Mussels in a Thai-Style Coconut Broth

March 12, 2012 in Uncategorized


Not only do mussels remind me of mythical creatures with their beards and archaic-like bodies, but they also hold a special place in my heart.


Each time I eat a mussel, memories are resurrected of a happy summer spent with my dad.


This summer, I had my dad all to myself and because I was a little obsessed with all things seafood and in particular mussels – we decided to try all the mussels in Plett.


My excitement as each steaming bowl of mussels was brought to the table was indescribable, not just because the smell was hypnotic – that heady combination of sea mingled with wine and garlic, or the fact that the aromatic liquid was about to be mopped up with a crispy piece of bread, but because I was sharing the experience with my dad.  


Mussels will always be my ultimate comfort food; when I am sad or feeling lonely, I need only make a pot of these yummy morsels and I am transported to my happy place.



Mussels in a Thai-Style Coconut Broth
Recipe type: Main
Prep time: 
Cook time: 
Total time: 
Serves: 2
  • 1 medium onion, diced
  • 1 Tbs olive oil, for frying
  • ½ tsp salt
  • 1 Thai chilli, deseeded and finely chopped
  • 15ml NoMU vegetable or chicken stock, diluted in 2 cups of water
  • 400ml lite coconut milk
  • 1 stalk lemon grass, bruised with the back of a knife to release the oils
  • 3 baby leeks, whole
  • 1 - 2 tsp sugar
  • 30ml fresh lemon or lime juice
  • 1 tsp fish sauce
  • ½ cup thinly sliced basil leaves
  • ½ cup chopped parsley
  • 1 tsp ground Sichuan pepper (optional)
  • 500g mussels (fresh or frozen)
  • Vermicelli rice noodles or Jasmine rice for serving (optional)
  1. Defrost mussels, if frozen
  2. Fry onion until translucent, add the salt to prevent it from burning
  3. Add chilli and fry for a few minutes
  4. Add stock and coconut milk and bring to a gentle simmer
  5. Add lemon grass and baby leeks
  6. Add sugar, lemon juice, fish sauce, basil, parsley and Sichuan pepper
  7. Simmer for 10 minutes to allow flavours to infuse
  8. Taste and adjust flavouring where necessary
  9. Remove leeks and slice
  10. Remove lemon grass
  11. Add mussels and put lid on pot
  12. If mussels are already cooked, coat them in the sauce and allow them to heat through before removing from stove
  13. If mussels are fresh, simmer for 5 - 7 minutes, until cooked
  14. Discard any closed mussels
  15. Add sliced leeks back to pot and stir
  16. Test seasoning
  17. Serve with vermicelli rice noodles or jasmine rice or eat them just as is


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