- 1 1/2 pounds mussels
- 1 1/2 pounds clams
- 1 1/2 pounds red snapper fillets (swordfish or any other firm white fish can be used)
- 1/2 cup extra-virgin olive oil
- 1/2 cup freshly grated ginger
- 1 cup finely minced garlic (about 2 heads)
- 1 cup finely minced sweet onion (about 2 small onions)
- 1 medium red bell pepper, finely diced
- 1 medium yellow bell pepper, finely diced
- 1 medium tomato, finely diced
- 1/2 to 1 cup clam broth
- 4 limes, 1 juiced and 3 cut into wedges for serving
- 3 tablespoons cilantro leaves, finely minced
- 1 1/2 teaspoons saffron threads
- 1 jalapeno or serrano pepper
- 1 very ripe banana, thinly sliced
- 2 cups light coconut milk
- Kosher salt and freshly ground black pepper
- Crusty bread, for serving
Debeard the mussels if needed. Scrub the clams; if they feel too gritty, soak them in very salty ice water to expel the grit. Cut the snapper into 2-inch pieces. Set seafood aside.
In a 12-inch nonstick skillet, heat 1/4 cup of olive oil over medium-high heat. Add ginger, half of the garlic, and the onion. When the mixture becomes fragrant, add the red and yellow bell pepper and the tomato and cook for 5 minutes. Turn heat to the lowest setting and cover.
In a 3-quart saucepan, heat the remaining olive oil over medium-high heat. When oil is hot, add remaining garlic, juice from 1 lime, clams, mussels and 1/2 cup clam broth. Cover pan and allow mixture to cook for 7 minutes. Uncover shellfish and discard any clams and mussels that have not opened. Add 1/2 of the cilantro, the saffron, snapper pieces, the jalapeno, banana, and the bell pepper mixture from the skillet. Stir to combine, making sure there is enough liquid, if not add more clam broth, then cover and cook for 6 to 8 minutes. (The banana will thicken the soup and will impart a sweet taste to counter the lime's sour taste. Banana should completely break down during the cooking). Add coconut milk and turn the heat off. Cover and reserve.
Uncover the soup, sprinkle with remaining cilantro. Portion into bowls (be sure to remove the jalapeno pepper) and serve with lots of crusty bread and the lime wedges.