The other weekend I was craving two things: mussels and Tom Yum soup. I decided to join them together and the result was perfect.

Tom Yum soup is delicious and very easy to make, but shrimp is not my favorite seafood. On the other hand, a big bowl of mussels always leaves a broth you want to slop up but is too rich to enjoy as a soup. So, why not make mussels in a Tom Yum broth that can be enjoyed as a soup along with the mussels.

1. Bring the stock to boil - when I looked for recipes the first time I made Tom Yum, some called for chicken stock and others for plain water. I thought that a light shrimp head stock would be perfect, but I did not have time to source fresh whole shrimp, and now with mussels there would be no shrimp at all. For my first Tom Yum I used fish stock, and although the Tom Yum was about the best I ever had but the fish stock undertones where a bit too much. For the mussel version I used vegetable stock diluted with water and white wine.

2. Add sliced galangal, sliced lemongrass, and kaffir lime leaves and bring back to boil (for the mussels version I lost out on galangal and kaffir lime leaves in order to procure the good mussels, so I replaced galangal with ginger and added some coriander stems as an extra aromatic).

3. Add fish sauce, chili paste, shrimp paste, and mushrooms and bring back to a boil.

4. Add fresh lime juice and fresh cut chili peppers.

5. Add the kinkawooka mussels and cooked cover stirring often until all opened.

6. Stir in fresh coriander leaves at the very end.

7. Serve the broth in bowls topped with mussels, and the remaining mussels in a big bowl for sharing.

Eating was a continuous struggle: soup or mussels? soup or mussels? soup or mussels?