Its hard to beat a good dish of mussels steamed in wine and parsley but this might get close.  The fragrance of Asian herbs enthuse me to want to go and cook shellfish and although there is a lot of flavour in this dish it doesn’t overpower the mussels and the texture of them works really well with it.  This is a great warm spicy dish for the whole family to share.

Serves 2

Ingredients

1kg live mussels
1 onion finely sliced
2 garlic cloves, finely sliced
1 tbsp chopped fresh ginger
4 red chillies, finely sliced
150ml white wine vinegar
6 tbsps sugar
Splash of fish sauce
Juice of 1 lime
A handful of coriander, finely chopped
A small handful of chopped basil

Method
Clean the mussels, then steam them open in a pan with a little water. Discard any that don’t open. In a frying pan gently soften the onions, garlic, ginger and chillies. Add the vinegar and the sugar, stir well to dissolve, taste to create that sweet and sour balance and then season with a few drops of fish sauce. Simmer for 2-3 minutes. Tip the mussels and their juices into the frying pan, stir well to create a sticky coating over the mussels. Squeeze in the lime juice, add the herbs. Serve hot or chilled.