Citrusy, tangy, spicy and ultra aromatic, these lemongrass tamarind mussels were stir fried. Cooking time was less than ten minutes and a greater part of that is sauteing the lemongrass, ginger, garlic and chilies to really bring out the flavors.
Stir fried mussels? But aren’t mussels meant to be cooked as a soup? Are you kidding?
How many ways can you cook mussels? You can bake them, cook them with rice, garlicky fettuccine or cheesy spaghetti, stir fry them, cook them into a soup or even grill them directly over glowing coals. The more adventurous you are, the more dishes you can dream up and you can build your mussel repertoire to infinity.
To cook these lemongrass tamarind mussels, you’ll need to soak the mussels beforehand (see the complete tutorial).
The tamarind component is tamarind paste.
- 4 cloves garlic
- one-inch knob of ginger
- 2 stalks lemongrass (see tips)
- 1 finger chili
- 1 small carrot
- 1 tablespoon cooking oil
- ½ kilo fresh mussels, soaked and de-bearded
- 2 tablespoons tamarind paste
- fish sauce, to taste
- 10 scallions
- Peel and crush the garlic.
- Peel and roughly chop the ginger.
- Roughly chop the lemongrass.
- Slice the chili.
- Using a mortar and pestle (or a small food processor), grind the garlic, ginger, chili and lemongrass into a paste.
- Peel the carrot and thinly slice as well.
- Heat the cooking oil in a wok or frying pan. Stir fry the carrot slices for half a minute. Scoop out and set aside.
- Add the spice paste to the oil. Cook over medium-low heat until aromatic and the solids separate from the oil.
- Dump the soaked and de-bearded mussels into the pan. Turn up the heat to high. Splash in fish sauce. Stir fry for a minute or two or just until the shells open.
- Add the carrot slices back to the pan. Toss. Taste the sauce. Add more fish sauce, if needed. Add the scallions. Toss a few more times. Turn off the heat.
- Serve the lemongrass tamarind mussels immediately.