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Banish the January blues with Ravinder Bhogal’s mussel, rice and sweetcorn broth

Ravinder Bhogal

There are few things more appetising in the early months of the year than a bountiful pot of sweet mussels. They are delicious, economical and plentiful, and I have a particular fondness for our native Shetland ones. Plus, they are beautiful and remain somewhat mysterious — coral creatures inside their glistening blue-black shells.

In this recipe they are thrust into a light and fragrant Asian broth tinged golden with turmeric, hot with ginger and thickened with rice. Within moments of touching the hot liquid, their mouths slowly gape open, and they succumb with a silent scream. All that, only to come to rest in the bowl of a hungry and appreciative chef.

Ingredients (serves 4)

1 tbsp rapeseed oil
200g sweetcorn
1 lemon, zest and juice
¼ tsp turmeric
1 tsp grated ginger
500ml chicken stock
40g basmati rice
1kg mussels
A few drops of toasted sesame oil
1 tbsp chopped coriander or coriander cress,
to serve

Mussel, rice and sweetcorn broth

1. Heat the oil in a saucepan and toss in the sweetcorn along with the lemon zest. Stir to coat with the oil, cook for 3 minutes, then sprinkle in the turmeric and ginger.

2. Stir-fry over a medium heat for 2 minutes or until fragrant.

3. Pour in the chicken stock and scatter in the rice. Boil over a low to medium heat for about 15 minutes or until the rice is tender.

4. Throw in mussels, cover and cook until they begin to open. Squeeze in the lemon juice and sprinkle in a few drops of sesame oil. Finally, spoon into bowls and top with coriander.