Brothy Mussels with Aji Amarillo and Coconut
Mussels are easier to cook than you think! This recipe is partially influenced by my love for aji amarillo and seafood, but also by Japanese flavors and French cooking. I used fragrant aromatics like shallots, ginger, scallions and garlic as the base to the broth and then added aji amarillo for flavor, color and heat. Aji amarillo is a yellow Peruvian pepper that is used throughout Peruvian cuisine. You can find it at most Latin supermarkets in paste form. Japan comes into play with the addition of sake and dashi, which adds body, umami, and a touch of sweetness to the broth. Feel free to swap in a dry white wine or prosecco and use flavorful stock! The mussels steam for 4-5 minutes and then the sauce is simmered, seasoned and strained over the mussels. I love to serve these like moules frites with a side of french fries, but Furikake fries would be perfect for this dish?!
- 2 tabelspoons butter
- 4 cloves garlic, thinly sliced
- 3 scallions, thinly sliced
- 1 shallot, finely diced
- 1 inch knob ginger, finely diced
- 1/4 cup Aji Amarillo paste
- 1/4 cup sake or a dry Prosecco
- 1 1/2 pounds mussels, beards removed, scrubbed and purged
- 1/3 cup unsweetened coconut cream
- 1 teaspoon toasted sesame oil
- Kosher salt, to taste
Melt the butter in a medium dutch oven or other heavy pot with a lid over medium-high heat.
Add the garlic, scallions, shallot, and ginger to the pot and sauté until fragrant, about 3-4 minutes, stirring occasionally.
Add aji amarillo paste and cook for an additional 2-3 minutes or until vegetables are tender and a golden brown fond has formed.
Deglaze the pan with sake making sure to scrape any fond on the bottom of the pan. Add dashi and bring to a simmer.
Once simmering, add mussels and cover immediately. Allow mussels to steam for 4-5 minutes or until they have opened. Discard any mussels that do not open.
Using tongs, remove mussels from the pan and place into a serving bowl.
Season the remaining liquid with coconut cream, toasted sesame oil, salt and pepper. Bring to a simmer and strain into the serving bowl over the mussels.
Serve mussels with crispy garlic french fries or crusty bread!