This Thai-inspired mussels and scallops recipe is my new favorite thing in the universe. The recipe is simple but super flavorful thanks to the help of loads of aromatics, especially ginger and lemongrass. There are a few harder-to-find ingredients that you could use (such as galangal and kaffir lime leaves) in the broth for an even more authentic experience, but these ingredients were omitted for the sake of ease. The final product is still absolutely delicious!
Serves: 4 (as a light entrée)
Skill Level: Easy
Time to Make: 55 minutes (30 minutes inactive)
INGREDIENTS FOR MUSSELS AND SCALLOPS IN CREAMY COCONUT BROTH
4 tablespoons coconut oil, divided
2 pounds mussels
1 red onion
10 cloves garlic
1 6” knob of ginger
2 stalks lemongrass (only bottom white and pale green parts)
2-3 Thai chili peppers (or use whatever hot peppers you have available and use as few or as many as you prefer)
6 cups chicken stock
2 tablespoons good quality fish sauce
1 tablespoon coconut sugar (or use granulated sugar, to taste)
1 5.4-ounce can of coconut cream
Salt and pepper to taste
1/3 cup fresh cilantro leaves for garnish
2 scallions for garnish
Lime wedges, for serving
Prepare Ingredients: Pat the scallops dry and remove the tough side-muscle. Chill the scallops in the fridge until ready to prepare. Scrub and de-beard the mussels and chill until ready to prepare. Peel and cut the red onion into wedges. Peel and lightly smash the garlic. Peel and cut the ginger into 1/4” slices. Trim off the bottom of the lemon grass stalk and peel the tough outer layers (usually the first 2-3 layers of the stalk are unusable). Discard the tough outer layers and mash the remaining stalk with the back of your knife. Trim the peppers and cut into thirds. Roughly chop the cilantro leaves and mince the scallions and set aside for garnish.
Prepare the Broth: In a wide pot, heat 2 tablespoons of coconut oil over medium high until very hot. Add the onion, garlic, ginger, lemongrass, and chili peppers and cook for 7 minutes, stirring frequently, until beginning to brown. Add the chicken stock and bring to a boil. Stir in the fish sauce and coconut sugar. Boil for 2-3 minutes and then reduce heat to very low and simmer, uncovered, for 30 minutes. The broth should reduce by about 1/3. (Do not let the broth reduce more than that. If the broth is starting to reduce too much, add a bit of water and cover and continue simmering.). Taste and season according to your tastes. Strain the broth through a fine mesh sieve into a large bowl. Discard the solids and wipe out the pot. Transfer the broth back to the pot.
Cook the Mussels: Turn the heat on the broth to medium. Once a very low boil has started, add the mussels. Cover and cook for 5-6 minutes or until all the mussels have opened. As the mussels open, use kitchen tongs to transfer the to a large bowl. Keep the broth on low heat.
Cook the Scallops: As the mussels are cooking, prepare the scallops. Heat the remaining 2 tablespoons of coconut oil in a skillet over high until melted and very, very hot. Quickly blot the scallops with a paper towel once more to ensure they’re completely dry. Season with salt and pepper and immediately transfer to the skillet. Cook for 1 minute 30 seconds without moving. Flip and cook an additional 1 minute 30 seconds. Immediately remove from the skillet and transfer to a plate. Tent with foil to keep warm.
Finish the Broth: Stir the coconut cream into the broth and turn the heat to medium. Once the coconut is completely incorporated into the sauce, turn the heat off.
To Serve: Ladle the broth into bowls and arrange the mussels and scallops in each bowl. Sprinkle the cilantro leaves and minced scallion on top and serve with lime wedges and chili oil (optional). Enjoy!