Ivybridge fish (Devon Life Gold Winner) are supplying some quality fresh mussels. This made for a superb Thai Mussel Soup, great results.
The usual suspects went in to the soup. As ever, going for the five flavours that make a lot of Thai food. Pungent (acrid), sweet, sour, bitter and salty.
I guessed all the amounts of ingredient tasting as I went along. So it does not have to be too accurate. ½ a kilo of mussels made two bowls. 1/2teaspoons of fennel and coriander, 1/4of cumin. Again these are rough guesses. 2 cloves garlic 4 small shallots or 1 banana shallot.
Start by tempering and grinding Cumin, coriander, fennel. Roasting spice in a small pan brings out the oils and flavour, make sure they don’t burn. Add to some chopped Shallot, Ginger, Garlic, Galangal, and four small twilight chillies. A pestle and mortar pastes all of theses the ingredients. Then add Shrimp Paste and Tamarind. This paste is cooked out, for about 5 minutes; watered down block coconut is added along with some palm sugar and lime leaves, watch it does not get to sweet. It is then brought up to a simmer. In go the mussels, a few minutes later they open, that’s it.
It does need chopped coriander at the end; hold fire on this if you are planning a reheat. Tasting and seasoning, but you knew that already.
Like many soups curries and stews this tastes better when reheated the next day.
Extra care must be taken as ever with any food but especially seafood. It is important to keep things at the correct temperature. 0-5 degrees is a safe temperature to store the soup overnight. It is a good idea to check your fridge is always at this temperature.
Mussels will dry out if you put too much heat on them. So take out the mussels before you reheat the soup. Then pop the mussels back in.
For all things Chilli you should visit The South Devon Chilli Company. They are a great place to visit online or at their farm. The farm has a cafe and a great shop.
Cook’s note: if no twilight chillies are around bird’s eye or any other fiery chillies are fine. How much heat is your choice? Don’t be a wuss though!