Ingredients

1 tablespoon vegetable oil
1 shallot, thinly sliced
1 stalk lemongrass
2 makrut (kaffir) lime leaves
pinch chilli flakes
1⁄4 cup water or fish stock
1 & 1⁄2kg mussels (approx 30), scrubbed
1⁄4 cup coconut cream
grated zest and juice 1 lime
2 tablespoons fish sauce
1 red chilli, finely sliced
1⁄2 green papaya (pawpaw) or mango, peeled and julienned
1⁄2 cucumber, julienned
1 punnet cherry tomatoes, halved
Prepare the mussels ahead then it’s just a matter of tossing together all the remaining ingredients for an easy lunch or dinner. Green papaya (pawpaw) or mango is relatively tasteless but adds an important textural component here.

Instructions

1.Heat the oil in a wide saucepan, add the shallot, lemongrass, lime leaves and chili flakes and fry for a few minutes.
2.Add the water or stock, bring to a simmer, add the mussels and cover with a lid.
3.Steam until the mussels are just starting to open, discarding any that don’t open.
4.Reduce the liquid in the pan back to around 1⁄4 cup, discard the lemongrass and lime leaves and leave to cool.
5.When the mussels are cool enough to handle, remove from the shell, remove the tongue and put into a bowl, cutting them in half if the mussels are large.
6.Combine the coconut cream with 2 tablespoons of the mussel liquor, lime zest and juice and fish sauce.
7.Toss with the green papaya, cucumber and cherry tomatoes adding more mussel liquor if necessary and adjust the seasonings to taste.
8.Toss through the mussels and serve.

Recipes & food styling Ginny Grant / Photography Aaron McLean / Styling Ellen J Hemmings

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