palm sugar

Thai red curry mussels, stir-fried & steamed

Easy week meal, quick, healthy and tasty shellfish in a velvety Thai red curry sauce. In the fridge, I had a container of 2 kg fresh mussels which I transferred into a big bowl to soak/rinse the mussels in water plus 2 tablespoons of salt. The mussels breathe, filtering water and expelling sand. I always take a few hours to soak and change water, by doing so the beard will come loose or a lot easier to remove and the sand sinks to the bottom. The changing of water in between soaks will prevent pouring accidentally sand into the cooking vessel.

Having prepared the main ingredient in advance I was contemplating between French style Moules Mariniere or Belgian style, although I have to admit at times I get confused in discussion regarding ingredients and distinction between the two. With or without cream, wine, herbs, flour etc. Recently I discovered a recipe where I noticed for the first time mentioning ‘Trappist bier’  in Moules à la bière recipe, mussels cooked with Belgian beer of course.

Alas, no beers but Pilsner (Lager) so skipped that for another night and since the weather changed, I opted for a bit of heat and spice instead. However, was missing a few ingredients, in that case you make do with what is available at hand. I had ran out of coconut cream and coconut milk, so I replaced that by  using coconut oil and a small packet of Alpro soya cream which was given as a sample. The alternative recipe is as shown with this post photo images, but for authenticity I will mention at the bottom how to cook using fresh herbs as lemon grass, coriander etc that would have complemented the Thai flavor and as decoration (chili too for heat and color).

Thai red curry mussels, stir-fried & steamed

Improvising with a few ingredients I came up with a bit of heat and spice making it flavorful and nice 🙂

ทานให้อร่อยนะ! Thān h̄ı̂ xr̀xy na (than hi aroy na) Enjoy your meal

Thai Red Curry, Palm Sugar, Coconut oil, Soy cream

Thai Red Curry pase, Palm Sugar, Coconut oil, Soy cream

Coconut cream or milk would be preferred for taste and flavor, but soy cream was a good alternative ingredient to thicken the sauce slightly (soy milk is not an option!). If you don’t have palm sugar, regular white sugar works fine. At the background you just can see the bottle of oyster sauce (works as substitute), which I didn’t use, what is missing in this image is Thai fish sauce.

Coconut oil and red curry paste stir fried

Heat coconut oil, add red curry paste and stir-fry quickly, to mix and release flavors

Red curry paste with leeks and soy cream

Add the leeks, soy cream and stir till it starts to boil.

Thai red curry mussels, stir-fried & steamed

Thai red curry mussels, stir-fried & steamed

Thai red curry mussels, stir-fried & steamed in a velvety sauce

Thai red curry mussels, stir-fried & steamed in a velvety sauce

For a change I flat out had no herbs in my kitchen (no ginger, no galangal, no lemongrass even shallots were finished) so I used finely sliced leek instead. If you do have the aforementioned ingredients than chop it up finely, heat the oil in the wok add the ingredients and when it releases aromas add the red curry paste. Give everything a good stir than add the coconut milk to bind it all together, while rinsing off the mussels in a sieve , let it drip off all the excess water, add them into the wok. Put the lid on and let it cook steam for approximately 7-8 minutes till all shells have opened while giving it two good shakes in between. When done open the lid and tadaa! Stir around the sauce so it coats all the mussels. Wholladuh goodness,Thai red curry mussels, stir-fry & steam ! If you happen to have coriander at hand, chop a handful and scatter on top add finely sliced red pepper for color and a bit of fresh heat.

Cooking with fresh herb ingredients only intensifies the flavors, but even with the minimum I had this time it still was a great dinner. Serve on a plate with plain Jasmine rice and enjoy your Thai infused mussels.

YumNua Yang, ยำเนื้อย่าง Thai beef salad

Thai beef salad recipe with authentic aromatic flavours and an enticing complexity of sweet, sour, spice and heat combined with grilled marinated meat. This dish is one of our family & friends favourites.

Quick and easy to prepare, serve the salad as a starter for lunch or as a side with other complimentary dishes together as Thai dinner theme. The recipe as always retrieved from my memory vault with all the ingredients and steps but no good food photographs.

