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).

As always with our Cook the Book feature, we have five (5) copies of The Kimchi Cookbook to give away this week.