Sunday, February 26, 2012

Shellfish a la Ms. T

Around Christmas time, I went back to visit friends and family in Pittsburgh.  And no visit to the Burgh is complete without a visit with Ms. T.  I got to see her new place, and experience her wonderful cooking.  She made mussels and asparagus in a Tom Kha Gai inspired broth.

I've had the Tom Yum paste in my fridge for months, waiting for mussels and veggies but only tonight have I gotten around to making my own version of Tess's amazing dish.  Prepwork takes a bit of time (cleaning the Mussels can be laborious as they can be covered in barnacles and beards. I was also informed, to my horror, that they were alive upon purchase.  Northwest seafood is fresh.)  However, once the sauce gets going, it takes only 5 minutes for this dish to cook.

Here's what to do:

Stuff (Makes 2-3 Servings):
Thom Yum Paste
Coconut milk (about 1 1/2 cups)
1/2 lb. Clams (look up basic instructions on cleaning and cooking clams and mussels if you need to!)
1/2 lb. Mussels
1/2 lb. Baby Bok Choi

Rice stick noodles, cooked up.  They only take a few minutes, your package should have instructions.

Saute the garlic in some oil at the bottom of a big pot.  Add the thom yum paste just as it gets going and then pour on the coconut milk (mine was powdered so I wanted to add it right away because it was lumpy.)  Bring this to a boil and add both the clams and mussels.  Set your timer for 5 minutes and cover.  

When your timer has about 1:30 left to go, add the cleaned and chopped Bok Choi and cover.  Stir it a few times, but it only takes a few seconds for it to cook.  Overcooking it makes it a little...slimy so resist the urge to add it at the same time as the shellfish.

At 5:00 your mussels and clams should have opened.  Throw away any that haven't.  That's all it takes.

Serve the rice noodles topped with your tasty shellfish stew!

*Note:  You could probably use more lemongrass, but mine fell out of my cart at the store so I didn't have any.  The thom yum paste should have some already so it's fine if you don't want to use it.