Monday, January 11, 2010

Curried Coconut Mussels on a Sea of Green

Thanks to my dear dad, the chief fishmonger at Coastal Seafoods for inspiring me to make this recipe, oh yeah, and for the great deal on seafood!

Shellfish are a fabulous, though sadly oft-neglected, part of any one's diet. Shellfish, including mussels, are excellent sources of many vitamins, including zinc and vitamin d, and provide a high level of omega 3 fatty acids. According to the Harvard School of Public Health, the potential health benefits of eating seafood far outweighs any possible concerns such mercury contamination and other pollution concerns. Besides all that, shellfish are oh-so delicious!

Mussels are a beautiful, tasty gift from the sea that I grew up loving and still do. Don't be afraid to let your children try this dish, it's not spicy and it's a lot of fun (read: a good mess) to let them crack open the shells themselves and gulp down the nutritious little mussel they find inside. Neat fact: the pink mussels are female, white mussels are male, and mussels change their sex throughout their lifetime.

Curried Coconut Mussels on a Sea of Green

Ingredients for Curried Musssels on a Sea of Green:
serves 4

1.5 lbs very fresh Blue Hill Maine Mussels
1 pint fish stock (you can make it yourself or buy it frozen at Coastal Seafoods)
1 can full-fat coconut milk (of all the brands I've tried Whole Foods Organic has the highest fat content)
2 T yellow curry powder
1 T fresh ginger root, peeled and grated
1 T fish sauce
juice of 1/2 a lemon or 1 lime
a few strands of saffron
1 big bunch kale, de-stemmed and roughly chopped
1 small onion sliced into half-circles
1 clove garlic finely chopped
2 T coconut oil
1 splash of red wine
real sea salt and freshly ground black pepper to taste

1. In a large dutch oven (mine is a 5 qt.) bring fish stock, coconut milk, lemon juice, fish sauce, ginger, saffron and curry powder to a gentle boil, stirring with a whisk to in corporate the dry ingredients into the wet. Allow to reduce for about 5 minutes. Throw in all the mussels, and let them steam away until each shell opens,or approximately 3-5 minutes. Remove mussels once cooked and set aside. Continue boiling the sauce until desired thickness and flavor is achieved.

2. While the curry sauce is reducing, saute onion and garlic in a hot pan until fragrant and translucent. Turn heat to med-low and add kale. Allow to cook for a few minutes, stirring occasionally, then add in a splash of red wine (or water) and salt and pepper to taste. Cook until kale is a deep, dark, soft pan-full of green.

3. Serve mussels, in the shell or pulled out, over kale with large ladles full of coconut curry sauce.

I am sharing this post with Wardeh's Tuesday Twister blog carnival, please come read more about real food cooking there!

I'm also sharing this with Kelly the Kitchen Kop's Real Food Wednesdays and Food Renegade's Fight Back Friday!


  1. Sounds wonderful! That is an interesting fact about the mussels. Weird but interesting :-)

  2. weird facts, i find, can help interest otherwise skeptical kiddos.

  3. I’ve never had mussels—only clams—but this looks delicious!

  4. My goodness! I learned so much reading your post - about the male/female mussels. It is encouraging to read that the benefits of seafood outweigh the risks, too. The dish looks delicious, Emily!

  5. My daughter loves mussels, too! How lucky you are to have such a great source of seafood.

  6. We don't eat seafood, but this looks like it would work equally well with fish or even chicken, if I subbed chicken broth for the fish broth. Thanks for the recipe!

  7. Avivah- i think salmon would be wonderful with this!

  8. No mussels in my neck of the woods but I am definitely going to try this with Salmon or Shrimp. Beautiful Blog!