Thai Curry Mussels

It was not too long ago when fresh mussels were on sale at one of our local grocery stores. In the past, I typically would buy them frozen, then steam them but as they were fresh, I decided I would go all in. It was my kids last day of school, and I figured I would throw it out there and see if they would be keen on the idea of having them as an end of year celebration. Low and behold they did and I decided to buy a few pounds of mussels. What’s funny is that one of my pickiest of eaters (he’s getting much better) was stoked about eating them. So I arrived home, and got to work. At first I thought I would do a simple wine and butter sauce to steam the mussels in, but then I quickly turned my attention to making a killer Thai curry and coconut broth, introducing something a bit different to them. These Thai curry mussels had just the right amount of heat that did not distract from the flavor of the mussels, and my kid ate a ton of them.

Thai Curry Mussels
Thai Curry Mussels

Let’s get started.

Ingredients:

  • 1 tbsp canola oil
  • 1/2 can of Thai green curry paste
  • 1 can of coconut milk
  • 1 cup of water
  • 3 lbs fresh mussels

Simple stuff here, and feel free to use other types of curry paste. I used the prik king curry paste from Maesri which is a spicy ginger style of curry paste, and one that I really like, but feel free to use their red or yellow paste if you have that in stock.

To a large pot, large enough to house the mussels, get the heat going on medium heat. Add the canola oil and bring it to a light smoke, only a couple of minutes, then add in the green curry paste. Stir, and cook for a couple of minutes. Next add in the coconut milk, and water, and stir to incorporate and break down the curry paste. Once this comes to a simmer, add in the mussels.

Make sure that all of the mussels are closed, and feel free to scrub off any exterior beard material from the mussels ahead of time should they not already be cleaned.

Thai Curry Mussels
Thai Curry Mussels

Stir the mussels into the coconut curry mixture, then cover, and cook and steam the mussels until they all open up.

Please note, that any mussels that do not open up, then discard.

Once the mussels are all opened, pour the mussels and broth into a large serving bowl and dig in.

Feel free to serve these with some nice crusty bread, or spoon the broth over some cooked jasmine rice.

It was funny watching my oldest go to town on these. He could not stop eating them, and he loved the spice from the broth. These Thai curry mussels were a great way to end the school year that’s for certain. Hope you enjoy!

Filipino Bicol Express

It has been weird in some ways not sharing a weekly recipe creation with all of you. Fortunately, however, my family was able to disconnect (well except for my kids and their darn devices) and take a week long road trip. Where you may ask? Tennessee, the whole state and wow was it a blast. I think, and I hope we got so much in during the week. I went down on a mission, a different one than my wife and probably kids for that matter, and that was to try some of the best barbecue and fried chicken I have ever had; hands down ever. In summary Rendezvous ribs and barbecue nachos, Gus’s Fried Chicken, Peg Leg Barbecue ribs (got the last rack and it was only noon (they opened at 11)), and Hatti B’s Nashville hot chicken. So with that said, I’m ready to share with you a great recipe, and one that has some heat to it, much like Hatti B’s!

Bicol Express is a Filipino dish that finally has some heat to it. Don’t get me wrong here, I love pretty much any Filipino dish that has come my way, but I’m always questioning in my mind ‘Do they not use any heat when cooking?’.

This is the perfect answer to that question. I love how the Filipino’s use vinegar, garlic, and lots of black pepper in some of their dishes, and that is right up my alley, but this recipe has me. It’s a stew with very simple ingredients. It’s comforting. It has the perfect heat, and is great served alongside rice.

Filipino Bicol Express Recipe
Filipino Bicol Express Recipe

Let’s get started.

Ingredients:

  • 2 tbsp oil
  • 1 lb pork belly, cut into 2 inch cubes
  • 4 tbsp roasted shrimp paste (this stuff stinks but brings such umami)
  • 1 whole onion, sliced
  • 4 cloves garlic, minced
  • 2 tbsp fresh ginger, minced
  • 14 fresh chilies (Thai Bird, Indian Green Chile, or Serrano) of your choice, stems removed, chiles sliced in half
  • 2 cans of coconut milk
  • salt and pepper, to taste
  • cooked rice, optional

Start by heating a medium sized pot (you will cook everything in this pot) on medium heat, then add the oil. Once the oil comes to temperature, add in the cubed pork belly.

