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This was a real treat.  I usually only cook mussels if I am making a cioppino or bouillabaisse but I had forgotten just how great they are on their own.  I am used to having mussels cooked in wine or some other type of broth which I always enjoy but have to admit it gets a little boring.  These Asian inspired mussels were a great change of pace and since we have been on a Asian kick lately they fit right in to our current eating ritual.  I was in a bit of a quandary as to what to serve with the mussels.  I did some online research and found suggestions of polenta, vermicelli with butter and garlic, rice and plain crusty bread.  All sounded fine to me so I called several of my Asian friends and it was unanimous with them that it had to be rice.  Rather ordinary I admit but it sure was great with the flavorful cooking liquid.  I opted for jasmine rice since to me it isn’t quite as bland as ordinary white rice.  Turned out perfect.

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I got to my fish monger a bit late in the day and the place was packed.  I was in there for about 45 minutes and the whole time I kept thinking to myself, this had better be worth standing in this line all this time.  I didn’t need to worry, it was totally delicious.  The recipe is simplicity itself.  After scrubbing and debearding the mussels it is just a quick saute of garlic and ginger.  Some red curry paste is stirred in and sautéed for a minute, then in goes the coconut milk, bring it to a boil and toss in the mussels.  Cover and cook a few minutes till the mussels open and dinner is on the table.  The cilantro and lime add just the perfect kick to top it all off.   Total heaven.

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I think in the future I think I would serve this as a starter.  Mussels are deceptive creatures.  You look into a pot filled with mussels but when you start eating there really isn’t much to them.  When you buy two pounds of mussels you probably end up actually buying a pound and a half of shells and half a pound of actual meat but they are too good to quibble about that.

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