I couldn’t have a better excuse to make this dish today. Usually, as soon as the dish arrives at the table it disappears to late to make any snapshots. Prepping the dish received much enthusiasm of my better half he replied: “Somebody got to eat happily to help :-)”.

The family loves salad and Thai beef salad ranks on top of all time favourites in our house. We actually moved and lived in Asia for more than a decade. Taiwan became our second home but Thailand was very close sharing the same position, both destinations were foodies paradise.

Thailand

I visited Thailand for the very first time by invitation to come along with friends. My husband couldn’t accompany me so my sister joined as a travel companion. We both thoroughly enjoyed our sister’s holiday and Thai cuisine.

Of the many dishes we devoured, YumNua Yang a.k.a. Yum Neua was among the first plates of much more to come. We re-visited Thailand on many more occasions travelling through all the regions. The roadside street food stalls, night food markets or restaurants beautiful plated and served local style.

The heart of this dish must be a good piece of beef, sirloin or steak cut. Cheaper cuts like a skirt or flank steak after grilling let it rest (10min.) before cutting. Next is the authentic fresh made dressing of fish sauce, garlic, bird’s eye chilli, palm sugar, lime juice, coriander, Thai/Chinese celery. Mint and lemongrass (optional).

marinated pan-fried rib eye steak

marinated pan-fried rib-eye steak

Thai flavours

To create Thai flavours, you have to look at the ingredients and some of them just can’t be ignored or simply substituted, the basis is fish sauce, just buy a small bottle don’t think for a minute to easily replace this with vinegar or soy sauce.

Vinegar only has acidity no umami (savoury taste/flavour), I love soy sauce but it will not do justice to this dish, same counts for palm sugar if you don’t have then rather use brown or cane sugar it adds more depth than white sugar.

Lime or lemon juice it is just a subtle contrast but when you grate the rind it will release essential oils, the scent enables you to tell and smell the difference. Coriander is an essential herb as is celery and lemongrass add fragrance to the whole dish bringing it all together to the next level.

They are actually irreplaceable if left out everyone will notice something is missing even while you have a good steak on your plate. The dressing needs to have the complexity of sweet, sour, spice, heat and fragrance to make YumNua or leave it bland and that would put the dish to shame.

In this recipe, I have marinated the meat beforehand it is worth the wait and effort to add this step, use a bit of fish sauce with black and white pepper and a dash of Chinese cooking wine (optional).

YumNua Yang ยำเนื้อย่าง Thai Beef Salad

You will find the recipe in the recipe box here below, enjoy this wonderful dish. Try and enjoy your own home-made YumNua Yang, Thai beef salad!

YumNua Thai Beef Salad ingredients

YumNua Thai Beef Salad ingredients

Update 20th June 2017

With every summer this recipe is trending on our Instagram and FB Page as a popular recipe easy to make and enjoy. For dieters following Keto, Paleo diet based on LCHF or Type 2 diabetes  this dish is perfect with the following dietary adjustments.

In Thai cooking Palm sugar is often used and advertised with health claims having low glycemic index, however, this does not directly apply for sweeteners. For Bulletproof fans “Coconut palm sugar is not Bulletproof period“, click the link for a post by guru David Asprey.

I recommend Lakanto all natural sweetener, a product of Chinese Luo Han Guo aka monk fruit sugar to replace standard sugar.

Monk Fruit or Luo Han Guo (Siraitia Grosvenorii) is a rare perennial plant cultivated mainly in the mountains of Guangxi Zhuang Autonomous Region in China. Unlike most fruits, whose sweetness comes from fructose, Monks Fruit’s sweetness comes from natural mogrosides that are 300 times sweeter than sugar. Modern research shows that Monk Fruit extract does not elevate blood sugar or insulin. These fruits are powerful antioxidants and contain no calories

In Traditional Chinese Medicine (TCM) the healing properties have been known for centuries. Luo Han Guo is native to southern China and northern Thailand.

You can easily buy this fruit in dried powdered form at larger Asian supermarkets and fresh when the season arrives, they are exported and available for a short period to eat or use the fruit in cooking.