Coconut Curry Mussels


This week promises to be a busy one.  I’m gearing up for a giveaway that I am excited to share with you and I will also finally be able to announce the details of a fun event that I was invited to participate in.  For now, I will share with you this simple recipe for mussels.  I typically prepare the shellfish in classic French fashion–cooked in white wine, garlic and herbs–but with leftover coconut milk begging to be used, I had the perfect excuse to try something new.



Coconut milk, curry powder, fresh ginger, lemongrass powder (I rediscovered a long-forgetten jar that I bought a while ago, fresh would be better, of course), garlic and limes came together beautifully in this simple starter.  The inspiration came from a trendy restaurant in Oakland that our friends introduced us to a couple of years ago that serves mussels in coconut broth.  And while its name escapes me at the moment, I have never quite forgotten one of its signature dishes.  The broth, infused with the briny freshness of the mussels mingling with the rich coconut milk and the punch of the curry begged to be slurped from the bowl.  But you know I wouldn’t do that, right? At least not in public.  Instead, I filled myself up with loads and loads of crusty bread trying to mop it all up; I couldn’t get enough.  Though I promised to recreate the dish myself after that visit, it hasn’t happened until now.

This is my take on that tasty bowl of mussels that I enjoyed a couple of years ago.  I let my taste buds (and the ingredients I had available) guide me and ended up with this flavorful, colorful appetizer.

I used Italian parsley here since I had originally planned to make the French version of steamed mussels.  I also had to use a lemon in these pictures because the mussels refused to cooperate with me during the first photo shoot and since mussels don’t like to wait before being enjoyed, I used up my limes, squeezing them onto the mussels and eating half the batch between shots.  By the time I realized the first set of pictures wasn’t going to work, my limes were history.  The lemons were the perfect stand-ins and I would bet that your taste buds wouldn’t protest too much if you found yourself fresh out of limes yourself.



5.0 from 6 reviews
Coconut Curry Mussels
In this simple appetizer, the rich coconut broth commands equal attention with the mussels. Make sure to have plenty of bread to mop it all up.
Recipe type: Appetizer
Serves: 4
  • 2 pounds mussels
  • 1 cup coconut milk
  • ½ cup chicken stock
  • 2 teaspoons curry powder (I used hot curry powder for a lively kick)
  • 1 small knob ginger, grated
  • 3 cloves garlic, minced
  • ½ teaspoon fish sauce (optional)
  • salt, to taste
  • ½ teaspoon lemongrass powder (or fresh lemongrass)
  • juice of ½ lime plus more for garnish
  • Chopped cilantro or Italian parsley
  • 2-3 tablespoons olive oil
  1. In a large skillet, heat the olive oil over medium heat then add the garlic and ginger. Cook for about a minute then add the curry powder and lemongrass powder (or fresh if using) and cook for 1-2 minutes until the curry is fragrant. Add the chicken stock and coconut milk and bring to a simmer.
  2. Add the lime juice and some chopped cilantro or parsley and season with salt and fish sauce (if using). The fish sauce really does add bigger savory flavor.
  3. Add the mussels to the pot and cover. Simmer for a few minutes or until the mussels have opened up. Transfer to a serving bowl and garnish with more chopped cilantro (make sure to discard the mussels that didn't open). Serve with lime wedges a baguette to mop up all that spicy sauce.


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  1. Jean, you are my tummy twin, truly. Mussels are my absolute favorite, maybe in some ways more than clams – and I love the coconut curry infused broth! Heavenly! Enjoy a restful Sunday before the busy week ahead!

    • lemonsandanchovies says:

      We are, aren’t we? 🙂 Everything you post really speaks to my tummy and it’s like you always know what I’ve been craving. 🙂

      Have a great week yourself. 🙂

  2. That looks really delicious Jean. I will bookmark this recipe for an appetizer idea. My son and I will enjoy this.

    • lemonsandanchovies says:

      Thanks, Rowena! This was so easy i wondered why I haven’t prepared mussels like this before. They disappeared fast! 🙂

  3. Great, great photos Jean! Hubby would LOVE this appetizer. I bet the broth is too die for. Enjoy your week ahead and this beautiful Sunday!!!!

    • lemonsandanchovies says:

      Thanks, Lisa! This post took two photo shoots–I’m just glad I made enough! It was so hard not to have “just one” between shots! 🙂

  4. Mmm, I love mussels but I never make them at home! I also have a can of coconut milk in my cupboard, I’ll just have to go get some mussels!

  5. What a gorgeous plate of mussels…fantastic flavors! And as always…amazing photos!

  6. Jean, what time should we arrive for appetizers? 😉 The flavors you paired here are some of my favorites – coconut, curry, lemongrass…yum!

  7. I am not fan of the mussels, but looking at your mouthwatering photos I could try! Awesome combination!

  8. Beautiful photos Jean, flavorful, simple and healthy too. Have a wonderful week.

  9. What wonderful mussels! With the curry and the coconut they must be delicious!

  10. looks wonderful

  11. What a beautiful take on a seafood dish 😀

    Choc Chip Uru

  12. You’ve plated them so well, Jean! Coconut curry is surely the way to go. Can’t wait to give your recipe a try. 🙂

    • lemonsandanchovies says:

      Gee, thanks! It was so hard to get the mussels to come out–they kept coming out too dark! Glad I was able to salvage a photo or two. 🙂

  13. Although I’m not much of a mussel fan, this coconut curry one would totally change my mind about that (and you know it for sure if you see my post today ;-)). I didn’t know there is lemongrass powder – sounds like a convenient spice to have at home. Love to try this.

  14. I love mussels, I think they’re so underused, they’re delicious and a very sustainable option for seafood.delicious simply steamed with wine even, but I really like the idea of them in curry too, with the sweetness of coconut milk.

    first time at your blog it’s freaking gorgeous! really love the layout, the feel of this space. and lovely photos too! I hopped over to your pinterest account and have already repinned more than a couple of photos hur hur.

  15. I started eating mussel very recently .. sometime end of the last year. And ever since then it’s my fav shell fish. I like the idea of coconut milk in seafood. I should get some mussel soon and give this a try!

  16. Gorgeous dish, Jean! Love eating mussels, and I can imagine how well the creaminess of the coconut milk went with the curry. I’m always wary about quality when I order mussels and for the same reason, I’ve always been afraid to buy them, fearing I won’t get the quality that I desire. One day, I’ll be brave and conquer this frontier. LOL. Have a lovely week!

  17. This is as beautiful as food gets. GREG

  18. Tahong! I haven’t had mussels in quite sometime (because the hubby has aversion to this, too).

    Your recipe has many of my most-adored ingredients: coconut, lime, lemongrass, curry…oh my! Namiko had a coconut curry post, too…so I’m now craving for one!

    And Jean, your Le Creuset photo is tops! I like…!!!

  19. My husband LOVES mussels, he would live on these!

  20. I’m reading your words and my mouth is watering at the same time. When I lived in Paris I ate Mussels at least once a week, I could never get enough. But sadly I never tried any like your recipe. This is something I simply must try just as soon as I can get some fresh mussels. Amazing Jean!

  21. This dish is making me want to run to the market right now and make this for breakfast! It’s only 8 am still here in Hawaii-I might just do it.. why not right? I love every single one of your dishes that I have tried and so I have added you to my blogroll of favorite food blogs! Thanks for being so talented and letting us all drool over it! 🙂

  22. Delicious recipe, my husband and I love mussels but I’m never sure what to with them to make an interesting and special dish. Will definitely give this a try next time we have a rare night in together without the kids!

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