Belle loves mussels and clams. We were trying to figure out what to have for dinner last Monday and I thought, what about Thai food? Belle said, “Great, how about clams?”
I really don’t eat a lot of mussels or clams but I know she really enjoys them so I dug up a recipe with mussels and lemongrass and I added the clams, and made a few other changes too.
We also had a Thai fish curry dish, and vegetables with tofu and spinach (posts to follow soon, I hope). They were all really good.
It was a hectic night, that Monday. My older son had to be driven to do some community hours (high school requirements here in Ontario – you don’t get your high school diploma without having 40 hours of community service). Then I had to do the shopping for dinner and make dinner. And of course Dylan (our 6-1/2 year old) said, “And Daddy, I want homemade pasta tonight”. Arghhhhh.
Still, it was doable. I marinated the fish and pulled everything out that I needed for each part of the meal and set it all up (Mise en Place) so that when I got home all I had to do is cook. All went well and everyone enjoyed their dinner so I was very happy! Recipe is at end of this post.
Cooking up all the fragrant ingredients
Stir-frying the mussels and clams
Belle’s note: I love that these days, I can say, hmmm, I’d love to have some mussels and voila, Ward whips up a batch for me. He usually does them steamed, with a marvelously garlicky wine sauce, but this lemongrass version was wonderful and went well with the rest of our Thai-themed meal.
The following recipe is adapted from The Food of Thailand.
Mussels and Clams with Lemongrass (Neung Phat Hawy Maleng Phuu Ta-Khrai)
2 lbs clams
2 lbs mussels
1-1/2 tbsp vegetable oil
5 cloves of garlic, finely chopped
3 lemongrass stalks, white part only finely sliced
1″ piece of galangal, sliced (if you can’t find this, use ginger)
2 long green chilles (or red), seeded and finely chopped
1 tbsp fish sauce
1 tbsp organic lime juice
1/2 tsp sugar
1 cup basil leaves (holy basil is the preferred basil), roughly chopped
- Scrub the mussels and clams and remove any beards. Discard and open mussels or clams (any that won’t close when tapped).
- Rinse them with three or four changes of water to remove any sand or grit from the clams (and mussels). Place them in a large bowl of clean water to soak for 30 minutes. (This will remove any remaining grit and sand from inside the shells.)
- Heat the oil in a large skillet or wok. Stir-fry over medium heat the garlic, onion, lemon grass, galangal and chillies for 2-3 minutes.
- Add the mussels and clams and stir-fry for 2-3 minutes. Add the fish sauce, lime juice and sugar.
- Cover the skillet or wok loosely and cook while shaking until the mussels and clams have opened (about 8-10 minutes).
- Discard any unopened shells, add the basil and season to taste.