I recently went mussel fishing and found that the fishermen catch far more than they sell fresh. The rest they sun-dry on large sheets in the hot sun, and sell as dried mussels. If you made sun-dried mussels, or you have shop bought ones, what can you use them for?
This is a recipe suggested by fishermen: It is a red curry made with pineapple, and dried mussels and topped with some fried mussel chips for added crunch.
This recipe uses red curry paste which is available in supermarkets. We don't make these by hand in Thailand, that would be silly when there are shops that do nothing but sell ready made pastes. You also won't achieve the fine ground texture of the milled paste by pounding it.
100 gms Dried Mussels
100 mls Coconut Milk
100 gms Pineapple Chunks
1 Tablespoon Oil
1 Tablespoon Red Curry Paste
1 Teaspoon Shrimp Paste
2 Tablespoons Fish Sauce
1 Tablespoon Tamarind Juice
2-3 Kaffir Lime Leaves (Optional)
1. It's nice to serve this in the hollowed out pineapple, so be careful when removing the pineapple chunks so it doesn't leak. But you can also use tinned pineapple if you can't get fresh and simply serve it in a bowl.
2. Set aside a few dried mussels, fry theses few until crunchy and set aside. We'll use these to garnish the top later.
3. With a little oil, over a hot stove, fry the curry paste and shrimp pastes for a few seconds to release the flavour.
4. Add the dried mussels and keep stirring.
5. Lower the heat, add the coconut milk, and pineapple pieces, followed by the fish sauce, kaffir leaves and tamarind juice and cook it for 2 minutes on a simmer.
6. Taste and adjust the seasoning. If the pineapple is too sour, you can add some sugar to balance it, and if its too sweet, add more tamarind water.
7. Spoon the mixture into the hollowed out pineapple, and garnish with the fried mussels you reserved at the beginning.
8. Serve with hot fragrant rice.