The soup is moderately spicy, but you can use more or less chile, depending on your taste. Serve with sticky rice.
1 1/2 teaspoons coriander seeds
1 1/2 teaspoons cumin seeds
1/2 teaspoon black peppercorns
2 whole cloves
1 cup chopped fresh cilantro
1/2 cup chopped peeled fresh lemongrass (about 2 stalks)
2 tablespoons grated peeled fresh ginger
1 tablespoon Thai fish sauce (such as Three Crabs)
1 tablespoon dark sesame oil
2 teaspoons grated lime rind
5 garlic cloves, peeled
4 shallots, halved (about 1/4 pound)
1 serrano chile
1/4 cup water
1 1/2 teaspoons dark sesame oil
4 cups water
1 cup dry white wine
1 (8-ounce) bottle clam juice
60 mussels (about 1 1/2 pounds), scrubbed and debearded
1/3 cup chopped fresh cilantro
How to Make It
To prepare curry paste, heat a small, heavy skillet over medium-high heat. Add first 4 ingredients to pan; cook 1 minute or until fragrant, stirring frequently. Place spice mixture in a spice or coffee grinder; process mixture until finely ground.
Place ground spices, cilantro, and next 8 ingredients (through serrano) in a food processor; process until chopped, scraping sides. With processor on, slowly pour 1/4 cup water through food chute; process until smooth.
To prepare soup, heat 1 1/2 teaspoons oil in a large Dutch oven over medium-high heat. Add curry paste to pan; sauté 3 minutes. Add 4 cups water, wine, and clam juice; bring to a boil. Reduce heat, and simmer 30 minutes; add mussels. Cover and cook over medium-high heat 5 minutes or until mussels open; discard any unopened shells. Sprinkle with 1/3 cup cilantro. Serve immediately.