Traminette, like its parent Gewürztraminer, is a medium-bodied wine, dry or off-dry, with wonderful spice and floral aromatics. These characteristics are often highly sought-after pairings with Asian cuisine. Fruit components such as lychee nut and apricot support the exotic flavors of this dish and help temper the spiciness of the chiles. Buy your mussels from a store that sells many of them so you can be assured of their freshness.
Serves | 4 |
- 1 cup Traminette wine
- ½-inch slice ginger, lightly pounded
- 1 lemongrass stalk, white end smashed and coarsely chopped
- 2 Tbsp honey
- 3 bird's eye chiles, smashed
- 1 tsp grated fresh lemon zest
- 1 cup coconut milk
- 2 Tbsp fresh lemon juice
- salt and freshly ground black pepper
- 1½ Tbsp canola oil
- 2 cloves garlic, chopped
- 2 shallots, minced
- 3 fresh red Thai chiles, finely chopped
- ½ cup Traminette wine
- 1 lb mussels, washed and bearded
- ¼ cup cilantro, roughly chopped
| Preparation | In a small saucepan, reduce wine, ginger, lemongrass, honey and smashed chiles over medium-low heat until only a few tablespoons of liquid remain. Add lemon zest and coconut milk and bring to a simmer. Infuse for about 15 minutes. Add lemon juice and salt to taste. Strain liquid and set aside. Discard remaining solids.
Heat oil in a deep saucepan large enough to hold and cover all the mussels. Add garlic and shallots and sweat over low heat for about 5 minutes. Add chiles and sweat for another minute. Turn heat to high and add wine, mussels and reserved broth. Add half the cilantro leaves, cover and cook until mussels are open, less than 5 minutes. Discard mussels that do not open. If needed, season to taste with salt and pepper.
| To Serve | Ladle mussels and broth into bowls and garnish with remaining cilantro. Serve with grilled bread to sop up the amazing broth.