and memorize, but it doesn't matter. Just call it "yummy mussels" if you wish. This curry dish will always be delightful by any name.
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Thai Curry Mussels with Pineapple - Ingredients
- 3/4 cup coconut milk
- 1 - 2 tbsps red curry paste
- 1 cup pineapple, cubed
- 30 mussels, cooked and shelled
- 1 tbsp tamarind concentrate
- 3/4 cup water
- 1 tsp brown sugar
- Thai fish sauce to taste
- 2 - 3 kaffir leaves, cut into very thin stripes (optional)
Authentic Thai Ingredients
A Note on Some of The Ingredients
- To keep this an easy 20-minute dish, a ready-made curry paste is a smart ingredient to use. If you feel up for a curry challenge, however, I encourage you to try making your own red curry paste from scratch. Visit Thai Curry Paste Recipes to learn about the ingredients and preparation.
- Frozen cooked mussels are acceptable, but sometimes, they can be very tough and dry. To avoid such an off-putting texture, steam some fresh mussels yourself.
- Use fresh pineapple if possible, as it usually contains a nice balance of sweet and sour flavors, which this Thai curry dish is all about. Canned pineapple tends to be a bit too much on the sweet side and doesn't carry enough tanginess. If you have no choice but to go with the canned version, you may need to use a bit more tamarind concentrate to bring the acidity up a notch.
- Thai fish sauce has a very strong taste and aroma. If you're not familiar with it, start with just a teaspoon, or you may use salt instead.
- Kaffir leaves are not a must but highly recommended. Without them, your mussel curry can still be very scrumptious but won't be as authentic as it should.
- Canned coconut milk is available in most supermarkets. It is best, however, to make your own coconut milk, if you have time.
Thai Curry Mussels with Pineapple - Instructions
Heat coconut milk in a deep skillet over medium-high heat. Bring to a boil.
Add curry paste, then stir together until there is no lump, and the curry paste is well integrated into the coconut milk.
Add pineapple, turn the heat down to medium, and allow it to cook for about 5 minutes. Stir occasionally. This process allows the sweet and sour flavor from the pineapple to permeate throughout the curry.
Add water, tamarind concentrate, brown sugar, fish sauce, kaffir leaves and cooked mussels. Stir together well. Bring to a quick boil, then remove from stove. Serve with steamed rice.
The Best of Thai Cookbooks
More Thai Recipes You May Want to Try
Easy Thai Shrimp Curry - Another 20-minute curry dish for time-challenged chefs. Wow your palate with a zesty bowl of shrimp, bamboo shoot and zucchini, in a thick and creamy curry broth.
Hor Mok - A steamed savory custard, made with fish, curry paste, coconut milk and eggs. As light as a mousse and as hearty as a quiche, it is a very unique Thai dish for your dinner menu.
Gang Tay Po - Like it spicy? Try this tangy curry with an intense flavor and awakening aroma. This dish is usually made with either pork or fish, as well as crunchy water spinach. Although not easy to find in Thai restaurants in the U.S., gang tay po is definitely one of the most popular curries in its native land.
Kuay Teow Rhua - This noodle dish used to be sold exclusively on little row boats, in the numerous canals of Thailand. Now it is undeniably one of the most renowned Bangkok street foods. If you have no plan to travel to Thailand any time soon, don't be dismayed. It's not that hard to make your own kuay teow rhua!
Bua Loy - Just because Thai cuisine is well-known for its spicy dishes doesn't mean it has nothing to offer in the dessert arena. This creamy dessert soup with tiny rice-flour balls and cubed pumpkin is a true tastebud pleaser that requires only 5 ingredients to make.