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Coconut Curry Mussels Recipe

Coconut Curry Mussels Recipe

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We know: We’ve been dragging out the recipes from our January book writing retreat for a long time now. Though they’re available year-round, making them now, in April, will make them seem like they’re heralding spring in.

We spent very little money at the grocery store that week. Probably because most of what we ate involved spaghetti. But by the last afternoon we were down to our last few shallots, and we had a can of coconut milk still waiting to be used up. We also had half a loaf of No-Knead Bread waiting to be drenched in delicious sauces or slathered with scallion butter.

That last day, we decided to put the book-related brainstorming on hold and take a load off our minds by giving our legs some exercise. Perhaps it was the ocean air, but by the end of our jaunt, both of us were craving seafood, and we were both thinking the same thing: mussels.

Mussels are super cheap, and for but five dollars we added two pounds of them to our dinner table. I got to work chopping the remainder of our garlic, ginger, and shallots, and Cara threw together an Asian-inspired vinaigrette for our salad before taking the aromatics off my hands to sauté. The dish came together in minutes and, save for some slightly stale curry powder, the mussels turned out perfectly creamy, spicy, and satisfying enough to celebrate our last night out of the city. — Phoebe


  • 3 cloves garlic, thinly sliced
  • 3 small shallots, thinly sliced
  • One 2-inch knob ginger, minced
  • Olive oil, for cooking
  • ¼ cup cilantro
  • 3 scallions (light and dark),
  • 1/3 cup mirin or rice wine (or white wine)
  • One 15-ounce can coconut milk (we prefer light)
  • 1 teaspoon curry powder
  • ½ teaspoon cumin
  • ¼ teaspoon cayenne
  • ½ teaspoon salt
  • 2 pounds mussels, soaked, cleaned and beards removed
  • Crusty bread, for serving
  • Cilantro, for garnish


In a large pot, sauté the garlic, shallot, and ginger in 1 tablespoon of olive oil over medium heat. Let the vegetables sweat and become fragrant, about 2 minutes, then add half of the cilantro, scallions, and rice wine. Allow the wine to simmer and reduce, then add the coconut milk, curry powder, cumin, cayenne, and salt.

Simmer the mixture for 3 minutes to allow the flavors to combine, then add the mussels and cover the pot. Cook for 5-10 minutes, until all the shells are open (discard any that fail to do so). Spoon the mussels and their broth into individual bowls, garnish with the remaining cilantro, and serve immediately with crusty bread and a side salad.

13 Briny, Saucy, and Simple Mussels Recipes

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Just wonderful! The sauce is great. We saved it and got two more meals, one was shrimp. I subbed turmeric for the saffron. Like many reviewers, I used lite coconut milk. Even after reducing it was still a broth. In our area, that is how mussels are served. The sauce would never be a thick sauce. We also added some chopped red bell pepper. This is a lovely, colorful dish!

One of our favorites! I use light coconut milk with no issues be sure to reduce the sauce as directed (I reduce down to about half), and it's PLENTY creamy and flavorful. Also saute the spices for about a minute with the onion/garlic/ginger, right before adding the other ingredients this is typically done with Indian dishes, as it "wakes up" the spices. Plenty of broth for twice as many mussels, and also delicious with littleneck clams. A tasty, tasty winner!

This was really tasty! I used 1 1/2 lbs of mussels for me & my boyfriend and it was more than enough. We had lots of broth left over that I'll use with a chicken dish. I only had 1/4 c OJ so I used 1/4 c lemon juice to make up for it. I did use the saffron and it added a nice subtle flavor but boy, is it expensive! I couldn't really taste the chili paste so I might add more next time though Iɽ be worried about overpowering the other flavors. Definitely a special occasion meal - delicious and rich!

I had everything already on-hand except the mussels. What a great dish! There was enough "broth" to have steamed another two pounds. Will definitely make again!

Thanks for posting the recipe. We moved away from St. Louis and miss Babalu's. The chef is amazing and he gave me another one of his recipes.

got to say it's good liked the kick at the end was dicouraged at first to use it do to the amount of different flavours but she work out no off balance

excellent insight Halifax/ thank you/ I also omitted the bay leaf and added Kaffir Lime & I used paste/I have to say after reading the list of ingredients I also decided to ommit the saffron, maybe a mistake but it seemed a waste and the dish was a huge hit with friends

I tried to lighten this up for a mid-week meal by using light coconut milk - big mistake. Broth was watery and lacked that creamy hit I was craving. Definitely stick to full-fat coconut milk in this recipe.

This dish was amazing. The sweet coconut milk was a nice contrast to the spice. We added some diced Jalapeno Peppers for added kick, and it was still amazing. We're saving the leftover sauce to make curried seafood on rice noodles tomorrow - can't wait!

