Vietnamese yellow curried mussels with French fries

Serves SERVES 4 AS A STARTER OR 2 AS A MAIN COURSE Starters and mains

Mussel And Chips

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Ingredients

  • 1kg mussels, scrubbed and de-bearded
  • 2 kaffir lime leaves

For the Vietnamese curry paste

  • 2 sticks of lemongrass, trimmed and finely chopped
  • 2 kaffir lime leaves, shredded
  • 2 fat red chillies, deseeded and finely chopped
  • 30g galangal, finely sliced
  • 4 fat garlic cloves, peeled and finely chopped
  • 1.5-2cm piece turmeric root, scrubbed and finely sliced
  • 1tsp coriander seeds, freshly ground
  • 35g palm sugar
  • 2tbsp fish sauce
  • juice 1 large lime or 2 small
  • 1⁄4tsp ground cardamom
  • 250ml coconut cream

To serve

  • frozen thin French fries

Method

To make the curry paste (ideally, the day before so that the avours develop), put the lemongrass, kaffir lime leaves, chillies, galangal, garlic and turmeric into a mini blender and whizz together. Add the remaining ingredients, with a quarter of the coconut cream, and blend to a purée. Transfer to a pan with the rest of the coconut cream. Cook on a low-medium heat, so it bubbles gently for about 5 minutes without over-stirring. At this point, the paste can be left for a few hours or until the next day (if leaving overnight, put in a covered bowl and store in the fridge).

When you are ready to cook the mussels, prepare the frozen thin French fries according to the packet instructions.

To cook the mussels, put 6 tablespoons water into a large saucepan with the kaffir lime leaves and the mussels. Cook over a medium-high heat for 4-5 minutes, shaking the saucepan every few minutes until all of the mussels have opened. Put a large colander over a bowl. Tip the mussels into the colander, allowing the liquid drain into the bowl. Discard any mussels that haven’t opened.

Rinse out the saucepan and carefully pour the mussel juices from the bowl back into the pan, leaving any fine grit in the bottom of the bowl. Add the curry paste to the pan and reheat. When it starts to bubble, add the mussels. Keep stirring until the mussels are hot and heated through. Serve with the hot French fries.

Mussel And Chips

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