"I first made these mussels for Thanksgiving two years ago," says Sang Yoon. "I don't make a traditional Thanksgiving dinner—I cook outside the box and call it Sangsgiving ABT (Anything But Turkey). The mussels were such a hit, I put them on the menu at Father's Office." Adding creamy white ale to the intense curry broth helps mellow the flavors.
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2 tablespoons vegetable oil
1 tablespoon Thai red curry paste
6 garlic cloves, chopped
1 tablespoon finely grated fresh ginger
1 large fresh lemongrass stalk, bottom two-thirds of the inner bulb only,
smashed and chopped
2/3 cup mirin (sweet rice wine)
One 15-ounce can unsweetened coconut milk
1/4 cup soy sauce
3 tablespoons Asian fish sauce
1/2 cup basil leaves, plus 1/4 cup chopped basil
Two 12-ounce bottles Belgian-style white ale
2 pounds mussels, scrubbed and debearded
1/4 cup chopped cilantro
How to Make It
In a saucepan, heat the oil. Add the red curry paste, garlic, ginger and lemongrass and cook over moderate heat for 2 minutes, stirring. Add the mirin, coconut milk, soy sauce, fish sauce and basil leaves and simmer over low heat for 15 minutes. Strain the red curry sauce into a bowl.
In a saucepan, bring the ale to a boil. Add the mussels, cover and cook over high heat, about 5 minutes. Using a slotted spoon, transfer the mussels to 4 bowls, discarding any that don't open. Add the red curry sauce to the ale and boil for 1 minute. Pour the sauce over the mussels, sprinkle with the chopped basil and cilantro and serve.
For pairing, Yoon favors a beer with more malty depth, like the Russian River Brewing Company's Damnation ale.
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