Spicy Curried Mussels

Bachelor Chow Honors Class – Spicy Curried Mussels

Sunday night was bachelor night – Sue was meeting some friends, so I’d be on my own, which means I can eat things she doesn’t like. So wandering the local market, I debated fish, squid, clams (thinking about clams with miso for a future edition of Bachelor Chow Honors Class)… and settled on mussels.  I probably should have picked up another leek — I thought I had two left, but only had one, and had enough mussels in a two-pound bag to overeat for dinner and lunch today.

I’ve been doing Bachelor Chow Honors Class posts over at LTHForum, but they’ll be appearing here now. Seafood features prominently, but not exclusively. The term comes, of course, from Futurama as the dry dog food-like stuff advertised for single men, but hey, this is the honor’s class, let’s go a little more complex.

I’ve seldom had bad mussels undercooked or overcooked is about the only way to ruin them — I just love the flavor of their liquor, especially steamed in beer or wine. I thought about using hard cider, but I’m down to two bottles and wanted to drink one of them (Mangner’s).  I was thinking curried: there are a bunch of Thai red curry versions, but they all call for basil, of which I have none, even though I’ve got homemade red curry paste  (should have thought about that when I bought the mussels). So I found a couple Indian-style curries, one with a little cream, the other with white wine… let’s combine and have fun.  Also, like Tina Turner, I never do anything nice and easy, so I went with a lot of fresh chile, and added ginger which wasn’t in either original recipe. Another great thing about mussels is that they’re finger food… so I left the asparagus large too, easier to pick up.

Spicy Curried Mussels

Serves two, with crusty bread or rice


2 lbs (about 1kg) mussels, scrubbed and beards removed, ones that won’t close discarded
1/2 lb (250g) asparagus, trimmed and cut into 4″ pieces
1 cup (240ml) white wine
1/2 (120ml) cup water
2 tbs (10ml) cream
2 tbs (10ml) butter
1 leek and two large scallions (or two leeks, or some onion), sliced thinly and rinsed (white and light green parts only)
2 cloves garlic, sliced
1/2″ (1.25cm) ginger, peeled chopped fine
3 large serrano chiles, sliced into rounds
2 tsp (10ml) curry powder (mine’s a little old, I beefed up the spices below)
1/2 tsp (2.5ml) cumin (optional)
1 tsp (5ml) coriander (optional)
1/2 (2.5ml) tsp tumeric (optional)
salt and pepper to taste
1/4 cup (60ml) chopped cilantro


  1. Melt butter in large saucepan over medium-low eheat
  2. Add the leeks/scallions and stir occasionally until wilted, about 3 minutes
  3. Add the garlic, ginger and chile and stir for 1/2 minute
  4. Add the curry powder and optional other spices, stir for 1/2 minute
  5. Add wine and water, bring to boil
  6. Add asparagus and mussels, cover for 4-5 minutes until they all appear open
  7. Scoop mussels (discarding any that did not open) and asparagus into a large bowl, add cream, cilantro and salt and pepper to taste to the liquid still in the pan
    Curried Mussels
  8. Pour over the mussels, inhale deeply and serve

Spicy Curried Mussels


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