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Mussels in Basil-Coconut Sauce

User Rating 5 Star Rating (2 Reviews)


Thai mussels
Crystal Cartier/StockFood Creative/Getty Images
This Thai mussel recipe makes an incredible appetizer, or add a salad and enjoy as the main course. Fresh mussels are steamed in white wine, then briefly simmered in a basil and coconut sauce. The dish is finished off with a sprinkling of fresh red chillies, coriander, and more basil for a seafood dish that is easy to make but tastes truly gourmet! Excellent with your favorite wine.

Prep Time: 20 minutes

Cook Time: 8 minutes

Total Time: 28 minutes


  • 1 lb fresh mussels (serves 2 as a large appetizer or main entree)
  • 1 thumb-size piece galangal (or ginger), grated
  • 2 shallots, chopped finely
  • 3 cloves garlic, minced
  • 3 kaffir lime leaves, snipped into thin strips with scissors (available frozen at Asian stores)
  • 1/3 cup white wine (or white cooking wine)
  • a handful of basil and coriander leaves for garnish (tear basil into smaller pieces if large)
  • optional: 1/2 red chilli, finely sliced
  • 1 cup coconut milk
  • 1/2 tsp. ground coriander
  • 1/4 cup fresh coriander leaves and stems
  • 1 Tbsp. fish sauce
  • 1 tsp. shrimp paste (if unavailable, substitute 1 more Tbsp. fish sauce)
  • 1 Tbsp. lime juice
  • 1 Tbsp. soy sauce
  • optional: 1/2 red chili, minced, OR 1/2 tsp. dried crushed chili


  1. Clean and rinse the mussels under cool to cold water. Soak in cold water and place in the refrigerator until ready to use.
  2. To make the sauce, place all sauce ingredients in a food processor. Process well. Taste test for salt, adding more fish sauce if not salty enough. If too salty for your taste, add a little more lime juice. Add more chili for a spicier sauce. Set aside.
  3. Add 1-2 Tbsp. oil to a wok or a large frying pan. Add the galangal (or ginger), shallots, garlic and kaffir lime leaf strips. Stir-fry 1-2 minutes over medium-high heat, until shallots are cooked.
  4. Add the white wine to the wok/frying pan. Now add the drained mussels, stirring well. Bring to a boil.
  5. Reduce heat to simmer (medium-low). Cover with lid and allow to "steam" cook in this way for 2-3 minutes.
  6. Take off the lid and stir gently. If most of the mussels have opened, they are ready to eat. Discard the ones that haven't opened. (If there are quite a lot that still haven't opened, try replacing the lid and allowing them to cook another 30 seconds to 1 minute.) Be careful not to overcook them, or they will become tough.
  7. Reduce heat to low. Remove lid and add the basil-coconut sauce. Stir gently. As soon as the sauce is warm, this dish is ready (30 seconds to 1 minute).
  8. To serve, slide mussels and sauce onto a serving platter, mounding them into a pile. Sprinkle with red chili (if using), basil leaves, and fresh coriander. If desired, serve with a fresh French loaf, or garlic toast to soak up the juices. Enjoy with a bottle of nice wine and a loved one!
User Reviews

Reviews for this section have been closed.

 5 out of 5
Fantastic!, Member benitsallgood

I've tried several mussel recipes and have had dozens of mussel dishes at restaurants and this is by far the best. Great combination of flavors, balanced, a little heat...perfect. I would highly recommend sourcing galangal as it is much more fragrant and not as sharp as ginger. Enjoy!

11 out of 11 people found this helpful.

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