- Grate ginger and garlic.
- Get some spring onions. Finely chop the white part, roughly chop the green.
- Fry the white + ginger + garlic in vegetable/sunflower oil for a minute, then add a mug or two of hot vegetable stock (I used a cube).
- Add bashed lemongrass stalks, a spoon of fish sauce (or salt), a big squeeze of lime, a can of coconut milk and a spoon or so of sugar.
- Bring to a simmer and let them all get friendly for five to ten minutes.
- Add your mussels (I used Picard frozen), then red peppers and the green bits of the onion. Keep it going for another five or so.
- Add coriander and if you can, thai basil. If you want to cleanse your soul, add fresh green chilies.
- Serve with crusty French baguette for that authentic Thai touch.
What did it taste like? I am a sucker for anything with coconut milk. Or ginger. Or coriander. So this pleased me (and my dinner guest) immensely. On the stove I thought it was missing something, but once it had mingled, been served and cooled down to slurping temperature, it was divine. And it only took about 15 minutes.
- To prepare your lemongrass, behead and bebottom it, remove the outer layers then bash it with a wooden spoon. It will infuse your soup with its heavenly, lemony oils. Remove it before serving.
- The higher the percentage of coconut extract in your milk, the better.
- From what I know, Thai dishes often have a careful balance of sweet, salty, spicy and sour. Palm sugar, fish sauce, chili and lime are often used respectively to obtain the mix. You might have to play a bit to get the amounts right for you.