Cook the pork belly, turning along the way, until all sides become browned.

Once the pork is browned, add in the onions, garlic, and ginger. Give a good stir, and continue to cook for about 3 minutes or so.

Next add in the shrimp paste. Turn on your vent on high as this stuff has some funk (good funk), and continue to stir. Toss in the chilies, stir again, then add in the coconut milk.

How to make Filipino Bicol Express
How to make Filipino Bicol Express

Bring this to a simmer, and cook for about 1 hour, on low, stirring along the way.

Before serving, taste and season with any salt or pepper.

Now you are ready to dig in. I like to serve with a small bowl of rice to the side, along with a soup bowl of the Bicol Express. This dish is rich, creamy, spicy, funky, and overall totally comforting and right up my alley. Don’t be scared of the chiles as you can eat around them. The chilies overall bring that subtle heat to the dish overall, but if you are searching for a bit of that chili punch when eating, go ahead and bite into them! Hope you enjoy, and it’s great to be back!

Korean Gochujang Marinated Chicken

For some time now, gochujang has been one of my favorite condiments. There is something about it, whether that combination of sweet, spicy, or savory, but whatever it is gochujang has got it going on. I have used gochujang in a couple of different recipes including Korean style zucchini as well as some Korean style quick pickles, both of which were delicious, but not it was time to try to incorporate the gochujang into a chicken marinade and see how it would turn out. Actually, I knew how it was going to turn out, and I was right, it turned out pretty awesome.

Korean Gochujang Marinated Chicken Recipe
Korean Gochujang Marinated Chicken Recipe

Let’s get started.

  • 8 chicken thighs, fat trimmed
  • 2 cloves of garlic, minced
  • 2 heaping tablespoon of gochujang paste
  • 1/4 cup of soy sauce
  • 1 dash of fish sauce
  • pinch of salt
  • 1 tsp cracked black pepper
  • 3 tbsp water
  • cooked rice, optional
  • sliced scallions, optional

Start by making your marinade. Combine everything but the chicken, rice, and scallions in a mixing bowl. Whisk until everything is smooth.

Add the chicken thighs to a large plastic sealable bag, and pour in the marinade. Seal, and place into the refrigerator overnight.

The following day, about an hour before you are ready to begin cooking, remove the chicken from the refrigerator and let it sit on the counter to take off the chill.

Gochujang Chicken
Gochujang Chicken

Strain the marinade, reserving it into a bowl. Pat the chicken dry and place on a wired rimmed baking sheet.

Preheat your oven to 375 degrees.

Add the chicken thighs, skin side down to the baking sheet.

Place into the oven and cook for about 25 minutes. Remove, then flip the chicken so it is skin side up, and cook an additional 10 minutes or so, or until the skin is nice and crispy.

During this time, add the reserved marinade to a sauce pan. Cook on medium heat until the sauce has reduced. This will act as your glaze with the chicken is ready.

Now it is time to serve.

Remove the chicken from the oven, and carefully add them to a large serving dish. With a cooking brush, or spoon for that matter, begin brushing the chicken thighs with the reduced marinade.

Serve and with rice. My kids totally loved these. They are typically not fans of thighs like I am, but that told me something, and that something was most likely that awesome gochujang marinade. Hope you enjoy!

Korean Gochujang Marinated Chicken
Author: 
Recipe type: Chicken
Cuisine: Korean Style
Prep time: 
Cook time: 
Total time: 
Serves: 8
 
