Sunday, June 26, 2011

Sambal Tumis (Sauteed Chili Paste) Mussels

I love to order mussels when I dine out but I am never 100% satisfied with the mussels that I order. No doubt that the restaurants in New York City have many different flavors of mussels but I want it spicy and tastier.  When Phay Ing Landers sent me her Sambal Tumis (Sauteed Chili Paste) Mussels for our $10 gift voucher program, not only that I can't wait to share with you, I also feel like making this suggestion to the restaurants:)

Sambal Tumis (Sauteed Chili Paste) Mussels by Phay Ing Landers:
I have been yearning for a homey plate of spicy clams or la la as it is called in KL. Alas I have no access to la la (clams) after combing through the frozen aisle at the local store. I made do with frozen cooked mussels, and the end result was awesome. I had one last packet of Tean’s Gourmet Sambal Tumis Stir Fry Sauce in the pantry. I have been saving it for a ‘rainy day’ i.e. when a strong craving for spicy seafood kicks in.

The sambal tumis sauce is a pre-cooked spicy sauce made from ground spices with shrimp paste. Not all readymade sauce or paste is created equal. Tean’s Gourmet is one of the best by far in terms of taste and authenticity and costs less than USD4 per packet.

There are some who think that a readymade sauce is second grade compared to using the mortar and pestle to pound away the spices. To me, it is a blessing to have readymade sauce at hand. I can’t imagine hunting high and low for the necessary ingredients to make the sambal tumis from scratch, especially when most the ingredients are not available at the local stores.

The Sambal Tumis Mussels dish is a quick and easy dish to make – 20 minutes from start to finish. It is simple enough even for one who lacks cooking experience.

First I boiled the 2 lbs of vacuum packed frozen mussels in a big pot of boiling water for 5 mins, as instructed on the package. I took out the packets from the pot, and made a small opening on the packets to drain the water. Thereafter I placed the mussels in a big bowl, and set aside.

Next I used a pair of scissors to cut off one corner of the Sambal Tumis sauce packet and squeezed the sauce into a sauté pan. No cooking oil is required as the oil from the sauce is sufficient. Allow it to cook for 1-2 minutes. It is ready when you can smell the sambal tumis aroma slowly filling the kitchen.

Next, add in the cooked mussels and stir well to combine. Continue to stir the mussels and sambal tumis for another 5 mins to make sure all the mussels marry with the sauce.

Lastly plate the dish, and add a garnish if you prefer. Serve hot with rice.

I ate it with a plate of hot steaming white rice and even had seconds!! Yup it was that finger licking good.

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