I thought this dish was so flavourful and truly delicious. I followed the recipe except for the following changes: I omitted the saffron (I thought I had some on hnad but didn't) and used indian curry paste instead of powder (I find it gives more depth of flavour than powder) and I added a Lime Kaffir leaf at the same time as the bay leaf. It turned out beautifully. I will definately make it again.

A fabulous dish--the balance of flavours was excellent and the saffron was not smothered by the chilli. Looked gorgeous too! Also, there was plenty of ɻroth' for at least 4 servings so one could add more mussels with the same recipe.

Excellent, not too rich, the sauce fantastic. Try using a little bit cayenne and sweet lemon juice instead of orange.

The sauce was fantastic! The two of us went through an entire sourdough boule sopping it up. Given that, two pounds of mussles was extravagant to say the least -- next time I'll cut down a bit. I loved the way the citrus cut the richness of the coconut milk. Can't wait to do it again. (P.S. I left out the saffron and didn't miss it.)

This was fantastic! It was also easy. I would make it with jasmine rice to soak up the delicious sauce. I used a Vidalia onion, and it was like candy.

Absolutely positively delicious. Before having 15 people for a sit down nine course dinner, my husband and I tried this treat. It was exceptional. I prepared 4 pounds of mussels and there wasn't one left. THe combination of spices, textures were phenomenal. Served with baquettes to sop up the extra extraordinary sauce. By the way, I'm a cooking instructor always looking for new ways to prepare the tried and true.

From teh reviews I've read I thought this would turn out to be an absolutely great recipe. Unfortunately I was quite disappointed, saffron is a very strong spice and it really overpowered every other taste. to many differnet tastes, at least that's what my boyfriend and I felt and not as creamy as we would have liked it to be. Ah well.

Absolutely great! This is the first time we've ever made mussels at home and this receipe rocks. We also added lemongrass which gave it a nice flavor. We'll definitely make this one again!

Excellent as is, but I made some changes that made it better IMHO: I added scallops, shrimps, clams, and chunks of salmon, and about 1 cup of apple juice. I poached each kind of seafood in the broth separately and arranged them in individual bowls, did the mussels last and then poured the broth over everything after the mussels are out. Served it with bread to some friends on their anniversary. They really enjoyed it and reported that the next day the leftovers were even better on spaghetti (!) so I might try that next time.

this is now my all-time favorite mussels recipe. I work in the executive dining room of a big investment bank in Manhattan, and we now serve it as a soup, removing the mussels from the shells to make it easier to eat in a business suit. always a hit

I can't wait to make this again! It was easy enought to thro together at the last minute, and was a huge success. I made one addition, Shitake mushrooms, which made this great recipe absolutey amazing. If I may be so bold, I suggest using Terruzi & Pethud's Terre di tuffi for the wine. It works well as an ingredient, and accompanies the dish very nicely.

This recipe is superb!! The curry-coconut sauce is also great with chicken or shrimp. Everyone to whom I have served this wonderful dish asks for the recipe. It's a great dish for a crowd. I served it for a pre-trip party for a Caribbean scuba diving trip.

Found the flavour okay, but not spectacular. However, the appearance was lovely - shiny black mussels sitting in a pool of golden sauce with bits of red and green!

The beauty of this recipe is the mixture of flavors that coem together to make an irresistable dish.

This is a great recipe. I added an habanero paste (home made)to make it hotter. Highly recommended

awesome, wonderful!! Tastes better than anything we've had in restuarants. Didn't have chile paste so added in hot pepper relish instead and used lemon juice in place of lime. What a hit!! Will double this next time.

Recipe Summary

  • 1 tablespoon olive oil
  • 2 cups chopped onion
  • 1 tablespoon finely chopped peeled fresh ginger
  • 2 garlic cloves, minced
  • 1 jalapeño pepper, chopped
  • 2 teaspoons red curry paste
  • 1 cup light coconut milk
  • ½ cup dry white wine
  • 1 teaspoon dark brown sugar
  • ¼ teaspoon kosher salt
  • 2 pounds small mussels, scrubbed and debearded (about 60)
  • ¾ cup small basil leaves, divided
  • 3 tablespoons fresh lime juice
  • 4 lime wedges

Heat a large Dutch oven over medium-high heat. Add oil to pan swirl to coat. Add onion, ginger, garlic, and jalapeño sauté 3 minutes, stirring frequently. Stir in curry paste cook 30 seconds, stirring constantly. Add coconut milk, wine, sugar, and salt bring to a boil. Cook 2 minutes. Stir in mussels cover and cook 5 minutes or until mussels open. Discard any unopened shells. Stir in 1/2 cup basil and juice. Divide mussels mixture evenly among 4 bowls, and spoon the coconut mixture evenly over mussels. Sprinkle each serving with 1 tablespoon remaining basil serve with lime wedges.

