I really can't get enough shellfish. Growing up, I would spend my summers devouring buckets of steamers and clams on half shell. Any preparation, I am pretty much a fan! Now older and living in Maine, I am still fascinated with the briny, soft textured offerings of the northern coastline.
Oysters, razor clams, and steamers still go down the hatch with ease, as do mussels. These dark colored bivalves lend themselves nicely to a wide range of flavors. Butter, lemon, herbs, and spices carry themselves into the salty flavored meat with ease.
On a recent trip to Long Grain in Camden, I spotted a lovely appetizer of mussels that sparked my attention since many of the ingredients used could now be sourced right here in Maine. Although, seemingly a tropical ingredient, ginger, turmeric, and galangal can all be grown up north in the great state of Maine. These rhizomes have medicinal qualities but also carry heaps of flavor.
Paired with coconut and Peacemeal Farm's sweet potatoes, I could bring the taste of the tropics, right into my wood stove heated home in Maine.
Coconut Steamed Mussels
- 2 pounds mussels (rinsed well, beards removed)
- 2 tablespoons ghee
- 1/4 cup thinly sliced shallot
- 2 garlic cloves, sliced thin
- 1 tablespoon minced ginger
- 1 tablespoon minced galangal
- 1 cup diced sweet potato
- 2 cups napa cabbage, shredded
- 8 ounces full fat coconut milk
- a ladle full of chicken stock
- fresh cilantro
- 1 red chili, sliced
- Heat a pot large enough to hold the mussels. Add the ghee then saute the shallots for a minute or two before adding in the ginger, garlic, and galangal. Stir until aromatic then add the sweet potatoes, cabbage, and mussels.
- Pour in the coconut milk and a splash of the stock.
- Cover, let steam for 5 minutes, or until all the mussels have opened.
- Serve immediately garnished with chili and cilantro.