Thai homemade dinner Part II – barbecued prawns on lemongrass, coconut soup, and steamed mussels

I decided to make Thai food again today, Part II of last week, as there are few dishes that I still want to make but do not have time to make it last week. 

So, tonight I’m making three dishes, one soup, one appetiser and one main course.

Let’s start it off with the soup, it is coconut soup with cauliflower, but I think you can just add other ingredients that you like and make it your own, for example, carrot, chicken, mushroom, and etc. With a pot, bring the vegetable stock and coconut milk to boil. Then, add cauliflower, galangal, lemon grass, kaffir lime leaves, and season them with light soy sauce, fish sauce and brown sugar. Lower the heat, and cook until the cauliflowers turn soft. Serve the soup by adding some chopped chillies and coriander, and a bit a lime juice.

The appetiser is barbecued prawns on lemon grass, I like the look of this dish, having the prawn mixture wrapping the middle of the lemon grass stalk. In order to have the flavour of the lemon grass, lightly cut the middle of the lemon grass in order to get the nice smell out of it. To make the prawn mixture, mix the prawns (slightly cooked, half raw), chopped bacon or minced pork, garlic, a touch of kaffir lime leaves, chopped spring onion, and season with some fish sauce, brown sugar and cornflour in a food processor until it turns dense. Carefully wrap the mixture around the lemon grass stalk, if you feel so sticky, wet your hand with some water. Pan fry them with a pan and serve with the sauce, mixed of white vinegar, sugar, chopped chillies and coriander.
For the main, I’ve made the Thai style steamed mussels. Heat the sauce pan with a bit of butter, fry the chopped galangal, lemon grass, kaffir lime leaves and shallots. Add some vegetable stock and coconut milk, simmer a bit, then add all mussels in, cook 4 minutes with the lit on and then another 2 minutes without the lit. Serve the mussels with some bread and garnish with some coriander. 

Grilled Mussel with Penne Pasta


Long time no see is a Chinese idiom, so long time no cook……. I was away two weeks for business trip, I miss my cooking, of course can’t wait to cook something tonight!

I watched Jamie Oliver’s show the other time, and he was cooking this grilled mussels that go with tomato soup. I was thinking to cook that a while ago, but I guess today I want to do it, but instead of tomato soup, I will make it with pasta.

In order to grill the mussels and penne pasta at the same time, I tried to get both ready almost at the same time. Before cooking anything, it’s better to get everything chopped and ready. First of all, let’s prepare the breadcrumbs for grilling. Mix the breadcrumbs, some Parmesan cheese, basil, garlic, some olive oil and a pinch of salt in a food processor. So that’s ready for the grilling part later on. Now to chop everything, garlic, red chilli, onion, celery, tomatoes and coriander, and ready for cooking.

To boil a pot of hot water and cook the penne first, because the cooking time is around 11 minutes. On the other hand, heat up the sauce pan with butter, and put the minced garlic, then chopped onion, fry until the onion turn slightly brown, then add chopped celery and tomatoes and red chilli. When everything is kind of cooked, pour some white wine in, and then add some water or you can add chicken stock. I always think water is good enough already. Then, put the mussels in the sauce pan, and cook for 4 minutes with lid on, then cook it without lid for another 2 to 3 minutes. When all the mussels are opened up, that means all cooked.

Now put the cooked pasta in a bake tray, and pour some stock from the mussels in the tray and mix with the pasta. Then, remove one of the shell from the mussel and let it just sit on the other half of the shell and place it on top of the pasta in the tray to create a layer of mussel. You can let those onion, tomato and celery sit inside of the mussel. After putting all mussels on top of the pasta, then put the breadcrumbs on top of each mussels. And place the tray inside of the pre-heat oven under 190C for around 15 to 20 minutes, or until the breadcrumbs turn brown.

Mussels with White Wine Sauce

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Mussels are something nice to eat at the restaurant, and you might think it is difficult to make, which is totally wrong. It is super easy and you can easily achieve a good result. You can give a try, quick and easy, maybe a dish to finish in 20 minutes starting from chopping.

Let’s get all the ingredients chopped nicely, garlic, red chili pepper, onion, tomatoes, celery, parsley and spring onion. It’s up to you, as it all depends on what do you like to eat, feel free to explore, but main ingredients, I would say, they are onion, parsley and some garlic for sure.

Heat the sauce pan with some butter, then put onion and garlic, fry them until they start to turn brown. Then, add the celery and tomatoes, you can add the red chili pepper now, or if you want it more spicy, can add from the beginning together with the garlic. Then, you can put either chicken broth or just water to boil it, also add a bit of white wine. Personality, I think water is good enough and it also turned out tasty, even without chicken broth. Now, you get ready with  the pack of mussels that you bought from the supermarket or food market. I’ve tried different brands, and they are all good. The best thing is, they are just not expensive at all, you save a great deal than eating mussels at the restaurant. For the frozen mussels, you don’t need to defrost them, you just pour them in the sauce right after you took them out from the freezer. Then, cook it around 5 minutes with the lid until shell open, then maybe cook 1 more minute without the lid. Finally put parsley and spring onion, then serve it with some slices of baguette.

The best thing is to dip the baguette with the sauce. So yummy! One thing to remember, no need to put salt, because the mussels should be salty enough.

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