Wine Match: Columbia Winery Cellarmaster's Riesling, Columbia Valley ($10), has a dense texture and honey-sweet flavor that's balanced with spice and mineral notes. Tart lime cuts through the rich coconutty broth of the mussels.&mdashJulianna Grimes

Recipe Summary

  • 5 pounds fresh mussels, scrubbed and debearded
  • ⅓ cup fresh lime juice
  • 1 (13.5 ounce) can unsweetened coconut milk
  • ⅓ cup dry white wine
  • 1 ½ tablespoons Thai red curry paste
  • 1 ½ tablespoons minced garlic
  • 1 tablespoon Asian fish sauce
  • 1 tablespoon white sugar
  • 2 cups chopped fresh cilantro

In a large stock pot, combine the lime juice, coconut milk, wine, curry paste, garlic, fish sauce and sugar. Stir to dissolve sugar and curry paste and bring to a boil over high heat. Boil for 2 minutes then add mussels. Cover and cook, stirring occasionally, until mussels are opened, 5 to 8 minutes.

Remove from the heat and discard any unopened mussels. Pour mussels and liquid into a serving dish and toss with cilantro.


Step 1

Bring coconut milk, tomatoes, wine, curry paste, and 2 Tbsp. basil to a boil in a Dutch oven or other large pot, stirring to incorporate curry paste. Reduce heat and add onion, carrot, and celery season with salt and pepper.

Step 2

Bring liquid to a simmer, cover pot, and cook until vegetables are crisp-tender, about 4 minutes. Using a slotted spoon, transfer vegetables to a medium bowl and set aside.

Step 3

Return liquid in pot to a simmer. Add mussels to pot, cover, and cook, shaking pot occasionally, until shells open (discard any mussels that do not open), about 4 minutes.

Step 4

Divide mussels and cooking liquid among bowls, top with reserved vegetables, parsley, and remaining 2 Tbsp. basil, and serve with bread alongside.

How would you rate Red Curry Mussels?

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Nutrition of Mussels

Interestingly, mussels contain only 150 calories per 3 ounce serving, with a nice 20 grams of protein. They are also a good source of omega 3 fats (500-1,000mg), which are helpful for heart health, lowering triglycerides and promoting brain health. Furthermore, we receive 100% of daily selenium this supports our immune system and thyroid functioning. If it sounds awesome already, we also receive approximately 275% of manganese requirement. Not only is it important for bone health, but it’s also helpful for metabolizing proteins, carbohydrates and fats.

Get the freshest mussels you can find!


  • 2 tablespoons thinly sliced peeled fresh lemongrass
  • 2 tablespoons minced shallots
  • 2 tablespoons chopped fresh cilantro
  • 1/2 teaspoon ground coriander
  • 1/2 teaspoon cumin seeds
  • 1/2 teaspoon shrimp paste
  • 1/2 teaspoon grated peeled fresh ginger
  • 1/4 teaspoon black peppercorns
  • 1/4 teaspoon crushed red pepper
  • 2 garlic cloves, chopped
  • 1 kaffir lime leaf

  • 2 teaspoons peanut oil, or canola oil
  • 2 medium cloves garlic, minced
  • 2 scallions, thinly sliced, whites and greens separated
  • Zest and juice of 1 lime
  • 1-2 teaspoons Thai red curry paste, (see Note)
  • 1 14-ounce can “lite” coconut milk
  • 1 tablespoon brown sugar
  • 2 teaspoons fish sauce, (see Note)
  • 4 pounds mussels, scrubbed and debearded (see Tip)
  • 6 cups trimmed watercress, (1-2 bunches) or trimmed spinach
  • 2 tablespoons thinly sliced fresh basil, for garnish

Heat oil in a large high-sided skillet or Dutch oven over medium-high heat. Add garlic, scallion whites, lime zest and curry paste to taste cook until fragrant and the paste is sizzling, 1 to 3 minutes. Add lime juice, coconut milk, brown sugar and fish sauce. Bring to a boil and let cook for 2 minutes.

Add mussels, return to a simmer, cover and cook for 6 minutes. Spread watercress (or spinach) over the mussels, cover and cook until slightly wilted, about 4 minutes stir into the mussels. (Discard any unopened mussels.) Serve garnished with scallion greens and basil.

Note: Red curry paste and fish sauce, typical Thai ingredients, can be found in the Asian food section of large supermarkets.

Tip: To clean mussels, scrub with a stiff brush under cold running water. Scrape off any barnacles using the shell of another mussel. Pull off the fuzzy &ldquobeard&rdquo from each one (some mussels may not have a beard).


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