Ingredients
  • 8 chicken thighs, fat trimmed
  • 2 cloves of garlic, minced
  • 2 heaping tablespoon of gochujang paste
  • ¼ cup of soy sauce
  • 1 dash of fish sauce
  • pinch of salt
  • 1 tsp cracked black pepper
  • 3 tbsp water
  • cooked rice, optional
  • sliced scallions, optional
Instructions
  1. Start by making your marinade. Combine everything but the chicken, rice, and scallions in a mixing bowl. Whisk until everything is smooth.
  2. Add the chicken thighs to a large plastic sealable bag, and pour in the marinade. Seal, and place into the refrigerator overnight.
  3. The following day, about an hour before you are ready to begin cooking, remove the chicken from the refrigerator and let it sit on the counter to take off the chill.
  4. Strain the marinade, reserving it into a bowl. Pat the chicken dry and place on a wired rimmed baking sheet.
  5. Preheat your oven to 375 degrees.
  6. Add the chicken thighs, skin side down to the baking sheet.
  7. Place into the oven and cook for about 25 minutes. Remove, then flip the chicken so it is skin side up, and cook an additional 10 minutes or so, or until the skin is nice and crispy.
  8. During this time, add the reserved marinade to a sauce pan. Cook on medium heat until the sauce has reduced. This will act as your glaze with the chicken is ready.
  9. Now it is time to serve.
  10. Remove the chicken from the oven, and carefully add them to a large serving dish. With a cooking brush, or spoon for that matter, begin brushing the chicken thighs with the reduced marinade.
  11. Serve and with rice.

 

Asian Style Pickled Peppers

For whatever reason, any time I visit my local Mexican grocery store to devour their tacos, I stop in their produce aisle and typically load up on a ton of limes, and a ton of jalapeno peppers. Maybe because that is what I see the locals doing. Granted I am not buying like 40 of each, but maybe 10-12 of them, and that is typically enough for me. I usually cut up the jalapenos and use them in omelettes or something on those lines, but recently, I had about 5 of them left over and wanted to use them up, and make something unique. That’s when these Asian style pickled peppers came about. Think of your classic vinegar and sugar mixture, but make with a twist. A delicious twist.

Asian Style Pickled Peppers Recipe
Asian Style Pickled Peppers Recipe

I crave all sorts of pickled chilies, and I often snack on them when I get home from work. With that being said, my chili stash became seriously low when I crushed the remaining sport peppers after using them on my Italian style pulled pork sandwiches, and hence whey I probably got started on making this batch of pickled chili peppers!

Let’s get started.

  • 5 jalapeno peppers, stems removed, quartered (leave seed in tact)
  • 1 cup of soy sauce
  • 1 cup of light brown sugar
  • 1/2 cup of regular vinegar
  • 3/4 cup of water
  • dash of fish sauce
  • 1 clove of garlic, smashed

Now you can probably try these with any chili pepper such as Thai bird, or serrano, but I will leave that up to you.

Start by adding the chili peppers to a medium sized mason jar.

Next, get a small pot on the stove, on medium heat. Add the soy sauce, brown sugar, vinegar, water, fish sauce, and garlic. Bring to a gentle boil, and stir until the sugar is dissolved. Remove from the heat, and let the pickling mixture completely cool.

Ingredients for making Asian style pickled peppers
Ingredients for making Asian style pickled peppers

Once the mixture is cooled, pour into the mason jar, seal, and place in your refrigerator for a couple of days before digging in.

At first I was thinking these were going to be pretty spicy, but you know what, they weren’t! I thought they had the perfect amount of heat and that soy sauce makes it super unique. Now I’m eating these after work, but also thinking of adding them to an upcoming stew, or adding them to some sort of sandwich, maybe a banh mi! I hope you enjoy!

Asian Style Pickled Peppers
Author: 
Recipe type: Pickled Peppers
Cuisine: Asian
Prep time: 
Cook time: 
Total time: 
Serves: 4
 
Ingredients
  • 5 jalapeno peppers, stems removed, quartered (leave seed in tact)
  • 1 cup of soy sauce
  • 1 cup of light brown sugar
  • ½ cup of regular vinegar
  • ¾ cup of water
  • dash of fish sauce
  • 1 clove of garlic, smashed
Instructions
  1. Now you can probably try these with any chili pepper such as Thai bird, or serrano, but I will leave that up to you.
  2. Start by adding the chili peppers to a medium sized mason jar.
  3. Next, get a small pot on the stove, on medium heat. Add the soy sauce, brown sugar, vinegar, water, fish sauce, and garlic. Bring to a gentle boil, and stir until the sugar is dissolved. Remove from the heat, and let the pickling mixture completely cool.
  4. Once the mixture is cooled, pour into the mason jar, seal, and place in your refrigerator for a couple of days before digging in.