Steamed Mussels in Coconut Milk from Relish Cooking Studio

As promised, This week (and probably next week), I’ll be sharing recipes with you from a class that I attended at Relish Cooking Studio in Waterloo.   I attended their Sustainable Seafood class back in March, only one week after attending the Tour of Thailand class. Why did I wait so long to tell you about this class? Mostly, I wanted to change up the blog posts for a bit. We learn to prepare so many dishes in each of the classes, I wanted a few weeks to post my own recipes before diving back into a collection. However, I did briefly write about this class earlier when writing about how to choose and buy a fish.

While I enjoyed both of the classes very much, this one has had a bit more influence on the food I cook at home. The ingredients for Thai food are further away at a specialty grocery store, whereas I can get most of the ingredients for these recipes closer to home.

Today’s recipe for steamed mussels was probably my favourite one from the bunch. Maybe this is because I was very hungry when I arrived. I think it’s because it was so different from my usual way of enjoying mussels (I’ve enjoyed them with a tomato and wine broth or with a black bean sauce prior to the class). Also, the mussels were cooked to perfection. They were tender and flavourful. Not rubbery in the slightest. I’m working on not over-cooking mussels when preparing them at home.

What is your favourite way to enjoy mussels? I think this is mine!

Steamed Mussels in Coconut Milk

Recipe by (and posted with permission from) Chef Mark Brown, demonstration at Relish Cooking Studio

Ingredients

  • 4 tablespoons canola oil – approximate cost $0.25
  • 1 medium onion, thinly sliced – approximate cost $0.75
  • 1 tablespoon fresh ginger, peeled and minced – approximate cost $0.15
  • 1 tablespoon coriander – approximate cost $0.10
  • 2 kaffir lime leaves – approximate cost $0.25
  • 1 teaspoon sliced red chili – approximate cost $0.15
  • 3/4 teaspoon salt – approximate cost $0.08
  • 2 cups canned coconut milk – approximate cost $4.00
  • 3 pounds mussels, scrubbed and de-bearded – approximate cost $12.00
  • 1 tablespoon lemon juice – approximate cost $0.10
  • Handful of fresh cilantro, chopped – approximate cost $0.50
  • 1 cup water

Method

  1. Pour the oil into a large pot and bring to medium-high heat.
  2. Toss in the onion slices and cook, stirring often, until lightly browned.
  3. Add the ginger and cook for 1 minute, stirring often.
  4. Add the coriander, kaffir lime leaves, and chili, and again cook for 1 minute while stirring often.
  5. Pour in the coconut milk and 1 cup of water.
  6. Bring to a boil.
  7. Add the mussels and salt.
  8. Stir until mussels are well coated with the sauce.
  9. Cover the pot with a lid and reduce heat to medium.
  10. Cook for about 7 minutes (or until the mussels have opened).
  11. Discard any mussels that do not open (these are not safe to eat).
  12. Remove the pot from heat and add the lemon juice and cilantro.
  13. Spoon the mussels and sauce into bowls.
  14. Serve and enjoy!

Makes 4 servings (approximate cost: $4.58 per serving).

Tom Yum Goong (Hot and Sour Soup) from Relish Cooking Studio

I was a bit surprised to find that, when I arrived at the class, I was the only attendee who came alone. I felt a bit out of place at first, but quickly made friends and immersed myself in the surrounding discussions. The set-up of the studio welcomes chatting. There are a few private tables, but the majority of the class sat around the demonstration area. I got a great spot where I could see everything being prepared and could avoid bumping elbows with others (being left-handed can be challenging at dinners).

There was even a super nice group who offered to share their wine with me. Thank you random group of super nice people who talked with me and shared their things!

I think this tom yum soup was my favourite dish of the evening. It’s something I can see myself making again at home. It was delicious. The ingredients are fairly easy to find. It was on the verge of being too spicy for me. Yet it was so good that I continued to eat. I think Bryan is going to like this soup just as much as the curried squash and coconut cream soup I made the other week.

Tom Yum Goong (Hot and Sour Soup)

Recipe by Akeela Rabley from Relish Cooking Studio

Ingredients

  • 1 pound of prawns (or shrimp), peeled and deveined, shells reserved to make the stock – approximate cost $10.00
  • 1 1/2 tablespoons vegetable oil – approximate cost $0.05
  • 2 stalks of lemon grass, bruised and finely sliced – approximate cost $1.00
  • 3 slices of galangal ginger – approximate cost $0.50
  • 1 1/2 tablespoons red onion (or shallot), finely chopped – approximate cost $0.15
  • 1-3 small red chilies – approximate cost $0.50
  • 1 1/2 – 3 tablespoons of nam prik pao chili jam (enough to turn the soup base red) – approximate cost $2.00
  • 2 kaffir lime leaves torn (stems discarded) – approximate cost $0.50
  • 8 cherry tomatoes, halved – approximate cost $1.00
  • 3 1/2 ounces button mushrooms, halved – approximate cost $1.00
  • 3 tablespoons fish sauce – approximate cost $0.50
  • 2 tablespoons lime juice – approximate cost $0.50

Method

  1. Preheat a large pot with the vegetable oil in it over medium-high heat.
  2. Cook the prawn/shrimp shells until they turn pink (3-5 minutes).
  3. Add 5 cups of water and bring to a boil. Note: If you do not have the shells, make the brother using 2 1/2 cups of chicken broth and 2 1/2 cups of water.
  4. Cook for 5 minutes to infuse the flavour from the shells into the broth.
  5. Remove the shells from the broth and discard.
  6. Add lemon grass, galangal ginger, onion/shallot, chilies, chili jam, and kaffir lime leaves to the stock and bring to a boil.
  7. Continue to boil for 5 minutes then reduce heat to a simmer.
  8. Add the tomatoes and mushrooms and simmer for an additional 5 minutes.
  9. Add the prawns/shrimp and cook until they turn pink (approximately 3-5 minutes)
  10. Remove from heat and stir in the fish sauce and lime juice.
  11. Serve hot!

Makes 4 servings (approximate cost: $4.43 per serving).

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