Chef’s Table: Thai Coconut Mussels From Tyger Tyger

Posted on Oct 15 by SEASONS Magazine


Thai Coconut Mussels with Heirloom Tomato and Local Plum Salad from Chef Daniel Palaima at Tyger Tyger.

Our food series highlights seasonal recipes selected by head chefs and mixologists at Santa Barbara County’s best restaurants. We hope you will try them in your own kitchen—bon appetit! 

Thai Coconut Mussels
With Coconut Milk, Clam Juice, Galangal, Lemongrass and Thai Chili. Serves 2-4.


Tom Kha Broth

14 oz. Coconut Milk, light

8 oz. Clam Juice

4 ea. Galangal in ½” slices

6 Cloves Garlic, peeled and    


2 ea. Shallots, peeled whole

1 ea. Lemongrass, ends trimmed,   

   lightly crushed with the side of
   a knife, cut into 1” pieces

1 ea. Thai Chili, dried

4 ea. Kaffir Lime Leaf, rough chop

½  Lime, juiced

½ Lemon, cut into wedges
   for garnish


Prepare broth. Cut lime in half and reserve one half for the broth and the other half for plating. Heat a pan over medium heat and lightly sweat galangal, garlic, shallot, lemongrass and Thai chili over heat until fragrant. About three minutes. Add clam juice and bring to a simmer. Reduce by half and add coconut milk, kaffir lime and lightly simmer for 15 more minutes. Add the juice of a half lime and remove from heat. Season to taste with salt (about ½ tsp.), strain and reserve while cooking mussels.



5 ea. Mussels, de-bearded and rinsed

2 ea. Shallots, whole, peeled and sliced into rings

1 Tbsp. Parsley, chopped 


On medium heat in an 8-quart sauce pot, heat the oil and quickly sweat shallots for 30 seconds, making sure not to brown. Add 2 cups of the reserved Tom Kha Broth and bring to a boil. Stir in mussels, and cover immediately. Shake pot and let boil for one minute. Stir mussels, replace cover, and let boil for two more minutes. When the shells begin to open, stir in parsley, cover again, and cook until all shells are open, one to two minutes. Serve with grilled bread and a lemon wedge. Heirloom tomato and local plum salad is also pictured. 

Chef Daniel Palaima is at the helm of the Funk Zone’s newest restaurant, Tyger Tyger, featuring coastal southeast Asian cuisine in a casual and convivial environment. A Santa Barbara native who returned home from Chicago to lead the charge at Tyger Tyger after stints with internationally-acclaimed and award-winning chefs Grant Achatz at Next and Stephanie Izard at Duck, Duck, Goat, Palaima launched his culinary career locally at Brothers at Mattei’s Tavern in Los Olivos and Root 246 in Solvang. Tyger Tyger specializes in street foods inspired by food carts from southern Thailand, Cambodia and Vietnam, made from the year round local bounty of fresh produce, seafood, and other meats. Opening in the fall, it shares this dynamic new marketplace space with Monkeyshine, Asian-inspired ice cream, and Dart Coffee, the Funk Zone’s own small-lot specialty coffee roaster.

This story was originally published in the Fall 2018 issue of Santa Barbara Seasons Magazine.


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