Coconut Curry Mussels | #SundaySupper

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coconut curry mussels

This week’s theme on #SundaySupper is Year End Cravings, hosted by Cindy on Cindy’s Recipes and Writings. Something we’ve had a hankering for all year. My craving is coconut curry mussels – essentially mussels steamed in a broth of coconut milk, vegetable broth, red curry paste,and lime juice. A similar dish used to be on the menu of a local restaurant in our town, Balboa, and I ordered them without fail every time I dined there.

And then they vanished without a trace. One night we walked over to the restaurant for dinner, my appetite all fired up for this dish. I opened the menu, and they were gone. No farewell party. No last rites. No notice in the newspaper. Just gone. My taste buds still haven’t recovered from the shock. It’s mussels season, guys! What were you thinking?

So I’ve been craving this dish for a couple of months now. It’s perfect for dinner. It’s light enough that you don’t need a nap afterwards (a welcome relief this time of year), but enough of a dish to be a full meal along with a simple salad and a hunk of bread. And the bread is obligatory, just so you know, to ensure capturing every drop of the amazing broth.

As a bonus, this dish is super easy to make – and after the holidays, it’s nice to take a break from all the cooking and baking that began before Thanksgiving.

5.0 from 3 reviews
Coconut-Curry Mussels | #SundaySupper
Prep time
Cook time
Total time
Recipe type: Seafood
Serves: Serves 2
  • 2 pounds mussels
  • 2 Tbsp unsalted butter
  • 1 Tbsp olive oil
  • 1 yellow onion, diced
  • 1 red pepper, diced
  • 3 garlic cloves, minced
  • ½ tsp kosher salt
  • ¼ tsp black pepper
  • 3 Tbsp red curry paste
  • 1 (14-ounce) can full-fat coconut milk
  • ½ cup vegetable (or seafood) stock
  • juice of 1 lime (at least 1 Tbsp)
Garnish Options:
  • Sliced scallions (especially the dark green tops)
  • Coarsely chopped cilantro
  1. Scrub the mussels, and yank out any beards slipping through the shell with a pair of pliers. Put them on a bunch of ice cubes in a bowl and refrigerate until you need them. I’ve kept them that way for 1 day.
  2. Melt the butter in a large pot over medium-high heat – I use my Le Creuset large Dutch oven. Add the olive oil and heat it up. Add the onion and pepper (it should sizzle when it hits the pan) and sauté until softened, about 6 – 7 minutes. Add the garlic, salt and pepper and cook for another couple of minutes.
  3. Thoroughly stir in the curry paste and cook for 5 minutes. Add the coconut milk, vegetable stock, lime juice, and stir. Bring to a simmer, stirring continuously.
  4. Reduce the heat to medium and carefully add the mussels. If you pile them in with abandon, the shells may break. Cover the pot and simmer just until the mussels open, 5 – 6 minutes. If you forget about them, they'll get tough and rubbery, which no one likes.
  5. Ladle some broth into bowls, followed by the mussels, and finishing with more broth. Be sure to discard any shells that don’t open. Garnish with sliced scallions or cilantro if you choose. Serve immediately with sliced, warm baguettes with butter.
Now go see what everyone else was craving this year!

Comfort Food Cravings
Quench Your Thirst Cravings
Seafood Cravings
Satisfy Your Sweet Tooth Cravings

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  1. says

    Too bad my husband does not like mussels, I do like them! You just sent me to the fridge to find that I don’t seem to have my little bottle of Thai Kitchen red curry paste– I’ll have to restock. Even though sometimes it can be nice to make your own it is handy. Red coconut curry is my favorite of the Thai curries.
    Mary @ Fit and Fed recently posted..Vegetarian Onion GravyMy Profile

  2. Suzanne says

    Is there a vegetarian version of this recipe? I guess I thought this was a vegetarian blog when I signed up to follow it. Maybe that’s why it’s the “wimpy” vegetarian? Could you let me know what this blog is meant to be covering? I would imagine I could substitute cashews, tofu, and vegetables since the sauce sounds very good.

    • says

      Thanks for asking, Suzanne! Roughly 95% of what I post is vegetarian, with maybe one quarter of that vegan. I eat fish when I eat in restaurants, and occasionally at home – hence the “wimpy” moniker. Every once in awhile I post something with fish, but I’m guessing only 3 – 4 times per year. As for converting this to a vegetarian dish – you’re right the sauce is really good, and makes the dish. It’s definitely not about the mussels. My top pick for the sauce would be spaghetti squash. I would slice it in half, remove the seeds, roast or steam it in the oven (or microwave), and gently tug out the tangle of “spaghetti” strands and toss with the sauce in the above recipe. It would also be a great sauce for a risotto or other grain dishes. You’ve given me a great idea now for another post: one that provides vegetarian recipes to use with this sauce. Thanks!!!
      The Wimpy Vegetarian recently posted..Countdown: Best Party Snacks and AppetizersMy Profile

  3. Renae says

    Delish. I used ciabatta rolls to soak up the sauce. Using leftover sauce to cook salmon. Love the amount of spice.

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