Serious Eats: Recipes

Red Curry Mussels with Kimchi Puree from 'The Kimchi Cookbook'

[Photograph: Sara Remington]

Mussels are one of those easy dinners that can easily get overlooked when bombarded by quick-cooking fish fillets and chicken breasts at the market. But mussels are just as quick and easy (if not easier) to prepare than fish, and they're a year-round sustainable source of seafood.

Pop them in a pot of flavorful broth and they'll be done before you can set the table. Adding even more reason to pick up a couple of pounds of shellfish is the Red Curry Mussels with Kimchi from Lauryn Chun's new Kimchi Cookbook. Here, she swaps in kimchi for more traditional lemongrass in a coconut-red curry sauce. The kimchi brings funk, spice, and salinity to the broth, enhancing the creamy brininess of the mussels.

Why I picked this recipe: Coconut, kimchi, and mussels sounded like the perfect quick and easy dinner.

What worked: Just about everything here was spot on.

What didn't: I would have left the kimchi in slightly larger pieces so that it wouldn't get lost amongst the broth.

Suggested tweaks: You could probably use low-fat coconut milk here if you wanted to lighten things up. As written, I found it hard to slurp the down the whole bowl of broth after downing the mussels. I served the dish with crusty bread since I had it on hand, but this would be equally good ladled over a bowl of rice noodles (or rice for that matter).

Reprinted with permission from The Kimchi Cookbook: 60 Traditional and Modern Ways to Make and Eat Kimchi by Lauryn Chun, copyright 2012. Published by Ten Speed Press, a division of Random House, Inc. All rights reserved. Available wherever books are sold.

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