Mussels “The Thirsty Whale”

  • Yield: 6 to 8 servings


Laska Sauce:
1teaspoon green curry paste
1large onion, chopped
1/3cup chopped fresh lemon grass
2 or 3-- garlic cloves, minced
1tablespoon toasted coriander seeds, crushed
1tablespoon cumin seeds, crushed
1/4teaspoon red chili flakes
2-- liters coconut milk
3/4cup Kafer lime leaves
3 to 4pounds green-lipped mussels or other mussels
-- Bread crumbs
2cups water
1cup wine
1/2 to 3/4cup chopped onion
2-- ribs celery, chopped
2-- bay leaves
-- Juice and grated zest of 1 lemon
2-- bay leaves
1tablespoon salt


  1. To prepare the laska sauce.  Combine the curry paste, onion, lemon grass, garlic, coriander seeds, cumin seeds, and red chile flakes in a bowl and mix well.  Add to a nonstick skillet and saute over low heat until the onion is tender.  Add the coconut milk and lime leaves and simmer over low heat for 15 minutes.
  2. To prepare the mussels.  Place the mussels in the sink and cover with water.  Sprinkle with breadcrumbs and let stand for 15 to 20 minutes; the mussels will "eat" the crumbs and exude any grit.  Place in a colander and rinse; cut off the beards.
  3. Combine the water, wine, celery, bay leaves, lemon juice, lemon zest and salt in a large stockpot.  Add the mussels and cover.  Bring to a boil and steam for 5 minutes; drain and discard any unopened mussels.
  4. To serve.  Reheat the laska sauce and toss with the mussels in a bowl.  Serve immediately with a great bread.


Recipe reprinted with permission from Nancy Wood Moorman To Many Cooks, More Memorable Meals (San Antonio, Tx., 2007).