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    Vietnamese-style grilled mussels with crispy shallots

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    Vietnamese-style grilled mussels with crispy shallots

    British mussels are sustainable, great value and delicious, so make the most of them. Flashing them under the grill helps them absorb the flavours of the dressing.

    • Preparation time: 30 minutes
    • Cooking time: 25 minutes
    • Total time: 55 minutes

    Serves: 4 as a starter


    2 tbsp plain flour
    ½ tsp fine sea salt
    1 echalion shallot, finely sliced
    5 tbsp sunflower oil
    1kg fresh mussels *
    100ml fresh chicken stock
    1½ tbsp Lee Kum Kee oyster sauce
    1 tbsp palm or light brown soft sugar
    2 tsp fish sauce
    1 tsp cornflour
    4 salad onions, finely sliced
    1 Thai red chilli, finely chopped
    30g fresh root ginger, finely chopped
    3 garlic cloves, crushed
    60g unsalted peanuts, finely chopped
    1 lime, cut into wedges

    * (Available from the fish service counter)


    1. Start with the crispy shallots. Mix the flour and salt on a plate, then toss the sliced shallot in it. Heat 3 tbsp oil in a frying pan until it begins to sizzle, then fry the shallot over a medium-high heat for 5-8 minutes, until golden brown and crisp. Set aside on kitchen paper to drain, then sprinkle with a little more salt.

    2. Clean and prepare the mussels. Bring the stock to the boil in a large, lidded pan. Add the mussels, cover, and cook for 3-4 minutes until the mussels have opened. Drain them through a sieve over a bowl, reserving the stock. Tip the stock back into the pan and boil it over a high heat until reduced to 2 tbsp. Meanwhile, discard any mussels that haven’t opened (these may not be fully cooked). Remove and discard the empty half shell from each cooked mussel. Arrange the mussels in their remaining half shells on a baking tray.

    3. In a bowl, mix together the oyster sauce, sugar, fish sauce, cornfl our and 100ml water. In a small pan, heat the remaining 2 tbsp oil over a high heat, add the salad onions and chilli; stir-fry for 15 seconds. Use a slotted spoon to transfer the mixture to a bowl, leaving about 1 tbsp oil in the pan. Add the oyster sauce mixture to the pan with the ginger, garlic and reduced stock; bring to the boil, then lower the heat and simmer for 2-3 minutes until slightly thickened.

    4. Preheat the grill to high. Spoon the sauce over the mussels in their baking tray, scatter over the peanuts and grill for 2-3 minutes until the peanuts are toasted but not burnt. Scatter over the salad onions and fried shallots. Serve with lime wedges to squeeze over. Serve with crusty bread, if liked.

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    This recipe first appeared in Waitrose & Partners Food, March 2020 issue. Download the Waitrose & Partners Food app for the full issue


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