Ballymaloe Uncategorized

Day 35 – Mussels

Today I made : Goan Mussels, steamed in a spiced chili coconut broth and garnished with lots of coriander, my all time favourite herb. Easy, quick, (almost) one pan and endlessly versatile. Can also be made with pollock, hake, salmon and shrimp.

Mussels need to be alive when you cook them. If one is open give it a knock on the counter. If it closes it’s fine, if it doesn’t it’s not. The rule around here is ‘if in doubt, chuck it out.’ My mussels were opening and closing all morning in the hot kitchen which kinda freaked me out but thankfully no one who ate these got sick!

Darina’s grandchildren love mussels, they like using the shells as chopsticks. No PB and J for the Allen offspring.


I also made a Sticky Toffee Pudding. I ate way too much of it but every bite was so deep, dark and gooey I have no regrets.


I learned :Farmed salmon is quite bad for the environment but farmed mussels are not. You can tell mussels are farmed when the shells are lighter and weaker.

Food of the day : Lamb burger with banana raita. Rich but fresh and light.

Line of the day : From Darina. ‘No house should be without soft brown sugar. It turns everything into a feast – from rice pudding to porridge.’